Author Series

Author Series

Jeneé Darden at Alameda Author Series 4

Jeneé Darden

on her collection of poetry and essays When a Purple Rose Blooms

February 12, 2020 in the Stafford Room, Alameda Free Library, 1550 Oak Street Reservations requested:


The fourth annual Alameda Authors Series, sponsored by, AAUW Alameda and the Friends of the Alameda Free Library, returns with award winning journalist and book author Jeneé Darden.

Ms. Darden will speak about her book, When a Purple Rose Blooms, a collection of poetry and essays that reflect her journey through Black womanhood. With heart and humor, Darden engages us in conversations about race, love, sex, and mental health. Like a rose, being a Black woman in this society comes with its thorns and beauty. Darden brings that complexity to every page.

 Praise for When a Purple Rose Blooms:

When a Purple Rose Blooms is more than a series of essays and poems. Jeneé Darden’s debut collection is a homegrown Oakland spellbook, a womanist battle cry, a spiritual incantation of Black joy, self-love, and healing for contemporary African American sistren.”

Aya de León, author of Uptown Thief, The Boss, and The Accidental Mistress, and director of Poetry for the People at UC Berkeley

“A wealth of wisdom, humor, grit, warmth, and sensuality. When a Purple Rose Blooms candidly shows a Black woman’s quest to embrace her entire self while navigating contemporary America. Very few works spit fire and water like this one. Darden gets to the core of what it means to feel without apology, love radically, and get Queened up while honoring the Queen in others as well.”

Lyndsey Ellis, writer, editor, and award recipient of 2018 Barbara Deming Memorial Fund

“Jeneé Darden’s When a Purple Rose Blooms is a daring book of poems and essays, depicting family, pop culture, self-love, racism, and other issues, especially those that impact women. This truth-telling book heralds with allusions, historical references, blues, East Oakland, and inter-generational camaraderie, praise, and ‘God’s Image.’ These poems and essays tell us what’s happening, and display much intelligence.”

Lenard D. Moore, author of The Geography of Jazz, Associate Professor of English, University of Mount Olive

About the author:

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker, mental health advocate and proud Oakland native. She covers stories about East Oakland at KALW News 91.7 FM and hosts the arts segment Sights & Sounds.  Jenee has reported for NPR, Time, The LA Times, Ebony and other outlets. She also hosts the blog and podcast Cocoa Fly. Her first book, When a Purple Rose Blooms, is a womanist collection of essays and poetry about her personal experiences with race, mental health and love as a Black woman. Jeneé holds a BA in ethnic studies from UC San Diego and a master’s in journalism from the University of Southern California.