Desiree Cooper
2017 Midland Authors Award Winner in Adult Fiction; 2017 Michigan Notable Book; 2016 Midwest Book Award Finalist; 2017 da Vinci Eye AwardPoets and Writers 5 Over 50; 2016 Foreword Indies Book of the Year Award Finalist


Photo credit: Justin Milhouse

Photo credit: Justin Milhouse

KTM book cover.jpg

As a Pulitzer Prize-nominated columnist, award-winning author, former attorney and a former public radio personality, I've dedicated my career to lifting the voices of women and children. I am an engaging speaker on the themes of racial and gender equality, reproductive freedom, family-positive public policy, and the welfare of women and girls. Caught between caregiving for my aging parents, launching my millennial children and supporting my grandchildren, I write widely about women, self-care and reinvention. I am a skilled creative writing workshop facilitator who conducts readings from her latest book, Know the Mother, like an “instant book club.”

Like carefully crafted prose poems or the succinct stories of Raymond Carver, Cooper's snapshots capture the currents beneath the calm...Each exquisite miniature in Know the Mother provides a mural's worth of life. — Shelf Awareness

Cooper’s book illuminates—through 30 vignettes that cross race, class, gender and sexuality—The Rumpus

Ambivalence about motherhood and America’s ongoing racism factor in to these often poetic stories. — Foreword Reviews

A high point of 2016. — The Root

The stories in Know the Mother are like jewels—glittering, finely wrought and worthy of careful appraisal. — Angela Flournoy, National Book Award finalist and author of The Turner House

Every once in a while you read a book and it blows you away. 
Know the Mother was that for me. — Marianne Williamson, New York Times bestselling author of A Woman's Worth


A 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, Desiree Cooper is a former attorney, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and Detroit community activist whose fiction dives unflinchingly into the intersection of racism and sexism. Using the compressed medium of flash fiction, she explores intimate spaces to reveal what it means to be human. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Callaloo, Detroit Noir, Best African American Fiction 2010, and Tidal Basin Review, among other online and print publications. Her debut collection, Know the Mother, was published by Wayne State University Press in March 2016. Desiree Cooper is based in Virginia.