Ayana Mathis’ Debut Novel Selected to Oprah’s Book Club 2.0

December 09, 2012

BROOKLYN, NY December 10, 2012 - The Writers Foundry at St. Josephs College is proud to announce that new faculty member Ayana Mathis recently had her debut novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, chosen as the latest Oprahs Book Club 2.0 selection.

"The Writers Foundry is delighted to have Ayana Mathis as part of its inaugural faculty, a roster that includes the incomparable Sapphire, Justin Torres, Chris Adrian and Jackson Taylor," said Richard Greenwald, Ph.D., dean and professor at St. Josephs College. "When the Foundry welcomes its inaugural class in the fall, we look forward to having Ms. Mathis bring her unique talents to teach a writing workshop, one of the core classes at the Writers Foundry M.F.A. at St. Josephs College.

Cited by Publishers Weekly as "a remarkable debut, and described by the New York Times as a "haunting and, yes, hopeful glimpse of the possibility of redemption and the resilience of the human spirit. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is Ms. Mathiss first novel. Ms. Mathis is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and is a recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship.

"Ayana came to class with the skills of the magazine world firmly mastered; she had incredible aptitude for the work of writing, was never late, and always prepared the signs of a champion, said Jackson Taylor, her former instructor. "She was already well formed, but most incredibly was how she blossomed in a forum where her poetic gifts could be explored and exploded.

For more information about The Writers Foundry M.F.A. at St. Josephs College, please call 718.940.5900. To read more about what the New York Times had to say about Ms. Mathis and her debut novel, click here.


The Writer's Foundry at St. Joseph's College stands in Clinton Hill on the border of Fort Greene, two of the most vibrant and deep-grounded neighborhoods in all of New York City. We seek to attract writers who dedicate themselves to excellence in all areas of literary life. As writers, we do not wish to imprint an unyielding or particular aesthetic onto each other, but rather aim to encourage and develop that which is individual. Students are regarded as working artists, intent upon practicing the promise of their craft. Our basic assumption is that all acts of writing are creative, a product of imagination and thought.