My First Book 'When A Purple Rose Blooms' is Available NOW

I am beyond excited to announce that my FIRST book When a Purple Rose Blooms is available!! You can order copies directly from my publisher Nomadic Press. Order here
The book is a collection of essays and poetry about my experiences with black womanhood. There's lots of humor, pain, and love on every page. This book wrote itself. I had no intention of releasing a book of poetry and essays, but when I saw how much I've written over the last 20 years I thought, "why not?" and went for it. 
The book launch is tonight, 7pm at the Oakland Peace Center. I will be launching my book along with 6 other new writers to Nomadic Press. I'm in great, literary company. 
Thank you to every person who has read this blog over the years, attended my readings, listened to my radio stories or read my articles. Thank you for your support. I hope you enjoy the book! 

Cocoa Fly Gets Poetic and is Published in Solo Cafe 8 & 9

On top of writing news articles, radio scripts, blogs and Tweets -- I write poetry. I was published in solo cafe 8 & 9 vol 2: teachers and students.  My poem "Office Hours" is dedicated to the late phenomenal writer and my UC San Diego Professor Sherley Anne Williams.

I'm honored to have my work featured alongside great writers like Kwame Dawes, Camille T. Dungy, my mentor and the collection's editor Lenard D. Moore, and many other literary talents.

The photos you see on the cover are of publisher Glenna Luschei and her late husband Shelby Stephenson. The book opens with Glenna's memories of her husband, his death and poetry. I never met them, but judging by her writings, it is beautifully clear that they were in love. My heart went out to her as I reading about their travels and simple, yet intimate times together. But I also couldn't help but hope that I'm blessed with such a love in my life.  Her husband was hospitalized after falling while trying rescue a bird that had flown into their living room picture window. His wife said he always cared for living creatures. I thought that said a lot about his character.

Sherley Anne Williams
Speaking of character, you must read my late professor's book Dessa Rose. It's a highly respected novel in the black literary cannon. And it's such a great story. I was blessed to take her final class. She was an amazing woman. Prof. Williams grew up poor and picking fruit in Central California to becoming a respected writer and college professor. Prof. Williams was respected around the world. She truly was an example of the power of will and an education. Prof. Williams was the first black female college professor I ever had. She put a hurting on my papers when it was grading time LOL, but people like her are the reason why I'm a published writer.

You can read more about how I met Sherley Anne Williams here.