LaSHONDA KATRICE BARNETT was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1974, and grew up in Park Forest, Illinois. She is the author of the debut novel Jam on the Vine (Grove 2015; paperback 2/2016) and a story collection (1999). Designated a Stonewall Honor Award by the American Library Association (2016), Jam was an Editor's Choice pick at the Chicago Tribune; won ElIe Magazine's Belle Lettres 2015 Reader's Prize and earned Barnett the Emerging Writers Award at the 2015 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival. The novel was shortlisted for the Crook's Corner Book Prize and is a 2016 Lambda Literary Award finalist.
Barnett has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and the College Language Association. She has held residences at the Noepe Center for Literary Arts-Martha’s Vineyard, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, where she was a Tennessee Williams Fellow, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Barnett's short stories have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Guernica Magazine, New Orleans Review, SN Review, Juked, C4: Chamber Quarterly Literary Review, Gemini Magazine and elsewhere.
A lover and scholar of music of the African diaspora and an avid interviewer, Barnett has conducted over one hundred interviews with women musicians and edited the volumes, I GOT THUNDER: Black Women Songwriters On Their Craft (2007) and Sounding Off: Conversations With African American and Brazilian Women Musicians (forth, University of North Texas Press). She has hosted her own jazz radio program on WBAI (99.5 FM, NYC); taught 'Women in Jazz' at New York City's Jazz at Lincoln Center; and lectured on the music nationally and internationally. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Sarah Lawrence College and the College of William and Mary, where she received a B.A.; M.A. in Women's History and the Ph.D. in American Studies, respectively. Barnett has held visiting professorships (in a range of academic disciplines, including African American Studies, history, literature and Women's and Gender Studies) at Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, Hunter College, Brown University, Northwestern University. For the 2018/19 academic year, she is a visiting lecturer in the history department at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.