Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

David Anthony Durham

Fiction, Popular Fiction

Office Location

Stonecoast MFA Office - 98 Bedford Street, Portland, ME 04102


Stonecoast Office: 207-780-4423

Academic Degrees

  • MFA in Creative Writing, University of Maryland
  • BA in English, University of Maryland


David Anthony Durham was born in New York City to parents of Caribbean descent. He grew up mostly in Maryland, but has spent the last fifteen years on the move, jumping from East to West Coast to the Rocky Mountains, and back and forth to Scotland and France several times. 

He is the author of a trilogy of fantasy novels set in Acacia: The Sacred Band, The Other Lands, and The War With The Mein, as well as the historical novels The Risen, Pride of Carthage, Walk Through Darkness, and Gabriel’s Story. His middle grade solarpunk fantasy novel, The Shadow Prince, is forthcoming in 2021 from Tu Books.

His stories have appeared in four of George RR Martin’s Wild Cards novels: Fort Freak, Lowball, High Stakes, and Texas Hold ‘Em. Other short fiction has been anthologized in Unbound, Unfettered, and Unfettered II. As a screenwriter, he’s worked with HBO and on series development for several other production companies.

He’s won the John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer, a Legacy Award, was a Finalist for the Prix Imaginales and has twice had his books named New York Times Notable Book of the year. His novels have been published in the UK and in French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. Three of his novels have been optioned for development as feature films.

David received an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Maryland. He has taught at the University of Maryland, the University of Massachusetts, The Colorado College, for the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation, Cal State University, and at Hampshire College. He reviews for The Washington Post and The Raleigh News & Observer, and has served as a judge for the Pen/Faulkner Awards. He also teaches in the MFA program of the University of Nevada, Reno.

Areas of Scholarship

Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy, African-American fiction

Recent Publications

The Risen: a Novel of Spartacus (2016)

The Other Lands ( 2009)

Acacia: The War With The Mein (2007)

Pride of Carthage : A Novel of Hannibal (2005)

Walk Through Darkness (2002)

Gabriel's Story: A Novel (2001)


Growing Diversity in Speculative Fiction

The so-called “Golden Age” of science fiction in the mid-20th century was remarkably white, male and heterosexual, and so it remained for quite awhile. Not so any more. Trailblazers like Samuel R Delany and Octavia Butler made remarkable use of the genre's potential to explore issues of race, diversity, and sexual orientation. Nalo Hopkinson and Ted Chiang built on this, and newer writers like Saladin Ahmed, Aliette deBodard, N. K. Jemisin, and Ken Liu - just to name a few - are bringing diverse characters, themes and settings to imagined worlds. What are these authors bringing to the speculative discourse? What has their journey been like so far, and what might the future hold going forward? What more needs to be done - both as writers and as readers - to make the genre representative of all humanity?

Awards and Recognition

Winner of the 2018 Sierra Arts Foundation Grants to Artists Literary Arts Award.

Winner of the 2009 John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer of Science Fiction.

Acacia: the War with the Main was a Finalist for the 2009 Prix Imaginales (France).

Pride of Carthage was a Finalist for the 2006 Legacy Award for Fiction from the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation.

Walk Through Darkness was a New York Times Notable Book and a best of 2002 selection from The San Francisco Chronicle, Black Issues Book Review, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Gabriel’s Story received the 2002 Legacy Award for Debut Fiction from the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation, the 2002 Alex Award from the American Library Association, the 2001 First Novel Award from the Black Caucus of the ALA, and was a New York Times Notable Book.