Bentley has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, the Oxford American, Southern Living, Saveur and Essence. As an enterprise writer at The Minneapolis Star Tribune, she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her work on the newspaper’s “Issues of Race” series.
In 2019, she was a columnist for “Gravy,” a publication of the Southern Foodways Alliance, where her column “Rooted in Place,” was a finalist for two James Beard Awards, including the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award. Her essay “The Blessing and Burden of Forever,” published in the summer 2020 issue of Oxford American, was named a notable essay in the “Best American Essays 2021” edition of the annual series. Bentley’s essay, “Iron and Brass,” is in the upcoming anthology “Bigger than Bravery: Black Resilience and Reclamation in a Time of Pandemic,” edited by Boyd and due to be published in September by Lookout Books. Bentley received a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Florida A&M University.
Bentley was a member of the inaugural class of the program in 2015. A program that is among the only low-residency, narrative nonfiction studies in the country based in a college of journalism where it is committed to the mission of telling true, well-reported stories in a literary way.