Poets and editors Duriel E. Harris ("Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora") and Ashaki M. Jackson ("The Offing") discuss their editorial careers, the mission and work of the journals they manage, and working with and advocating for Black writers.
The Cave Canem Foundation is a home for the many voices of Black poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of Black poets. The organization was founded by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady in 1996 to remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in the literary landscape. Called “the major watering hole and air pocket for Black poetry” by faculty member Nikky Finney, Cave Canem invites Black poets to become fellows by applying to its annual week-long poetry retreat. Since its inception, the organization has instated over 400 fellows and has named over 30 highly regarded poets as faculty. Cave Canem offers a broad range of literary programs including an annual retreat, community workshops, lectures, and reading and panel series. Delivered in collaboration with five prestigious presses, its three book prizes include the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, which has launched the careers of poets who have gone on to win major awards and serve as U.S. Poet Laureate. For more information on Cave Canem, visit cavecanempoets.org.