Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes is the Founding Director and the Piper Endowed Chair of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. She is the author of six novels: Voodoo Dreams, Magic City, Douglass' Women, Voodoo Season, Yellow Moon and Hurricane; and a memoir, Porch Stories: A Grandmother's Guide to Happiness. She released her first children’s novel, Ninth Ward, in 2010 and has also authored two writing guides: Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons for Black Authors, and The African American Guide to Writing and Publishing Non-Fiction. Her play, 'Voodoo Dreams'; was cited as "Most Innovative" Drama in the 2000-2001 Professional Theater Season by the Arizona Republic. Her work has been published in Germany, Italy, Canada, Turkey, and the United Kingdom and reproduced in audio and for NPR's "Selected Shorts." Her literary awards include: Yaddo Creative Writing Fellowship, the American Book Award, the National Endowment of the Arts Award in Fiction, the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for Literary Excellence, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for Outstanding Writing, two Arizona Book Awards, and a finalist citation for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. She has been a featured speaker at the Runnymeade International Literary Festival (University of London-Royal Holloway), Santa Barbara Writers Conference, Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference, and Warwick University, among others. She has been awarded the California State University Distinguished Teaching Award, ASU's Dean's Quality Teaching Award, Outstanding Thesis Director from the Barrett Honors College, and the Outstanding Faculty Award from the College of Extended Education. She is a member of the Arizona/International Women's Forum and a Renaissance Weekend invitee. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Drama Criticism (Honors) a Master of Arts in English, and a Doctor of Arts in English (Creative Writing) from Carnegie-Mellon University.