This year we wanted to do something fun involving NYWC staff, workshop leaders, and the board. Some of you are familiar with our Favorite Reads of the Year, so we decided to do things a bit differently this time. We asked them to share their favorite media from 2022 (last year) AND media they’re looking forward to in 2023 (this year).

It can be something literary, it could be a film/show they’ve seen or a piece of music they’ve listened to. As we all know all of these forms of media have a writing aspect to them! So for your reading pleasure, here are NY Writers Coalition’s Favorite Media of 2022 AND Anticipated Media of 2023!

Check out our Bookshop to purchase any of the books recommended in this list!

Also don’t forget to click on all of the titles to learn more.



Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi

This generational novel about an ogbanje mother and her twin daughter caressed the deepest corners of myself that needed healing from my own family traumas. It is written with delicate honesty, fierce sensuality and immense compassion for each character. I loved every moment of it.

Pop Song: Adventures in Art & Literacy by Larissa Pham

This collection of essays explores the nuances around intimacy and our complicated relationships to multiple art forms. Larissa questions the color sky blue, a particular shade we can never quite reach, the liminal spaces romantic crushes inhabit in our minds, how to document a bruise, and so much more. What makes this collection even more stunning is the narrative that backdrops these essays, that slowly wound itself throughout the book until it was all I could think about. It reminded me of how often intimacy is a softly humming, inconspicuous flame that we don’t notice until we’re left with gentle burns.

Fruit Punch by Kendra Allen

 Last year, I led a workshop about speaking to and writing from the voices of our inner children. Kendra’s Fruit Punch is the literary epitome of this idea. She juggles black girl joy against black girl pain, body discovery, childhood trauma, and how we relate to our parents. It brews with equal measure innocence, stark self awareness and sharp criticism of family, gender and sexuality. I wasn’t surprised by this, because black girls’ childhoods end too short, leaving us with too much knowledge of the world and our place in it. Kendra’s words both soothe and strike us into contemplation, welcoming us to speak our minds about trauma without fear of consequence.

Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi
I like to think of this series of letters as a guide for black creatives to unlock their inner divine selves. A book like this changes you, makes you question your reality, and inspires you to walk into a path singularly your own. Dear Senthuran is precious, vulnerable, exciting and unique.



Everything Everywhere All at Once
 I LOVED this movie so, so much. Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, and Ke Huy Quan gave unforgettable performances and I am putting all my chips in for their continued recognition during awards season!
Interview with the Vampire (AMC)
 I really loved what showrunner Rolin Jones and the writers did with this fresh new take on a classic, particularly infusing the story with bits of our 2022 existence in a way that didn’t feel unnecessary at all. It only makes me all the more invested in how the now impacts Louis’ life and future. Highly recommend!
 To quote writer and Black Writers Program panelist David Dennis Jr., “I’ve moved beyond the stage of playing Beyonce’s album. I just manifest the songs in my brain and dance to them. The album is me. I am the album. We are one now. I don’t know when I cease and the album begins."

☆ Anticipated Media of 2023 ☆

Black Women Writers at Work
For many years of my life, this book has been the stuff of legend–it was originally published in 1984 but has long been out of print. Thanks to Haymarket Books, it is now back in the world and I’ve already received my pre-order! I can’t wait to dig in!
Sweeney Todd on Broadway
I’m not the world’s biggest fan of musicals, but the last time I saw Josh Groban in a musical it was Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 and it’s a show and a performance I’ll never forget. I’m familiar with Sweeney Todd already, so I think this will be something I come away from loving as well.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Disney+)
I’m a Rick Riordan fan and started reading the Percy Jackson series in high school. I didn’t quite keep up over time, but I’m excited by so much of the casting for this Disney+ show and imagine it’s going to be amazing to watch. Can’t wait!


Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On had me laughing at some parts and crying at others. The mix of super saturated and detailed animation with live action settings and casting, the great vocal energy and performance of Jenny Slate and Isabella Rossellini and the universal themes anthropomorphized made this touching for audiences of all ages.

I Wanna Dance with Somebody

Not because the casting was phenomenal (a better look alike would have been nice) but because Naomi Ackie, Tamara Tunie and Stanley Tucci (who were spot on as far as resemblance) gave touching, sincere performances that showed they studied the mindsets and mannerisms of their characters. The goosebumps really came from the songs, visuals (hair, makeup, wardrobe, lifestyle) and pop culture iconography that Whitney is and was for Americans, but then also the entire world. A good job was also done of acknowledging struggles and lesser known nuances without casting judgement or distracting from the incomparable talent and legacy.

Uphill: A Memoir by Jemele Hill

Uphill for being a refreshing and unique take on media/journalism as an industry, professional sports, race and age in corporate and pedestrian America, double and triple standards included. Jemele Hill’s upbringing being so heavily influenced externally by Detroit and internally by class and inner family dynamics are so key to how she sees herself as a Black woman, as a writer and as a fan. The life and work lessons she learns are for anybody to take away from, and she does a fair job of admitting missteps but also validation along the way.



☆Anticipated Media of 2023 ☆



☆ Anticipated Media of 2023 ☆



☆ Favorite Media of 2022 ☆

De Todas las Flores by Natalia Lafourcade

An achingly beautiful lyrics on love, heartbreak, and death. sorry to anyone who doesn’t understand Spanish, because I don’t think any translations will capture the true essence of what’s being sung. Also, recommending this because I got to see her perform this album at Carnegie Hall, and it was transformative.

Decision to Leave

I will literally watch anything by Park Chan-wook. The man never disappoints, specifically films he directs and co-writes. He really knows how to showcase thrilling and turbulent relationships.

The Bear (Hulu)

If you want to feel raise your blood pressure, willingly, watch episode 7. Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri steal the show with their dynamic and their own storylines.

☆ Anticipated Media of 2023 ☆

Poor Things

I will literally watch anything by Yorgos Lanthimos.

Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead

I will literally read anything by Colson Whitehead.

Succession, Season 4 (HBO)

After that season finale, it’s been an incredibly long wait.






☆ Anticipated Media of 2023 ☆ 

☆ Favorite Media of 2022 ☆ 

The Grey Area (Podcast)
 This conversation helped me frame so much of my thinking about, well…everything, all the time, everywhere!
Mystery Show (Podcast)
 This podcast, and specifically this episode, “The Belt Buckle" is not new but was new to me in 2022. It is a marvel and so moving.
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deeshaw Philyaw
 A few months ago I read the powerfully/gently subversive short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deeshaw Philyaw and wow it’s still on my mind.

☆ Anticipated Media of 2023 ☆ 

Jennifer Coolidge
 More Jennifer Coolidge, anywhere doing anything, 24-7. JCstanathon over here.
The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor
 Brandon Taylor’s forthcoming novel The Late Americans 
The Slowdown with Major Jackson (Podcast)
 More daily poems from the slow down with new host Major Jackson!
Many Patinkin
 This Mandy Patinkin fun all the time. Iningo Montoya from the Princess Bride!


☆ Favorite Media of 2022 ☆

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe
 This was of the best books I’d read in a long time; I had to take a break about halfway through because I was losing sleep from staying awake to keep going. Empire of Pain is a meticulously researched book on the history of the Sackler family and the origins of Purdue Pharmaceuticals. It’s incredibly engaging, whether explaining legal or scientific intricacies—and emotionally difficult at times. I found myself getting seriously upset at several points. One of the best things this book does is draw connections between the Sackler family’s machinations and the collusion and corruption of doctors, lawyers, judges, federal agencies, and more to illustrate the evils of greed on millions of people in this country. I learned a lot and would consider this book to be a VERY important cultural and historical record given how successful the Sackler family has been in concealing their connections to the emergence of the opioid epidemic.
Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry
 I dare you to read this book and not fall in love with Lorraine Hansberry’s spirit and mind.
Circe by Madeline Miller
 This book is pretty much everything I love in speculative fiction. One of those novels you wish were human so you could kiss it, but that you’re also DEEPLY jealous someone else wrote.

☆ Anticipated Media of 2023 ☆

Chain Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
 Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is one of the contemporary masters of dystopian speculative fiction. I’m more familiar with his short story stories (see Friday Black) but am looking forward to this novel.
Above Ground by Clint Smith
 Clint Smith is an incredible journalist and poet, and I’m excited to read his new collection, which sheds a light on his journey through fatherhood.


☆ Favorite Media of 2022 ☆ 

 Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
 I loved the books by Rachel Joyce, most especially Miss Benson’s Beetle. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry  and The Music Shop.

☆ Anticipated Media of 2023 ☆ 

Shtisel (Netflix)
 In 2023 I’m looking forward to a new season of Shtisel on Netflix.


☆ Favorite Media of 2022 ☆

Linger Awhile by Samara Joy

I have been obsessed with Samara Joy’s voice since her album Linger Awhile came out in 2022.  I saw her perform live twice in 2022 and keep telling everyone I know they must listen. She is 23, from the Bronx, and her voice will transport you to the golden age of jazz. She also wrote charming vocalese lyrics for an old jazz song, Nostalgia, and translated April in Paris into French and sang it. If you haven’t heard about her yet, you will soon enough, as she is just getting started

☆ Anticipated Media of 2023 ☆

Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead

Don’t really need to say much when selecting Colson Whitehead. His next book, Crook Manifesto, takes place in the early 70’s in NYC, which is all I needed to know to add it to my anticipated list.