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Programs & Communications Coordinator


Reporting to the Executive Director, the Programs & Communications Coordinator is responsible for the successful planning, promotion, delivery and evaluation of Cave Canem programs, including, but not limited to, the annual writing retreat, the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize, the Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize, community-based workshops, Legacy Conversations, Poets on Craft talks, New Works readings, artists residencies, internships and annual AWP Conference-related events. This is a full-time, 40-hour/week position.


Program Coordination

  • Sets timetables and develops agendas for discussion of programs with the Artistic Advisory Committee, Executive Director (ED), consultants and designated advisors as appropriate.
  • Ensures adherence to program budgets. Anticipates variances and discusses with ED.
  • Administers contracts and corresponds with faculty, guest speakers, prize-winners, vendors and others.
  • Manages logistics of site-specific programs: schedule coverage; supervise volunteers, interns and Working Fellows; coordinate book vending.
  • Serves as program-related spokesperson at public events.
  • Tracks attendance and other outcomes. Identify and reports programming challenges and successes on an ongoing basis.
  • Prepares Program-related narrative reports for grants and other institutional needs.
  • Positions programs to strategically advance fundraising and cultivation efforts.
  • Performs program-related administrative tasks as needed.
  • Stays abreast of industry trends and constituency feedback.


  • Develops copy for and proactively promote events, opportunities and organizational and stakeholders’ achievements via social media, I Contact, web site, press releases, electronic calendar postings and outreach to media and selected funders.
  • Develops copy for and implement Submittable on-line system documents, writable forms and other electronic documents as needed.
  • Creates and disseminates electronic and print materials.
  • Assists in producing an annual report.
  • Identifies and cultivates media relationships and cross-promotional opportunities.
  • Manages annual fund with monthly renewals and donor acknowledgment.
  • Maintains digital photo and A-V recordings, data bases and archives.
  • Supervises design projects as needed.
  • Performs communications-related tasks as needed.

Other: As a member of a small team, the Programs & Communications Coordinator shares in performing such administrative tasks as answering the phone and taking messages, ordering supplies and shipping. As needed, the Programs & Communications Coordinator assists with retail sales at applicable events. Every staff member is responsible for keeping her work station clean, organized and trash-free.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • A minimum of two years professional experience in a non-profit organization or the literary arts or communications industries.
  • Working knowledge of African American poetry and the literary community.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to prioritize, work independently, be flexible and handle multiple projects at one time.
  • Exceptional organization skills; attention to detail and deadlines.
  • Mature judgment and diplomacy; respect for and understanding of confidentiality.
  • Availability to work weekends and evenings as needed.
  • Graphic design experience.
  • Facility with web maintenance, including WordPress; Microsoft Office product suite, including Power Point Access, Excel, Word and Outlook; Quark XPress or equivalent desktop publishing software; and Photoshop.

Preferred Qualification: Facility using HTML.

To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of three professional references to Nicole Sealey at with “Programs & Communications Coordinator” as the subject. Materials must be received by the closing date of March 24, 2017.