Nicole Sealey, Executive Director
Born 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 2018, The New Yorker, The 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 Manager
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 interned 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 and is now the Programs & Communications Manager.
Zora Howard, Administrative/Development Assistant
Zora Howard is a Harlem-bred multidisciplinary creator and performer. In 2009, she was named the inaugural New York City Youth Poet Laureate by the Office of the Mayor of New York City. Since then, her work, both as a writer and performer, has been showcased on HBO, TV One, PBS, and NBC. Her first collection of poems, CLUTCH, was published under Penmanship Books in 2010. Forthcoming, her work will be included in Poets Laureate and Social Justice (MSU Press, 2018). She holds a BA from Yale University and MFA from the University of California, San Diego.
Isissa Komada-John, Grants Manager
Isissa 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 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.
China Pharr, Programs & Communications Intern
China Pharr is a multidisciplinary visual artist, performer and event planner from Long Beach, CA by way of Oakland, CA. With a focus on aerial acrobatics, yoga and creative writing, she explores the dynamic power of storytelling through a delicate interweaving of words and movement. China obtained a BA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Davis and was co-founder of the Blacklovefestival (July 15th, 2015 San Francisco, CA).
Chelsea Williams, Programs & Communications Intern
Chelsea Williams is a poet, filmmaker, and visual artist born in Chicago, Illinois. Previously, she has performed in the Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, Louder Than a Bomb and at college slams. She is the Vice-President of the NYU student club, Radical Writers of Color. Chelsea is in her senior year at New York University pursuing a BFA in Dramatic Writing and minoring in Africana Studies.