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Cave Canem Poetry Prize

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Launched in 1999 with Rita Dove’s selection of Natasha Trethewey’s Domestic Work, this first-book award is dedicated to the discovery of exceptional manuscripts by black poets of African descent. View previous Prize Winning Books.

2019 Winner

Selected by judge Evie Shockley, Chekwube Danladi is the 2019 winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for her manuscript Semiotics, which will be published by the University of Georgia Press in fall 2020. Danladi receives $1,000, 10 complimentary copies of the book and a feature reading in New York City.

Chekwube Danladi is a writer and a reformed punk. She has received support from Callaloo, Kimbilio, Hedgebrook, the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, & the Vermont Studio Center. Her chapbook, Take Me Back, appeared as part of the New-Generation African Poets: Nne box set in 2017. She lives in Chicago.

Honorable Mention: Nicholas Goodly for The Dowser

Funder: National Endowment for the Arts