Cave Canem presents Major Jackson & Evie Shockley | Wed July 8, 2020

calendar link icon  Wed July 8, 2020
Start: 7:00 pm End: 8:00 pm

FREE! Part of The Show Must Go On(line) Pittsburgh series.

Even though the 2020 Cave Canem retreat was postponed, we’re honored to continue the tradition of a live Cave Canem reading—this year, virtually. Featuring poets Major Jackson and Evie Shockley, faculty from the 2020 Cave Canem retreat. Poets will read live from their homes.

Every June since 2010, City of Asylum has presented the poets of Cave Canem, a program to cap off Cave Canem’s annual retreat. The poets and their readings are unique in their appeal to both devoted and casual poetry audiences. These are rousing performances that speak to issues of the day with emotion, with beauty, and with calls to action. Poets have included future Poet Laureates, National Book Award winners, MacArthur “Genius” award winners, and Pulitzer Prize winners.

Featured Poets:
Evie Shockley is a two-time winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry—for the new black (Wesleyan, 2011) and for semiautomatic (Wesleyan, 2017), which was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the LA Times Book Prize. She has published three other collections of poetry, including a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006), as well as a critical study, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (2011). You can find Shockley’s poetry and essays featured in several anthologies, such as Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (2009), Poem-A-Day: 365 Poems for Every Occasion (2015), The Fate of Difficulty in the Poetry of Our Time (2017), and Bearden’s Odyssey: Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden (2017). Shockley’s work has been supported and recognized with the 2015 Stephen Henderson Award, the 2012 Holmes National Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the American Council of Learned Societies. Shockley is Professor of English at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

Major Jackson is the author of five books of poetry, including The Absurd Man (2020), Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. His edited volumes include: Best American Poetry 2019, Renga for Obama, and Library of America’s Countee Cullen: Collected Poems. A recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Major Jackson has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. He has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, Callaloo, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Tin House, and included in multiple volumes of Best American Poetry. Major Jackson lives in South Burlington, Vermont, where he is the Richard A. Dennis Professor of English and University Distinguished Professor at the University of Vermont. He serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.

Founded by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady in 1996 to remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in the literary landscape, Cave Canem Foundation is a home for the many voices of African American poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets.


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