Cave Canem and CAAPP are Pleased to Announce the Cultural Preservation Project

A graphic that reads "Cave Canem's Cultural Preservation Project."
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BROOKLYN, New York (February 2, 2023)—

In celebration of Black History Month 2023, Cave Canem and the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP) are pleased to announce the Cultural Preservation Project—an extension of the Cave Canem Oral History Project interview collection.

The project underscores the spirit of cultural collaboration and conversation at the core of CAAPP’s mission and Cave Canem’s aim to democratize the archive for the public. Jointly sponsored for two years, Yona Harvey will lead the project. This partnership is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Mellon Foundation.

Harvey and a team of Cultural Preservation Fellows will begin the project by conducting in-depth interviews with the living members of Cave Canem’s inaugural cohort. Plans to mark the project’s culmination and make the interviews available for study and general interest are underway for 2025.

Cultural Preservation Project Team

Yona Harvey is the author of the poetry collections, You Don’t Have To Go To Mars for Love (Four Way Books) and Hemming the Water (Four Way Books), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She co-wrote Marvel Comics’ World of Wakanda and Black Panther & the Crew. In collaboration with Creative Nonfiction magazine, Harvey has worked with teenagers writing about mental health issues. She earned her MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh.

Sheila Carter-Jones is the author of Three Birds Deep, winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Book Award, and Blackberry Cobbler Song. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s and doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Carter-Jones has taught in Pittsburgh Public Schools and in the education departments of Chatham University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Reginald Harris won the Cave Canem/Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize for Autogeography. A Pushcart Prize Nominee; recipient of Individual Artist Awards for poetry and fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council; and a Lambda Literary Award and ForeWord Book of the Year finalist for 10 Tongues: Poems; his work has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, and online. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, he now lives in Brooklyn. Harris is an experienced and practicing librarian.

Gary Jackson is the author of origin story (University of New Mexico) and Missing You, Metropolis (Graywolf), which received the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. He is co-editor of The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry (Blair). His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Callaloo, The Sun, Los Angeles Review of Books, Copper Nickel, and elsewhere. He has been published in Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology; was featured in the New American Poetry Series by the Poetry Society of America; and is the recipient of a fellowship from Bread Loaf. He teaches at the College of Charleston.

Tracie Morris is a writer/editor of several books and is a poet, professor, performer, voice teacher, and theorist. She has presented her work extensively throughout the world. Morris holds an MFA in poetry from CUNY Hunter College, a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University, and studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Dr. Morris was designated an Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist and served as the Woodberry Poetry Room Creative Fellow at Harvard University. Tracie was the inaugural Distinguished Visiting Professor of Poetry at The Iowa Writers Workshop before joining the faculty as Professor.

Alison C. Rollins holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Howard University and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She was named a National Endowment for the Arts Literature fellow. She is the recipient of the Gulf Coast Prize in nonfiction. Her work, across genres, has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Iowa Review, The New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. A Callaloo fellow, she is a recipient of a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. Rollins has been awarded support from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and is a recipient of the Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award and a Pushcart Prize. Her debut poetry collection, Library of Small Catastrophes (Copper Canyon Press), was a Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award nominee. Rollins has held faculty and librarian appointments at various institutions, including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Colorado College, and Pacific Northwest College of Art.