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About


Dennis
Norris II

About  Writing
Events Services

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About


Dennis
Norris II

About  Writing
Events Services

"...Dennis Norris II delivers a collection of queer short stories that read like a gospel, a prayer, like words that crackle and ignite and transform themselves with every consecutive read."

T Kira Madden. Awst Press, Series Curator.


 Photo courtesy of Melissa Czarnik

Photo courtesy of Melissa Czarnik

Dennis Norris II is the author of Awst Collection—Dennis Norris II, named one of the best books of 2018 by Powell's Books. A 2017 MacDowell Colony Fellow, a 2016 Tin House Scholar, and 2015 Kimbilio Fiction Fellow, they will be a Peter Taylor Fellow for the 2019 Kenyon Review Fiction Workshop.

Their writing appears in Shondaland, INTO, The Rumpus, Apogee Journal, and SmokeLong Quarterly, and elsewhere, and their short story Last Rites appears in Everyday People: The Color of Life, an anthology recently published by Atria Books. Their fiction has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and their story Where Every Boy is Known and Loved is a finalist for the 2018 Best Small Fictions Prize. Their story Daddy's Boy is forthcoming in Forward: 21st Century Flash Fiction, an anthology celebrating flash fiction by writers of color to be published in March 2019.

The former Fiction Editor for Apogee Journal, they currently serve as Assistant Fiction Editor for The Rumpus and co-host of the critically-acclaimed podcast Food 4 Thot. They live in Brooklyn, where they are hard at work on their debut novel.


It's an uncomfortable story, but it's written with a crisp spareness that's continued to haunt me from the first time I read it.

—Note from the guest editor, Rion Amilcar Scott, about Daddy's Boy, which appears in Issue 51 of SmokeLong Quarterly


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Writing


Writing


Writing

The Queer Syllabus: The Outing by James Baldwin

September 2018, The Rumpus

"Two black boys, Johnnie and David, are holding each other. They have stolen a moment of privacy, and are looking out upon the water from the uppermost desk of a ferryboat."

Read more here.


A Starr on The Rise

March 2018, Shondaland

"I wish I could tell you that I remember every second of my performance at Nationals because people keep telling me how well I skated..." —Starr Andrews

Read more here.


Awst Collection—Dennis Norris II

February 2018. Awst Press

"You were several hours from home when you started on the road, your stomach unsettled as though you knew something had happened. The traffic was heavy because the roads hadn’t been cleared."

Read more here.


Where Every Boy is Known and Loved

Excavating Honesty: An Anthology of Rage and Hope in America.
paper nautilus

"The classroom had no windows and every day one of the boys would close the door. Another hit the lights. In the darkness, they surrounded me, wanting to become men. In their eyes, I was nothing but the closest thing they could get their hands on."

Read more here.


The Reverend

Issue 07. Apogee Journal.

"Someone will come. Sirens will sound in the distance. Lights will rise from darkness like seraphs, dancing red and blue. Salvation will be brought by men sent from God."                          

Read more here.


Finding Michelle Kwan: A Black Boy's Childhood on Ice

Awesome Sports Project

"Long before it actually happened, I tried to tell the world I was a figure skater. I tried on Saturday afternoons, back in the nineties, when skating was on TV every weekend. I tried by..."                     

Read more here.


Daddy's Boy

Issue 51. SmokeLong Quarterly

"Open your mouth. Sing boy. Rise up from your pew and praise Him.Take your hands off your hips. Don't dance, don't smile, just clap. Firm up those wrists and sing. Your mouth is His."                              

Read more here.


Ungrateful, Unafraid

Issue 03. Madcap Review

"Joanne wore a pink circle skirt and a ribbon in her hair the day her sister disappeared. She was proud of that skirt, proud that it came all the way from the sixties, dusty but intact..."                              

Read more here.


Solitaire

Issue 106. Bound Off: A Monthly Literary Audio Magazine

"A storm is coming and Luke's made sure we have everything we'll need: enough dry food to get through the week, a bathtub filled with tap water, batteries, extra blankets. If it were up to me..."           

Listen here.

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Featured Events


Featured Events


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Services


Services


Services

I provide freelance services for editing, copywriting, and consultations. Please inquire for rates.

Testimonials:

"Worrying that some racially charged scenes in my novel, Carnegie Hill, might offend readers, I hired Dennis as a sensitivity reader. He edited my novel carefully and lovingly, highlighting and extrapolating on what I got right, and helping me see my blind spots without making me feel foolish. I had written parts from the perspective of a gay black man, and Dennis helped me reshape the character in places where he seemed too naive or otherwise not believable. Dennis helped me revise my novel so that it portrayed, but did not condone, micro- and macroaggressions."

Jonathan Vatner