Author & Filmmaker Natalie Baszile

Her novel, Good People, is forthcoming.

Author & Filmmaker Natalie Baszile
Author & Filmmaker Natalie Baszile

UNC Asheville and the Wilma Dykeman Legacy are excited to announce Natalie Baszile as the next Wilma Dykeman Writer-in-Residence in Spring 2025.

Baszile is the author of We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African-American Farmers, Land and Legacy, a non-fiction book, and the novel Queen Sugar—now a critically acclaimed TV series.

This residency offers Baszile a unique opportunity to make headway on some adaptations of her work, something she would like to explore more since Queen Sugar was adapted into a TV show executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay.

“[This] comes at a pivotal moment in my career as I expand my creative practice to include film and television projects,” Baszile said. “I witnessed visual medium’s power to move a broad audience and knew I wanted to play a more active role in the future adaptations of my books.”

Her novel, Good People, is forthcoming from the same editor that published Queen Sugar. Baszile is working on an adaptation for the screen in the hopes it will be acquired. The book takes inspiration from a real-life moment when police were called on the author’s daughter and her friends by a white neighbor.

Good People explores how characters negotiate questions of race and class in quieter moments and intimate spaces and explores how they react when their assumptions are challenged and their identities are suddenly at stake,” Baszile said.

Additionally, she will use the residency to refine a rough cut of Harvest, a documentary film-in-progress, which tells the story of African Americans and land from emancipation to the present by following the Nelson brothers, four young fourth-generation Black farmers in Sondheimer, Louisiana.

This residency honors local author Wilma Dykeman, a groundbreaking environmentalist, civil rights reporter, women’s rights advocate, and best-selling novelist. Authors whose work reflects themes of inclusive excellence are selected to spend two months writing in the quiet comfort of the historic Wilma Dykeman home.

“The Wilma Dykeman Writer-in-Residence program represents the rare gift of time and space, something that is difficult to sustain in my life in San Francisco,” Baszile said.

Baszile has a M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA and is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers. Natalie has had residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, Virginia Center for the Arts, Hedgebrook, and the Djerassi Resident Arts Program where she received the SFFILM and the Bonnie Rattner Fellowships. Her non-fiction work has appeared in National Geographic, The Bitter Southerner, O, The Oprah Magazine, and a number of anthologies.

The Wilma Dykeman Writer-in-Residence program provides the recipient time to write in the quiet comfort of author and activist Wilma Dykeman’s Asheville, North Carolina home. A collaboration between the University of North Carolina Asheville and the Wilma Dykeman Legacy, the residency honors the legacy of Wilma Dykeman, a groundbreaking environmentalist, pioneering civil rights reporter, best-selling author, founder of Appalachian Studies, and a beloved daughter, wife, and mother.

Learn more about the Wilma Dykeman Writer-in-Residence Program at wir.unca.edu.

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