Nicole Sealey Appointed Cave Canem Foundation Executive Director

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The Board of Directors of Cave Canem Foundation, Inc., North America’s premier home for black poetry, is pleased to announce that Nicole Sealey has been appointed the organization’s next Executive Director. She succeeds Alison Meyers, who will retire December 31.

Sealey brings more than a dozen years of experience advancing missions, values, visibility and resource development. As Programs Director, Sealey currently manages the delivery of Cave Canem’s programs, which serve approximately 3,500 each year. During her tenure at Cave Canem, Sealey developed the Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize in partnership with O, Miami Poetry Festival, Jai-Alai Books, The Betsy Hotel and the CUNY Graduate Center, and raised the equivalent of 13% of the organization’s annual budget. Prior to her work at Cave Canem, Sealey worked for nearly eight years as Assistant Director of the Readings/Workshop (East) and the Writers Exchange programs at Poets & Writers, Inc.

The Board of Directors states: “From her early days as a workshop poet and fellow, to cultivating one of the most robust programming operations for the organization, Sealey has truly been a champion of Cave Canem. Her commitment to the fellows, her innovation in building new relationships and alliances with businesses and other arts organizations, and her desire to see Cave Canem sustain itself speaks to the incredible, glorious future that awaits this organization. We are very proud she will be at the forefront of leading us into this next chapter.”

Considering the work ahead, Sealey said, “I’m excited to serve as the next Executive Director and look forward to sustaining and creating spaces, opportunities and experiences that nurture poets and poetry lovers alike. It is an honor to help ensure that Cave Canem does not merely survive the next twenty years, but thrives.”

Born in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and raised in Apopka, Florida, Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast, forthcoming from Ecco in fall 2017, and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the 2015 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her other honors include 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 CantoMundo, Cave Canem Foundation, Inc., MacDowell Colony and the Poetry Project. Sealey holds an MLA in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida and an MFA in creative writing from New York University.