Biography – Venise Berry
Venise Berry is the author of three national bestselling novels; So Good, An African American Love Story (Dutton Penguin, 1996), All of Me, A Voluptuous Tale (Dutton Penguin, 2000), and Colored Sugar Water (Dutton Penguin, 2002). She is currently finishing her fourth novel Pockets of Sanity.
Racialism and the Media is an examination of mediated im- ages and messages concerning African American culture. It will be published by Peter Lang in 2019. Berry is also the co-editor of an anthology with Peter Lang, Black Culture & Experience: Contem- porary Issues (2015). Two non-fiction books on black film were co-authored with her brother S. Torriano Berry a retired, associate professor in Film at Howard University; The Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema (Scarecrow Press, 2007 & 2nd Ed. 2015) and The 50 Most Influential Black Films (Citadel 2001).
Berry is published widely in creative and academic circles with numerous short stories, journal articles, and book chapters. Her research explores media, African Americans and popular culture. Her first co-edited anthology, Mediated Messages and African- American Culture: Contemporary Issues (Sage, 1996) won the Meyers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America in 1997.
She was honored in 2018 with an Iowa History Makers Award from the African American Museum in Cedar Rapids Iowa. In 2003, she received the “Creative Contribution to Literature” award for Colored Sugar Water from the Zora Neale Hurston Society. All of Me received a 2001 Honor Book Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.
Berry is an associate professor in Journalism and African American Studies at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. She received a bachelors degree (1977) in Journalism and a masters degree (1979) in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa. Her Ph.D. was awarded in 1989 in Radio. TV and Film at the University of Texas in Austin. Berry taught for 12 years at two historically black colleges, Texas Southern University and Huston-Tillotson College before returning to the University of Iowa.
She serves on the faculty each winter in the Solstice low- residency creative writing program at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA and offers writing workshops every summer in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. She has also conducted writing workshops with the Hurston/Wright Foundation and the Black Writers Conference and Reunion.