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Connie Porter is the author of the Addy Walker series including the Central Series and Short Stories books.

Biography[]

Connie Rose Porter was born in 1959 and grew up in Lackawanna, New York (outside Buffalo) in the Baker Housing project as the seventh of ten children; her parents lived through the Great Depression and the family lived on a meager fixed income. Porter self-describes herself as an anxious and quiet child who enjoyed reading, including the works of Lois Lenski and Beverely Cleary. She became more interested in works by Black authors about Black characters and started writing at age fourteen; her parents gave her a typewriter when she was in tenth grade and she started with poetry, inspired by the works of Nikki Giovanni; she describes these early works as angry and awful but important to her cultural awareness.[1] She graduated high school from Buffalo City Honors School, earned her bachelor's degree from SUNY (State University of New York) at Albany in 1981 and a Masters of Fine Arts from Louisiana State University in 1987. She taught creative writing at Emerson College, Southern Illinois University—Carbondale, and Milton Academy in Massachusetts; it was here where she started writing her first novel, All Bright Court.

Ms. Porter is a Black woman writer and a creative writing teacher. Ms. Porter incorporates the intersectionality of her identities into her work, stating that "[she] surely [has] been black and female all [her] life" and that being a writer doesn't mean she will stop describing herself as such--not describing herself as both doesn't prevent racism or sexism. Ms. Porter is interested in science and considered becoming a physicist, oceanographer, or marine biologist--she continues to read science books for pleasure and enjoys Broadway show tunes. She currently lives in North Carolina.

To prepare for writing about the issue of Black American enslavement, Ms. Porter did extensive research about the era to accurately portray the time and to help the reader immerse in the realities of the era, including going on a trip with company representatives to Philadelphia and visiting Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church which became the basis for Trinity A.M.E. Church. She also refused to negotiate on the central discussion of enslavement--she and the advisory board stressed that the story be one of empowerment even if it began in enslavement. Porter traveled across the country promoting the books at release, appearing at book signings. As part of the benefits of writing Addy's series, Ms. Porter received Addy's Collection from the company. The series itself has sold more than three million copies total.

Ms. Porter has written two adult novels, All-Bright Court and Imani All Mine; All-Bright Court, her debut novel, was selected by the American Library Association as one of the Best Books of 1991.

On the 30th anniversary of Addy's release, Ms. Porter wrote a retrospective on Addy which was posted on her LinkedIn Profile.

Books written for American Girl[]

Adult Literature[]

  • All-Bright Court
  • Imani All Mine

Links[]


  1. Essence magazine, Sept 1991, "Connie Porter: Writing About Home", Petersen, V.R.
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