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Nicole Sealey, Executive Director

sealey-edBorn in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and raised in Apopka, Florida, Nicole Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast, finalist for the 2018 PEN Open Book Award, and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the 2015 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her other honors include a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from The American Poetry Review, a Daniel Varoujan Award and the Poetry International Prize, as well as fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, CantoMundo, Cave Canem, MacDowell Colony and the Poetry Project. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming to Best American Poetry 2018The New YorkerThe New York Times and elsewhere. Nicole holds an MLA in Africana studies from the University of South Florida and an MFA in creative writing from New York University. She is the executive director at Cave Canem Foundation, visiting professor at Boston University and the 2018-2019 Doris Lippman Visiting Poet at The City College of New York.

Elizabeth Bryant, Programs & Communications Coordinator

Elizabeth is a poetry and prose writer from Minnesota. She studied History and Black Studies at Swarthmore College, graduating with a B.A. Previously, she worked at The Given’s Foundation for African American Literature in Minnesota; at Cave Canem, she served as an intern, workshop assistant and the Interim Programs Coordinator. Elizabeth joined Cave Canem full-time in April 2017 as its Programs & Communications Coordinator.


Isissa Komada-John, Grants Manager

komada-john-isissaIsissa is a multidisciplinary designer, curator, and creative arts administrator. In addition to her work at Cave Canem, she manages and designs exhibitions at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She previously served as the Exhibitions Director of MoCADA, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, working with over 100 artists to develop socially engaged projects and curating and organizing more than 30 exhibitions. Isissa holds a degree in Africana Studies from Brown University. A native New Yorker, she lives in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, NY.

Natalie Desrosiers, Programs & Communications Fellow

Natalie Headshot croppedNatalie Desrosiers is a recent graduate of Bard College, where she received her B.A. in Written Arts with a strong background in political theory and Black radical thought. Previously, she worked as a library assistant at the Center for Curatorial Studies Bard Library and Archives. Natalie is interested in publishing, librarianship, and the curatorial field.


Della Rivera Green, Workshops & Administrative Fellow

Della Rivera Green is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Brooklyn. She studied English at Reed College, graduating with a B.A. Della previously served as the Communications & Marketing intern at Cave Canem, and is so happy to continue her work through the workshops fellowship.


Saïkou Yaya Baldé, Intern

IMG_7416-2 Saïkou Yaya Baldé is a writer, poet, and activist born and raised in Paris. He studied International Business in France, Korea, and Japan, graduating with a Master’s Degree. Saïkou has previously held various positions at BRIC where he now serves as the Marketing Assistant with Brooklyn Free Speech. He is a 2017 Immigrant Artist Fellow at the New York Foundation for the Arts and splits his time between New York City and Paris.


Noor Dingha, Intern

noor dinghaNoor Dhingra is a junior at Pomona College, where they study English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Originally from New Delhi, India, Noor now lives and writes in California and New York. Previously, Noor worked at Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. They are passionate about poetry, linguistics, Asian history, and modern art.


Montrell E. Chandler

Processed with VSCO with kk1 presetMontrell is a recent graduate from the University of Missouri, receiving a B.A in English with an emphasis in creative writing. He hopes to eventually work for a publishing company, and delve into other fields of work. Some of his hobbies include playing basketball with friends, going to see bands perform live, and shopping for new clothes.