“Dara T. Mathis’ work is a profound interrogation of her own personal story and background, through which she shares unique perspectives with nuance and grace. As a mother and a person dealing with hearing loss, her original voice feels urgent and essential.”

2024 Judges

Dara T. Mathis is a writer and journalist whose work examines parenthood, identity, and linkages to Black memory. She resides in Maryland.

Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Week, Blackbird, Romper, and other outlets. She is a 2024 MacDowell Fellow. She has also received support from the Lighthouse Writers’ Book Project, the Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.

Ms. Mathis is working on a memoir blending oral history, reporting, and research that chronicles her family history in a radical Black commune—and how liberation movements can shatter and transform the way we imagine the world. “A Blueprint for Black Liberation,” published in 2023, is based on that work.