Peter J. Harris

WINNER, AMERICAN BOOK AWARD, 2015

The Black Man of Happiness Project crystallizes 40+ years as poet, essayist, journalist, editor, publisher, broadcaster, educator, and workshop leader exploring the lives of Black men, including my 2018 TEDx Pasadena Talk with Adenike A. Harris, at Huntington Library, “Healing vs. Retaliation: Surviving Trauma and Sexual Abuse,” discussing how my happiness work helped me heal while working with my daughter to prosecute her ex-stepfather for rape. We also contributed to Love WITH Accountability: Digging up the Roots of Child Sexual Abuse, edited by Aishah Shahidah Simmons (2019). In 2011, we collaborated on Ms. Harris’ Creative Master’s Thesis: “Restorative Notions: Regaining My Voice, Regaining My Father: A Creative Womanist Approach to Healing from Sexual Abuse.”

My writing has been included in anthologies edited by, among others, Charles Johnson/John McCluskey Jr.; Rebecca Walker; Meri Danquah; Paula Woods/Felix Liddell; Terry McMillan; Kalamu ya Salaam/Kwame Alexander; E. Ethelbert Miller; Juliette Harris/Pamela Johnson; and Gloria Wade Gayles. My magazine, “Genetic Dancers: The Artistry Within African/American Fathers,” published during the 1980s, was the first magazine of its kind and asserted that African American fathers become artists through the frictions of conscientious parenting. My book, Hand Me My Griot Clothes: The Autobiography of Junior Baby, featured a philosophical elder Black man ruminating on life, love, and ethics, and won the PEN Oakland award for multicultural literature in 1993.  

In 2021, FlowerSong Press will publish my Safe Arms: 20 Love & Erotic Poems (w/an Ooh Baby Baby moan), with Spanish translation by Francisco Letelier.