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Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize

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The Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize is a second-book award for black poets of African descent, offered every other year. This award celebrates and publishes works of lasting cultural value and literary excellence.

2018 Winner:

Selected by prize judgTsitsi Jaji headshote Matthew Shenoda, Tsitsi Jaji is the 2018 winner of the Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize for her second book, Mother Tongues. Jaji will receive $1,000, publication by Northwestern University Press in 2019, and 15 copies of the book.

Tsitsi Jaji’s first full length collection, Beating the Graves, (African Poetry Book Fund/ U Nebraska Press, 2017) was a runner up for the 2015 Sillerman Prize, and her chapbook, Carnaval, appeared in the first New Generation African Poets box set. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Black Renaissance Noire, Harvard Review, Boston Review online, the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day series and elsewhere. Jaji is a professor of English and African & African American Studies at Duke University, has taught writing workshops in her home country, Zimbabwe, and is the author of Africa in Stereo: Music, Modernism and Pan-African Solidarity (Oxford University Press, 2014)She has held fellowships at the National Humanities Center, the Schomburg Center (NEH), Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell.

Runner Up: Irène Mathieu for Grand Marronage