I’m a writer, artist, educator, community builder and editor based in Washington, DC with a passion for family stories and social change.

My work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Pacific Standard, Harper’s Magazine, VICE, PANK, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Literary Review and elsewhere. Here’s a full list of my published writing.

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Photo by Fid Thompson

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I am currently writing my first book about my revolutionary great-grandmother, a project that received the 2021 Hazel Rowley Prize from Biographers International Organization and has been supported by grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

I have taught composition and journalism at American University, University of Maryland, Corcoran College of Art + Design (R.I.P.), Trinity Washington University and Columbia University. I’ve also received fellowships and awards from Art Omi, Poets & Writers, Vermont Studio Center and Gazing Grain Press. My poetry manuscript “& OTHER VALUABLES” was selected as the winner of the 2019 Tusculum Review Chapbook Prize, and I received my M.F.A. from Columbia University, where I completed concentrations in nonfiction writing and literary translation.

I my other life, I serve as an organizer, activist, board member, writer and consultant with social change organizations. To read more about that side of my work, check out my consulting page.

To contact me, email tpaperny [at] gmail [dot] com.