Keeonna Harris is a writer, storyteller, mother of five, prison abolitionist, activist, and an academic gangsta. She was an inaugural PEN America Writing for Justice Fellow in 2018-2019. She received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University. Her forthcoming debut memoir, Mainline Mama draws from her experiences as a Black woman, teen mother, and twenty years of raising children with an incarcerated person. This work interrogates mass incarceration from the perspective of a “mainline mama”-- someone who navigates the borderlands of the prison and the free world. In Mainline Mama, Keeonna reflects on mothering and community building as acts of radical defiance against carceral institutions designed to dehumanize.
Keeonna has taught classes on mothering and research methods, and writing workshops for Tinhouse. Keeonna was a Tin House Debut Writer Summer Resident in 2021. In 2023 she will be a a Baldwin for the Arts Resident, Edith Wharton Resident, and Hedgebrook Resident.