Poet, performance artist, playwright, and novelist Ntozake Shange was born Paulette Williams on October 18, 1948, in Trenton, New Jersey. She earned a B.A. from Barnard College and an M.A. from UCLA. Her books of poetry include Ridin' the Moon in Texas: Word Paintings (St. Martin's Press, 1987), From Okra to Greens (1984), A Daughter's Geography (1983), Nappy Edges (1978), Natural Disasters and Other Festive Occasions (1977), and Melissa & Smith (1976). Among her plays are Daddy Says (1989); Spell #7 (1985); From Okra to Greens/A Different Kinda Love Story (1983); A Photograph: Lovers-in-Motion (1981), and for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (1977), which received Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award nominations. She is also the author of the prose works If I Can Cook You Know God Can (1998), See No Evil: Prefaces, Essays & Accounts, 1976-1983 (1984), Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo: A Novel (1982), and The Black Book (1986, with Robert Mapplethorpe). Among her numerous honors are fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, and a Pushcart Prize. Ntozake Shange lives in Philadelphia.