Joe Okonkwo

Author of Jazz Moon:
WINNER: 2016 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction
Finalist: 2016 Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Fiction

Photo: Theik Smth

Photo: Theik Smth

Joe Okonkwo is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, and editor.

His debut novel Jazz Moon, set against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance and glittering Jazz Age Paris, was published by Kensington Books in 2016. David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife has called Jazz Moon "A passionate, alive, and original novel about love, race, and jazz in 1920s Harlem and Paris — a moving story of traveling far to find oneself."

Jazz Moon won the Publishing Triangle's prestigious 2016 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. It is a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Fiction.

Joe's short stories have appeared in Promethean, Penumbra, Cooper Street, Storychord, LGBTsr.org, Chelsea Station, and Shotgun Honey. His work has been anthologized in Love Stories from Africa (his first fiction published outside the U.S.), Best Gay Love Stories 2009, and Best Gay Stories 2015. 

 


His short story "Cleo" was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize.

Upcoming work will appear in The New Engagement.

Joe is Prose Editor for Newtown Literary, a journal featuring work by writers from Queens, New York, and Editor of Best Gay Stories 2017 published by Lethe Press.

A cum laude graduate of the University of Houston with a B.A. in theater, Joe made his living in theater for a number of years as an actor, stage manager, director, playwright, and youth theater instructor.

He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from City College of New York.

Joe Okonkwo is represented by the Baldi Literary Agency.

He is a proud resident of the New York City borough of Queens.