Cave Canem is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets.
Cave Canem Foundation, North America’s premier home for black poetry, is pleased to announce that Adelphi University Associate Professor Jacqueline Jones LaMon has been elected to serve as the organization’s next president. She succeeds Cave Canem co‐founder Toi Derricotte, who held the office from February 1997 to late September 2015. Derricotte will continue to serve on the board as a director.
Reflecting on the work ahead, LaMon says, “In our next phase of development, Cave Canem’s board, staff and stakeholders will build on the solid groundwork established by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady, continuing to advance the organization as the premier center and home for African American poetries.” She sees her two‐year term as president as an opportunity to “strengthen Cave Canem’s infrastructure and ensure a healthy foundation for decades to come—emphasizing our creative excellence, shaping our legacy of mentorship, and promoting entrepreneurial leadership.”
A Cave Canem fellow, LaMon has served on the organization’s board of directors since 2009 and chaired the Development Committee, 2013 to 2015. She is the author of two collections of poems, Last Seen, a Felix Pollak Poetry Prize selection, and Gravity, U.S.A., recipient of the Quercus Review Press Poetry Series Book Award. Her novel, In the Arms of One Who Loves Me, was published by Ballantine Books. An Associate Professor at Adelphi University, where she teaches in the multigenre MFA program, LaMon was a finalist for the 2012 NAACP Image Award (Outstanding Literature, Poetry) and has received fellowships from the The Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction, the Yaddo Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among others. She earned her BA from Mount Holyoke College, JD from UCLA School of Law, and MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry, from Indiana University Bloomington. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Founded in 1996 by poets Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady, Cave Canem is a home for the many voices of African American poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets. Called ʺthe major watering hole and air pocket for black poetryʺ by 2011 National Book Award winner and faculty member Nikky Finney, the organization’s programs include an annual week‐long retreat, first‐and second‐book prizes with prestigious
presses, Legacy Conversations with distinguished black poets and scholars, Poets on Craft talks, a lecture series, community‐based writing workshops, publications and national readings. Such preeminent poets as Elizabeth Alexander, Terrance Hayes, Natasha Trethewey, Chris Abani, Harryette Mullen, Yusef Komunyakaa and Claudia Rankine number among the organization’s faculty and judges. To date, Cave Canem has published Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade (University of Michigan Press, 2006); The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (University of Georgia Press, 2007); and two anthologies from Willow Books, Cave Canem Anthology XII: Poems 2008‐2009 (2012) and Cave Canem Anthology XIII: Poems 2010‐2011 (2015).
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