Hallelujah-strong: In Honor of Former Board President Amanda Johnston

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Cave Canem recently celebrated the election of new executive officers to our Board of Directors. With this transition, we also uplift the work of outgoing executive officers, including former Board President Amanda Johnston. Since becoming a Cave Canem fellow in 2005, Johnston has has served as staff for the annual Cave Canem Retreat, board member, and board president, among a host of other volunteer efforts. Her tenure in these capacities remained informed by her commitment to fostering community among Black poets and the literary arts at large. Cave Canem is grateful to Johnston for her undying investment in our mission, and her unwavering devotion in helping us carry out the work of serving Black poets. For these reasons, the Board of Directors passed the following resolution in honor of Amanda Johnston’s service.


Whereas, Amanda Johnston has served Cave Canem in many soul-giving, hallelujah-strong capacities: that she star-shined in her roles as fellow, retreat coordinator, one-woman cheering squad and board member over the past 20 years;

Whereas, Amanda Johnston has made an exceptional contribution to the field of poetry and her fierce commitment to the enduring Blackness of poetry and poetics is equalled only by her down-home, indomitable, courageous love for her fellow poets;

Whereas, Amanda has served the organization with distinction, directness, caring and class as President of the Board of Directors since 2019;

Whereas, Amanda Johnston has retired from her work on the Board of Directors of Cave Canem effective October 2020;

Now, therefore, let it be Resolved here and down through the ink we put on each poem that Cave Canem Foundation, on behalf of its board, staff, fellows and faculty, honors and is grateful to Amanda Johnston for her tireless commitment to cultivating Black poets, and expresses its sincere appreciation and admiration for her energy and leadership.

Moved: Allen Drexel
Second: Lynne Thompson
Approved by a unanimous vote by the Cave Canem Board of Directors.

So resolved.

December 7, 2020