Acquisition: The Gresham House by Zaji Cox

Forest Avenue Press has acquired Zaji Cox’s memoir in micro essays, The Gresham House, for publication in spring 2023.

As a neurodivergent child in a hundred-year-old house, Zaji collects grammar books, Transformer toys, and poetic observations about the natural world. Feral cats and a forested backyard provide a nurturing environment as she homeschools, discovers gymnastics, and analyzes the world around her. Through short, interlinked essays, The Gresham House addresses the challenges of growing up mixed race and the complexities of living low-income with two warriors—a big sister and their single mother. These steadfast bonds guide Zaji through a childhood of self-discovery and, finally, toward hope: of finding her place in the world, and the grace of self-acceptance.

“I’ve long admired Zaji’s work,” said Laura Stanfill, publisher of Forest Avenue Press. “The Gresham House is a gorgeous feast of language, brimming with childhood wonder and savvy observations about race, economic disparities, and one girl’s quest for becoming.”

Zaji Cox has been creating stories since she started reading at age three, discovering her passion for writing when she wrote her first short story at nine years old. She began to seriously consider it as she went on to write and self-publish a fantasy adventure novel by the time she was thirteen, later writing a collection of short stories for her high school senior project in 2012 that she self-published in a compilation book in 2016. She has been invited to participate at several events including the PDX Poetry Festival, Survival of the Feminist reading series, Corporeal Writing’s LOOP, and the 50th annual Northwest Folklife Festival; she was the winner in the poetry category of Submission PDX’s reading series. She holds a BA in English, and her writing can be found in Pathos Literary Magazine, Entropy Magazine, The Portland MetrozineCultural DailyCARE Covid Art REsource2020: The Year of the Asterisk (out October 2021 from University of Hell Press), and others.

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