Jumi Bello is not your traditional black writer. She grew up in the Washington DC suburbs and started writing spoken word poetry at age sixteen. After graduating from a small liberal arts college in the Midwest through the luck of a Posse Foundation scholarship, she spent the majority of her twenties teaching high school humanities in Taiwan and mainland China. She returned to the United States to study fiction at the Iowa Writers Workshop. Her work has received support from the University of Iowa, StoryStudio Chicago, the Corporeal Writing Center and Tin House. In fall 2021, She will be attending the University of Nevada Las Vegas as a Black Mountain Institute PhD candidate in nonfiction. Jumi has just completed her debut novel and is working on a nonfiction book about mental illness, race and police brutality.
She wrote her college essay on her writer’s curiosity at becoming a surgeon.