Queer Womanist Writer. PhD. Professor. Proud Southside Chicagoan transplant to Arkansas. Great Migration Offspring. Biker. Amateur Foodie with texture issues. Future Homesteader.
M Shelly Conner, PhD
M Shelly Conner uses her experiences as a dapperqueer black woman to produce multi-genre works that examine intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. Her collection of writing spans multiple media including print, screen and web platforms and vacillates between the sardonic humor of Quare Life and the informative exposition of essays like "Discovering My Femininity in Menswear." Her novel everyman (represented by Ladderbird Agency) follows the historical contours of the Great Migration of African Americans that fled the American south in droves for better racial and economic opportunities in the north. This mass relocation, which far exceeded that of both the California Gold Rush and the Dust Bowl migration, occurred from 1915 to 1972 and greatly changed the demographics of urban cities like Chicago. The novel begins its journey in 1972 Chicago and weaves narratives backwards to 1920's Georgia. everyman is simultaneously about one woman’s struggle to locate herself within a family, and the everyman’s journey to connect with a collective.
As a whole, Shelly's writing makes queer interventions in a tradition of storytelling about black life and families from Jim Crow South to south side Chicago; from Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun to Lena Waithe's The Chi.