Cinelle Barnes is a creative non-fiction writer and educator from Manila, Philippines. She writes memoirs and personal essays on trauma, growing up in Southeast Asia, and on being a mother and immigrant in America. 


In 2014, she was nominated for the AWP Journal Intro Award for Creative Non-Fiction, and in 2015 received an MFA from Converse College. She was part of the inaugural Kundiman Creative Non-Fiction Intensive in New York City and is an alum of the VONA/Voices workshop for political content writing at the University of Pennsylvania. Barnes was a presenter and panelist on Diversity in Literature at the Creative Writing Studies Organization Conference in 2016 (Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC) and a founding member of the C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference.


Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Literary Hub, South85, Skirt!, West Of, Your Life Is A Trip, the Piccolo Spoleto Fiction Series, Itinerant Literate's StorySlam, and Hub City Press's online anthology, Multicultural Spartanburg.


Cinelle teaches writing workshops throughout the year, including Poses and Prose, a yoga + writing workshop.



​Barnes's debut memoir, Monsoon Mansion, will be available through and independent booksellers in Spring 2018 (Little A).


Praise for Cinelle Barnes:


“In this incandescent debut memoir, Cinelle Barnes forges memories of her family’s downfall with tumultuous Filipino history. Like the storm in its title, Monsoon Mansion immerses us in the darkest waters of memory, stirring up unbearably brutal childhood events with lyrical prose and searing imagery, forming a woven tale that is both delicate and electric. This book assures us that even when we lose those things that give shape to our humanity—our roots, culture, and family—we can go on to devise a new way of being.”

—Susan Tekulve, author of In the Garden of Stone


“The princess becomes a pauper before she turns eleven, yet through grit and love and words, that princess, Cinelle Barnes, escapes a fallen-in mansion and broken family to survive. Light fills this beautiful memoir—breaking through the dark loneliness of a mansion with no electricity. And light will fill you and carry you on, dear reader, even after you turn the last page. Monsoon Mansion sings a song of rain and sparkling light, and like its author, we’ll all come to know the diamonds we carry in our palms.”

—Jim Minick, author of Fire Is Your Water





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