Cave Canem 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. This event features E. Ethelbert Miller, Jarita Davis, and Camille Rankine.
E. Ethelbert Miller is a self-described “literary activist,” Miller is on the board of the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive multi-issue think tank, and has served as director of the African American Studies Resource Center at Howard University since 1974. His collections of poetry includeAndromeda (1974), The Land of Smiles and the Land of No Smiles (1974), Season of Hunger / Cry of Rain (1982), Where Are the Love Poems for Dictators? (1986), Whispers, Secrets and Promises (1998), and How We Sleep on the Nights We Don’t Make Love (2004). Miller is the editor of the anthologies Women Surviving Massacres and Men (1977); In Search of Color Everywhere (1994), which won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award and was a Book of the Month Club selection; and Beyond the Frontier (2002). He is the author of the memoir Fathering Words: The Making of an African American Writer (2000). The mayor of Baltimore made Miller an honorary citizen of the city in 1994. He received a Columbia Merit Award in 1993 and was honored by First Lady Laura Bush at the White House in 2003. Miller has held positions as scholar-in-residence at George Mason University and as the Jessie Ball DuPont Scholar at Emory & Henry College.
Jarita Davis is a poet and fiction writer who earned a BA in Classics from Brown University and both an MA and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Her work has appeared in the Southwestern Review, Historic Nantucket, Cave Canem Anthologies, Crab Orchard Review, Plainsongs, and Tuesday; An Art Project. She was the writer in residence at the Nantucket Historical Association and has received fellowships from the Mellon Mayes program, Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. In addition, she was awarded both a Woodrow Wilson Travel Research Grant and a Louisiana Division of the Arts Grant.
Camille Rankine's first full-length collection of poetry, Incorrect Merciful Impulses, was published by Copper Canyon Press in the fall of 2015. She is also the author of the chapbook Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America's 2010 New York Chapbook Fellowship. The recipient of a 2010 "Discovery"/Boston Review Poetry Prize and a finalist for The Poetry Foundation's 2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship, she was featured as an emerging poet in the fall 2010 issue ofAmerican Poet and the April 2011 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including American Poet, The Baffler, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, Narrative, Paper Darts, A Public Space and Tin House. Camille earned her BA from Harvard University, and her MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. She was selected for a MacDowell Colony Fellowship in 2013, and was named an Honorary Cave Canem Fellow in 2012. She is Assistant Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Manhattanville College, editorial director of The Manhattanville Review, and lives in New York City, where she sings with the band Miru Mir.