Author, Journalist, Essayist

Eisa Ulen
Eisa Nefertari Ulen is the author of Crystelle Mourning, a novel described by The Washington Post as “a call for healing in the African American community from generations of hurt and neglect.” She is the recipient of a Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center Fellowship for Young African American Fiction Writers, and a Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship.

Eisa was nominated by Essence magazine for a National Association of Black Journalists Award for her tribute to photographer Mfon Essien, and she won a National Association of Black Journalists Award for her contribution to the Heart & Soul magazine feature, “State of Our Girls.”

She has contributed to numerous other publications, including The Washington Post, Ms., Health, Vibe, The Source, The Crisis, Black Issues Book Review, Quarterly Black Review of Books,,,, and

Her essays on African American culture have been widely anthologized and explore topics ranging from Hip Hop, to Muslim life in America post-9/11, to contemporary Black literature, to the gap between the Civil Rights generation and Generation X.

Eisa graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and earned a master’s degree from Columbia University. She has taught at Hunter College and The Pratt Institute. A founding member of Ringshout: A Place for Black Literature, she lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn. More...

mosaic cover
Mosaic Magazine

- Relevant Literature, Issue 18, Spring 2007
Interview with Eisa by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn
"Ulen's writings flow with beautiful cadence and wordplay while tempered by her powerful political and femist orientation."

Check out Eisa's Blog, featuring photos from tours and other engagements.
Read reviews of Eisa's novel, Crystelle Mourning.
Contact Eisa to schedule an interview or tour.
Read selected essays and articles by Eisa Ulen.

Podcasts, Radio & TV


Truthout Interviews Eisa Ulen
on Genetic and Cultural DNA

Sunday, March 9, 2014 by Ted Asregadoo

Truthout Interviews Eisa Ulen
on Raven Symone and Black Identity

Sunday, October 19, 2014 b
y Ted Asregadoo interview with Eisa Davis
Conversation: Eisa Davis & Eisa Ulen
A conversation between Eisa Davis and Eisa Ulen.

Mosaic Magazine
Interview with Eisa by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn
Ulen's writings flow with beautiful cadence and wordplay while tempered by her powerful political and feminist orientation.

Crystal Clear -- Jill Dearman Interviews Eisa Ulen
From Barnes and Noble Book Clubs, April 2010
Eisa Nefertari Ulen is a New York author who shifts seamlessly between fiction and nonfiction; and her work shifts seamlessly from heavy emotions to lighter ones.


Black Parenting Matters: Raising Children in a World of Police Terror, On Rising Up with Sonali, July 13, 2016

Truthout Interviews Eisa Ulen on Genetic and Cultural DNA
From -- Who are we? Where do we come from? How do we construct our identity? A conversation about how we determine "who" we are. By Ted Asregadoo, March 2014

PEN American Center, Conversation
From -- PEN American Center, Conversation with Eisa Ulen, Bridgett Davis, Martha Southgate, and Chris Jackson, founding members of ringShout: A Place for Black Literature. The group discusses recent books by African American women. Part of a series of podcasts which took place at the 2010 Brooklyn Book Festival.

RingShout: "Laughing at Myself in the Mirror": Entire Event
From -- Special guests James Hannaham, author of God Says No, and Victor LaValle, author of Big Machine, join Martha Southgate, Eisa Ulen Richardson, and others for a discussion of comedy in black literature at RingShout: "Laughing at Myself in the Mirror".


Radio Interviews

NPR Bloggers' Roundtable Discussions:

Bush Reflects In Final Press Conference.
Farai Chideya talks with Anthony Bradley of The Institute, Eisa Ulen, and Michael D. Cobb Bowen. January 12, 2009.

McCain, Obama Meet in First Debate.
Farai Chideya talks with Anthony Bradley, Charles Robinson of Charles Black Politics Blog, and Eisa Ulen. September 29, 2008.

Sen. John Edwards Admits Affair
Bloggers discuss the news of John Edwards' marital affair, the shocking deaths of comedian Bernie Mac and singer Isaac Hayes, and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's continuing legal woes. Joining Farai Chideya are Eisa Ulen of, Ron Scott of the Detroit News, and John McCann of Book of John. August 11, 2008.

Faking It: What Motivates False Memoirs?
Faked memoirs by authors Margaret Seltzer, JT LeRoy, and James Frey have sparked controversies in the literary sphere. For insight, Farai Chideya talks with blogger and writer Eisa Ulen, who teaches English at Hunter College in New York City. March 6, 2008

Tavis vs. The Obamas
Journalist Tavis Smiley's snub of Michelle Obama at his upcoming State of the Black Union, plus a dispute over the value of so-called "street lit." February 18, 2008

A Look Back
Black blogger power was definitely in effect in 2007. Their posts helped spread the word about the Jena 6 case and pushed for BET to change its programming. Here to look back on some of the year's top stories of the year are bloggers Eisa Ulen, Nashieqa Washington of Your Black Friend, and John McCann of Book of John. December 24, 2007

Oprah Backlash?
Sen. Barack Obama's campaign is benefiting from Oprah Winfrey's endorsement, but is the "Queen of Talk" facing a backlash from some fans? December 17, 2007


NPR Interview

NPR Interview: Eisa Nefertari Ulen's 'Crystelle Mourning'
Forgiveness is good for the soul, but it's often difficult. Eisa Ulen tackles this issue in her debut novel, Crystelle Mourning. August 15, 2006


TV Appearances

Brooklyn Children's Museum teaches kids about Kwanzaa
News 12 Long Island segment. Eisa Ulen Richardson took part in the celebration. December 27, 2011

Obama on Race
Featured on Fox 5 NY news 5:00 p.m. segment discussing Barack Obama's speech on race with news anchor Dari Alexander. March 18, 2007

Black English
Fox 5 NY Morning Show, Eisa on Black English.

Good Day Street Talk: The 'B' Word, Pt. 1 -- Fox 5's Christina Park and a panel of experts discuss the use of the 'B' word. Friday, November 9, 2007


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