The late Valerie Boyd was the founder and director of the UGA MFA Program in Narrative Nonfiction. Boyd authored the critically acclaimed biography Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award and the American Library Association’s Notable Book Award.

Boyd curated and edited the journals of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker. Simon & Schuster published Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker in April 2022. Also in 2022, Lookout Books will publish Boyd's anthology, Bigger Than Bravery: Black Writers on the Year That Changed the World. A former arts editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she wrote articles, essays and reviews for such publications as The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Creative Nonfiction, the Oxford American, Paste, Ms., Essence and Atlanta Magazine. She was an associate professor of journalism and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence at UGA’s College of Journalism and Mass Communication, where she taught courses in arts reviewing, long-form feature writing, and the intersection of journalism and literature. In 2017, she received the Georgia Governor’s Award in the Arts and Humanities. She was an editor-at-large at UGA Press and senior consulting editor for The Bitter Southerner.




Valerie Boyd
M.F.A., Goucher College