Washington Writers’ Publishing House

Caroline Bock, Co-President & Creative Nonfiction Editor
Jona Colson, Co-President & Poetry Editor

[email protected]


A Memoir

Bernardine Watson

Washington Writers’ Publishing House
Winner of the Inaugural WWPH Creative Nonfiction Award

October 3, 2023
ISBN: 978-1-941551-36-3

We think of a transplant as a surgical procedure, but Bernardine Watson’s memoir makes it clear that it’s also a journey. Transplant: A Memoir transports the reader along the path of hopes dashed, then revived, despair, courage, faith, and love. Watson’s strikingly visual prose is also intimate. We’re always in the same space with her, seeing, hearing and feeling exactly what she does. It’s a journey toward life. — Kojo Nnamdi, Host of The Politics Hour with Kojo Nnamdi, WAMU-FM 

African Americans represent 13% of the US population but account for nearly 35% of people with kidney failure in the US. Bernardine Watson’s account of living with a rare kidney disease depicts just how real these statistics are. It is vital that patient advocacy organizations like NephCure and patients like Watson continue to raise awareness and fight for more innovation in the kidney disease space.” 
Kelly Helm, Executive Director of Patient Engagement at NephCure 

Bernardine Watson has written a beautiful memoir about the struggle to maintain health while living with a potentially lethal disease. But Transplant: A Memoir is mostly a book about becoming: a woman, a mother, a member of a family she learns to love better, and a loved and treasured soul mate. Through her struggle, she becomes much more than her disease and bigger and braver than she could have imagined. — Marita Golden, Author, Creative Writing Coach, Literary Consultant 

Bernardine Watson has delivered a brave, inspiring memoir of resilience against long odds, of her struggle to stay healthy and hopeful as she battled a rare, incurable kidney disease. In Transplant: A Memoir, Dine’s spirit–and sometimes her anger–leaps off the pages, grabs you, holds you and ultimately lifts you. This is a story for all of us. — Kevin Merida, Co-Author of Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas 

With honesty and humor, Bernardine Watson takes us on her personal journey to conquer kidney disease, a health condition disproportionately affecting Black people and other people of color in the US. Transplant: A Memoir is also an adult love story, celebrating the power of care and kindness in building a strong relationship. — Louis Massiah, Documentarian and Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Transplant: A Memoir is a page-turning, personal journey into one Black woman’s battle with kidney disease and the American medical system. Bernardine Watson’s book is at once a truth-telling and an affirmation of the life force propelling us all toward love and hope. A vibrant, powerful portrait of what it means to be Black, female, and confronting a deadly disease in today’s America. 

Bernardine (Dine) Watson is a nonfiction writer and poet, originally from Philadelphia, but who now lives in Washington, DC.  She has written on social policy issues for numerous major foundations, nonprofit organizations, and for The Washington Post Health and Science section and She the People blog. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and anthologies, including Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Rising Voices/ University Professors Press, Sanctuary/ Darkhouse Books, and The Great World of Days/ Day Eight Arts. Dine is a member of the 2015 class of the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities Poet in Progress Program and was selected to participate in the 2017 and 2018 classes of the Hurston Wright Foundation’s Summer Writers’ Workshop for Poetry. She is a member of Day Eight Art’s Board of Directors.  More on her website: www.bernardinewatson.com 
Photo credit: leigh h. mosley 


FSGS was my secret until I couldn’t keep the secret anymore. By 1999, the year my daddy died, my diminishing kidney function began to make me ill. I’ll never forget the day a nephrologist told me, “You’re going to need dialysis or a kidney transplant soon.” 

The doctor was right. I needed both. I went through all that back in 2000. Now here I am again.  

Launch Events
(Free and Open to All)

5015 Connecticut Avenue NW 
Washington, DC 20008 
Saturday, October 14 at 3pm

4508 Walsh Street
Bethesda, MD 20815 
Sunday, October 22 at 3pm  (wine and cheese reception to follow)

A Memoir 
By Bernardine Watson 
Washington Writers’ Publishing House 
On Sale: October 3, 2023 
ISBN: 978-1-941551-36-3/Price: $21.95

Washington Writers’ Publishing House is a non-profit (501c3), cooperative literary press in continuous operation since 1975. The press sponsors three annual competitions for writers living in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The winners of each category (one in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction) comprise our annual slate. In 2021, WWPH launched an online literary journal, WWPH WRITES, to expand our mission to further the creative work of new and established writers in our region. 

Each September 1-November 1, manuscripts are solicited from writers in DC, Maryland, or Virginia. Winners are selected (blind selection process) by past contest winners, who comprise both WWPH’s judging and editorial volunteer staff. Each honoree receives a $1,500 prize, publication, editorial guidance, and promotional support. More about WWPH at www.washingtonwriters.org

Posted in