New York, NY (September 9, 2021)— The Academy of American Poets is pleased to announce that environmental thought-leader and activist Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali and poet Alexis Pauline Gumbs will judge the 2022 Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize, the Academy’s first poetry prize to address climate change, established in 2019 with generous support from Treehouse Investments, LLC. Three poets will be honored: first place will receive $1,000; second place, $750; and third place, $500. In addition, all three poems will be published in the popular Poem-a-Day series, which is distributed to 500,000+ readers. Poems may also be featured in the award-winning education series Teach This Poem, which serves 40,000+ educators each week. 

“As we witness the ongoing devastating and tragic effects of the climate crisis, we hope poets might remind us, as they always have, that the natural world deserves our attention and abundant care,” said Jennifer Benka, executive director of the Academy of American Poets.

Submissions will be accepted online from September 15, 2021 through November 15, 2021 (11:59 p.m. EST). The winning poets will be announced on Thursday, April 22, 2022, which is Earth Day.

For more information about the prize, visit:

About Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali 

Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali is a renowned thought-leader, strategist, policymaker, and activist committed to fighting for environmental justice, public health, resource equity, and political empowerment to uplift our most vulnerable communities. He has also worked with over 500 domestic and international communities to secure environmental, health, and economic justice. Dr. Ali has been featured on MSNBC, CNN, VICE, and Democracy NOW and in over 250 news publications, including GQ, New Republic, Ebony, Bustle, The Guardian, The Root, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. He is a former instructor at West Virginia University and Stanford University.

About Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is the author of Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals (AK Press, 2020), and the triptych of experimental works, Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity (Duke University Press, 2016); M Archive: After the End of the World (Duke University Press, 2018); and Dub: Finding Ceremony (Duke University Press, 2020). She is the founder of Brilliance Remastered, an online network and series of retreats and online intensives. She brings a passion for the issues that impact oppressed communities and an intimate knowledge of the resilience of movements led by Black, Indigenous, working class women, and queer people of color. Gumbs’ poetry and fiction have been included in Best American Experimental Writing, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and received honors from the Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize and the Firefly Ridge Women of Color Award. She is currently Creative Writing Editor at Feminist Studies and in residence as a National Humanities Center Fellow, where she is working on The Eternal Life of Audre Lorde: Biography as Ceremony (forthcoming, Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

About the Academy of American Poets

Founded in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is the nation’s leading champion of poets and poetry with supporters in all fifty states. The organization annually awards more funds to individual poets than any other organization through its prize program, giving a total of $1.25 million to more than 200 poets at various stages of their careers. The organization also produces, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; organizes National Poetry Month; publishes the popular Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; provides award-winning resources to K–12 educators, including the Teach This Poem series; hosts an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and coordinates a national Poetry Coalition working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture.

About Treehouse Investments

Treehouse Investments is a boutique distributed-infrastructure firm dedicated to reversing climate change. A family business, founded by a family from Puerto Rico, in 2007 Treehouse made a commitment to invest in a socially responsible way. Over the years Treehouse has become convinced that the only truly socially responsible investments are those which directly aim to reverse climate change.