Ashanti creates
to challenge systems in the way of individual & collective healing.


Ashanti Anderson (any pronouns), who also goes by the name Shan (pronounced Shawn), is a Black Queer Disabled writer and a 2023 National Endowment for the Arts fellow. Shan is the author of Black Under, which won the Spring 2020 Black River Chapbook Competition at Black Lawrence Press. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Shan's poems have appeared in POETRY magazine, World Literature Today, and elsewhere. Shan's other published and produced works include essays, stage plays, screenplays, and tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs). Shan lives in Philadelphia, works as an end-of-life companion, and is currently studying to become a mental health counselor.Contact: ashanticreates[at]gmail[dot]comRepresentation: Nanda Dyssou at Coriolis Company


Black Under Cover by Mariah Quintanilla

Cover Art by Mariah Quintanilla

Poems by Ashanti Anderson

Winner of the Spring 2020 Black River Chapbook Competition

Black Under layers outward perception with internal truth to offer an almost-telescopic examination of the redundancies—and incongruences—of marginalization and hypervisibility... In these pages, declarations are reclamations, and joy is not an aspiration but a birthright.

Praise for Black Under:

"Black Under defies strict categorization, save for the fact that it is altogether excellent."
—Marcus Wicker, author of Silencer and Maybe the Saddest Thing
"Witness Anderson's haunting and marvelous skill."
—Kay Ulanday Barrett, cultural strategist and author of More Than Organs a 2021 Stonewall Honor Award Book
" I’ve read these poems again and again, and every time I leave like—it’s we time. With lines like “throat unbuttons its sound,” and “I wish trumpets for my last breath,” we end up communing with people who remember themselves, over and over, the way they were, and the way they are and are and are.
—Sara Borjas, author of Heart Like a Window, Mouth Like a Cliff

Order Online at Black Lawrence Press

Order Online at

Or Request at your local library!


My Ancestors Who Learned to Read by Staring at the Bible, in Limp Wristsister, pick which battle to win when you choose to lose the war, in The RumpusDeep Nostalgia, in Container MagazineSlave Ship Haibun; Acrostic for my Last Breaths, in Jet Fuel ReviewSelf-Portrait in Blackface; Self-Portrait as Overseer; Resignation, in Tupelo QuarterlySelf-Portrait as Kendrick Lamar, Laughing to the Bank, in PoetryIf, in World Literature TodayOde to Black Skin, in Poetry (audio available)Cleaning Up Men's Messes; Mamie Till on Carolyn Bryant's Confession, in Foothill JournalGoddam, in Really SystemTeach Me to Float, in Panoply


Coming Soon.


Study Room (2018)

Short Film | Credit: Writer

Winner of the 2018 Haley's Flight Page-to-Screen Short Film Competition. A young woman races against the clock to finish her term paper on time while being harassed by annoying classmates.

Bleak Magic (2021)

One Act Play | Credit: Writer

When a conjure woman perfects a potion for "Black power", she uncovers the nefarious desires of her clients. Contact for full script.


Come At They Necks

Kick a** — and look good while doing it: a combat-heavy tabletop roleplaying game about vampires.

Be My Neighbor

Help your neighbor (without calling the police): a For The Queen-style collaborative storytelling game.

Discomfort Food

A GM-less one-page TTRPG about food insecurity for up to an unlimited number of players.


I have over twelve years' experience writing in various disciplines, including grant writing, academic writing, and professional writing. I also have served as a writing instructor for a combined three years. Writing is my life's work and I'm happy to assist you with your next project.


I will coach you through the process of writing your admissions essay or personal statement for college, medical school, graduate school, or post-graduate education. Includes discovery sessions and personalized feedback.

Includes 2 Revisions

"Shan handled complex situations with integrity and helped me find purpose in my obstacles... I successfully matched with my preferred fellowship program."
- Dr. M. Hendandez, Laredo Family Medicine


Whether applying for a specific position or making general updates, I will provide feedback on your resume, cover letter, or CV, including helpful tips you can apply to future iterations. Written or verbal feedback available, depending on your preference.

Up to 2 pages

"Holy crap, what great advice. I took all of Shan's feedback and got the position!"
- Anonymous


From researching grant opportunities to creating a submission timeline to writing proposals, I will assist you with the grant seeking process. I have secured individual and institutional local, state-level, and federal grants.


"Shan started working with us when we had just three weeks to get the grant in. They wrote it, and we were awarded a half a million dollar grant."
- K. Davis, Market Umbrella


As a multi-genre writer, I offer developmental feedback, line edits, and accountability and coaching on poetry, prose, script, gaming, and academic projects. I can also write a commissioned piece for your next publication or production.


"Anderson is a fierce storyteller, unamking and recreating images, shifting what language can do—will do."
—Luther Hughes, founder of Shade Literary Arts

In need of end-of-life writing services, including obituaries, memoir editing, or memorial project management? Visit my death doula website.
As an INELDA-trained end-of-life companion, I provide education and services to help you talk about and live out your dying wishes. This work combines my creative skills with my passions for mental health, social justice, and cultural liberation.

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