A Writer to Watch
Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel Moniz MFA’14 is a must-read.
Dantiel Moniz MFA’14’s characters are not intimidated by their mortality. They face it head-on, and their reckoning keeps readers turning the pages of her debut short story collection, Milk Blood Heat.
Moniz’s stories, set in her home state of Florida, center primarily on the experiences of Black women and girls. Named in homage to life’s most elemental components — milk to nourish, blood in the veins, and heat to sustain a living thing — Milk Blood Heat explores themes of adolescence, mothers and daughters, loss, class, and the subjectivity of moral judgments through stories that bare humanity at its most visceral and vulnerable.
Moniz’s stories complement touches of the macabre with a balm of tenderness in response to life’s harshest truths as she analyzes the human condition through vivid prose and honest reflection.
A Washington Post review from the book’s February release describes it as “like holding your breath underwater while letting the salt sting your fresh wounds. It’s exhilarating and shocking and even healing. The power in these stories rests in their veracity, vitality, and vulnerability.”
Moniz has been named a “Writer to Watch” by Publishers Weekly and Apple Books. Her writing has appeared in outlets such as the Paris Review, Harper’s Bazaar, the New York Times, and American Short Fiction. Milk Blood Heat was named a “must-read” by TIME, Entertainment Weekly, BuzzFeed, Elle, O, and others, and was a Roxane Gay Audacious Book Club pick. Moniz is an assistant professor of English at the UW.
Published in the Fall 2021 issue