Board of Directors Welcomes Two New Members

On the left, there is a black and white photo of author and new Cave Canem Board Member Terri Ellen Cross Davis smiling and looking directly into the camera. She has short dark hair, and is wearing large hoop earrings, a necklace chain, and a brightly colored scoop-neck top. To the right, there is a black and white photo of author and new Cave Canem Board Member Kwame Dawes smiling softly and looking off to the left. He is bald and wearing glasses. He has a gray and white beard, and is wearing a dark scarf and a black coat.
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Cave Canem is pleased to announce Teri Ellen Cross Davis and Kwame Dawes as the newest additions to its Board of Directors. As we continue to grow our community and strengthen our commitment to Black poets, we are delighted welcome these two esteemed authors to our Board. 

Teri Ellen Cross Davis is the author of a more perfect Union (winner of The Journal/Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize) and Haint (winner of the Ohioana Book Award for Poetry). She is the recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award and the Poetry Society of America’s Robert H. Winner Memorial Prize. She has received fellowships and scholarships to Cave Canem, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Hedgebrook, Community of Writers Poetry Workshop, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and more. Her work has appeared in print, online, and in many journals and anthologies including: Harvard Review, PANK, Poetry Ireland Review, and Kenyon Review. She is the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series Curator and Poetry Programs manager for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. and lives in Maryland with her husband, poet Hayes Davis and their children.

Of her appointment, Teri shared the following passage from “speaking of loss” by Lucille Clifton:

“I am left with plain hands and

nothing to give you but poems”

Kwame Dawes is the author of numerous books of poetry and other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. His most recent collection UnHistory, was co-written with John Kinsella (Peepal Tree Press, UK). Dawes is a George W. Holmes University Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner. He teaches in the Pacific MFA Program and is the Series Editor of the African Poetry Book Series, Director of the African Poetry Book Fund, and Artistic Director of the Calabash International Literary Festival. Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Kwame Dawes is the winner of the prestigious Windham/Campbell Award for Poetry and was a finalist for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Dawes is a recipient of the Order of Distinction Commander class by the Government of Jamaica.

“It’s a tremendous honor and joy to serve on the Board of an organization that has impacted black poetry in the most positively transformative ways,” remarked Dawes of his appointment to the Board of Directors. “In so doing Cave Canem has reshaped the landscape of American poetry in necessary ways.  I look forward to being a part of this visionary organization as it continues to be relevant to the poetry world.”

In honor of the celebratory news, Cave Canem President and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Tyehimba Jess notes:

“As Cave Canem enters its third decade with new guiding principles and an ever-growing offering of programs to support an ever-growing community Black poets nationwide, it could not be more timely to welcome Teri Cross Ellen Davis and Kwame Dawes to the Board of Directors. Davis and Dawes have played active roles in Cave Canem and their service to the organization as Board members underscores Cave Canem’s value for being community-led. It’s an honor to move Cave Canem into its next chapter with the keen level of expertise, passion, and integrity of Davis and Dawes.”