Bianca Spriggs – Transylvania University (’03)



Bianca Spriggs graduated from Transylvania University in 2003 with a degree in history and a minor in studio art. Spriggs draws on this broad liberal arts background throughout her work as a multidisciplinary artist and doctoral student in creative writing. A member of the Affrilachian Poets – which puts her in the company of Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker and 2011 National Book Award winner Nikky Finney, among other illustrious writers – Spriggs uses art to create positive change in the Commonwealth.

“In the tradition of the Affrilachian Poets, my work seeks to lend a voice to the voiceless. These include the unsung narratives of our family members and ancestors, our neighbors and co-workers, and those who are often marginalized or overlooked,” said Spriggs. “Working with incarcerated women through the craft of creative writing provides an opportunity for many women to make connections between their past experiences, which often include histories of domestic violence, and the choices they make in the future. I am a firm believer that social change begins as personal change.”

Named one of the Top 30 Black Performance Poets in the U.S. by, Spriggs is a 2013 recipient of an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and a recipient of three Artist Enrichment Grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. In partnership with the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, she is the creator of “The SwallowTale Project” a traveling creative writing workshop designed for incarcerated women, and the director of “The Thirteen” a multimodal visual arts exhibition and live musical/spoken-word performance which pays homage to thirteen black women and girls who were lynched in Kentucky during the late 19th-early 20th centuries. The author of Kaffir Lily (Wind Publications) and How Swallowtails Become Dragons (Accents Publishing), she is the current Managing Editor for pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Art and Culture.

Learn more about Bianca at


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