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Opening My Eyes Underwater: Essays on Hope, Humanity, and Our Hero Michelle Obama reveals stories of Ashley Woodfolk’s own life – tales of bullying, heartbreak, racism, and growing confidence. Woodfolk then discusses how those experiences parallel with those of Michelle Obama. These essays have become the glue that made Woodfolk who she has become as an adult. Ashley will be in conversation with fellow author and frequent collaborator, Dhonielle Clayton.
Ashley Woodfolk is the author of Nothing Burns as Bright as You, The Beauty That Remains, When You Were Everything, and the Flyy Girls series. She also contributed a short story in the anthology Blackout and the forthcoming Whiteout. Ashley graduated from Rutgers University and worked in children’s book publishing for over a decade. Now a full-time mom and writer, Ashley lives in a sunny Brooklyn apartment with her cute husband, her cuter dog, and the cutest baby in the world.
Dhonielle Clayton is the bestselling author of several novels including The Belles series, Shattered Midnight, and most recently, The Marvellers. She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side. She taught secondary school for several years, and is a former elementary and middle school librarian. She is COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books, and President of Cake Creative, an IP story kitchen dedicated to diverse books for all ages.