Georgia Center for the Book
Valerie Boyd

Valerie Boyd

Georgia Connections

  • Atlanta, Fulton County

Notes of Interest

Valerie Boyd is professor and writer-in-residence at the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia and the author of a prize-winning biography of the late author Zora Neale Hurston, "Wrapped in Rainbows." That book was chosen for inclusion on the Georgia Center for the Book's 2005 list of "25 Books All Georgians Should Read." She is a former journalist and critic who has contributed to many anthologies, magazines and newspapers and founded or co-founded two journals for African Americans.

Valeries Boyd was born December 11, 1963, in Atlanta. She grew up in the city but also spent time with her grandparents in rural Georgia and Alabama. She received a B.A. from the Medill School of journalism at Northwestern University in 1985 and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College in 1999. She joined the staff of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and served as arts editor before her departure in 2004. "Wrapped in Rainbows" was published in 2003 and was hailed by Georgia author Alice Walker as "a masterpiece" that "has done justice to a dauntless spirit and a herioc life." The Southern Book Critics circle honored it with the award for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, it was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association, and Boyd was named Georgia Author of the Year. She has contributed to a variety of publications including Essence, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Oxford American, African American Review and Step Into a World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature. She founded EightRock, a journal of black arts and culture, in 1990, and in 1992 co-founded HealthQuest, the first nationally distributed magazine focusing on African-American health issues. She makes her home in Atlanta.

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