Isaiah Hunt

Fiction | Kent State University | Class of 2022

Isaiah Hunt’s Demo is an incredibly inventive collection of speculative stories set in versions of Cleveland and our divided, media-saturated US. Isaiah draws on the traditions and promise of Afrofuturism to make work that is fresh, ambitious, and his own. His stories offer imaginative insight into the doings of Big Tech, the creep of social media, racial and economic inequality on the ground and on the net. Their sharp formal play includes imagined future talk shows, ads, and social media comments, eugenicist technologies that sell celebrity DNA, a barbershop losing business to apps in the midst of a Transhumanist conference, and more. Isaiah’s fiction wakes me up and helps me be human amid the troubles of digital life.   —Hilary Plum


About Isaiah

Born and raised as a proud Cleveland native, most of Isaiah Hunt’s work focuses on near-future stories of his community, the entertainment industry, and Black cyberculture. When he’s not fiddling around with music or studying Pan-African history, he’s dreaming of worlds adjacent to our own. You can find his work through the Wick Poetry Center, Luna Negra, and Camel Coat Press. 

Your advice to an incoming MFA student?

Have a group of friends within the program that you can do more than just writing with. Go to the movies, laugh over a game of Jackbox, play D&D, support their events. You’ll find that’s what’ll truly keep you motivated.

Your most awkward moment with a famous writer?

Not necessarily awkward, but I caught Sofia Samatar in the audience of an Afrofuturism Workshop at AWP 2022, and I didn’t even know it was her until she said her name! I guess the awkward part was me gushing like a fanboy right after.

What’s on your nightstand right now?

The Shadowshaper Series by Daniel Jose Older, The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara and Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed.