FAYLITA HICKS (she/they) is a queer Afro-Latinx writer, spoken word artist, and cultural strategist.

Faylita Hicks portrait
Faylita Hicks

Newly based in Chicago, IL, Hicks is the author of the critically acclaimed debut poetry collection HoodWitch (Acre Books, 2019), a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry, the 2019 Julie Suk Award, and the 2019 Balcones Poetry Prize. Currently, they are working on a second poetry collection, A Map of My Want (Haymarket Books, 2024), and a debut memoir about their carceral experience, A Body of Wild Light (Haymarket Books, 2025). Both projects are partly supported by grants, fellowships, residencies, and awards from the Art for Justice, Black Mountain Institute, Tin House, and The Right of Return USA.

Hicks released their latest indie spoken word album, A New Name for My Love (Arrondi Productions, 2021), after becoming a voting member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs and its Songwriters and Composers Committee for the Texas Chapter. In 2022, they became the first spoken word artist to perform live for the Academy’s Texas Chapter during the regional member-only celebration for the 65th Annual GRAMMY Award nominees at the House of Blues in Houston, TX.

The former Editor-in-Chief of Black Femme Collective and Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Hicks has also received fellowships and residencies from the Tony Award-winning Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Civil Rights Corps, Lambda Literary, and Texas After Violence Project. Their poetry, essays, and digital artworks have been published in or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Ecotone, Kenyon Review, Longreads, Poem-A-Day, Poetry Magazine, Slate, Split This Rock, Texas Observer, The Slowdown Podcast, and Yale Review, amongst others.

Their personal account of their time in pretrial incarceration in Hays County is featured in the ITVS Independent Lens 2019 documentary 45 Days in a Texas Jail, and the Brave New Films 2021 documentary narrated by Mahershala Ali Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem. A prolific creative and previously incarcerated artist, Hicks is known for their dynamic storytelling methods and compelling narrative arcs. Using poetry, prose, music, video, and live performances—they explore the evolution of personal and national identity, the cyclical nature of grief, the spiritual applications of quantum physics,
decolonized eroticism/sensuality, and manifesting personal liberation. Hicks is an Artivist who integrates transformative justice theory into their creative practice, using much of their work to advocate for the lives of marginalized people who make up our global majority.

Born in Gardena, California, but raised in Central Texas, they received their MFA in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada College’s Low Residency Program (now University of Reno at Incline Village Low Residency MFA Program). They started their consultation service, Infinite. Creative. Lit. Ltd. Co., in 2020.