Every Shining Gift: A Birthday Celebration for Toi Derricotte

Join us for an evening of poetry, stories, and reflection in celebration of our beloved, renowned poet and co-founder, Toi Derricotte. This virtual program celebrates Derricotte's 80th year and serves as a fundraiser on behalf of Cave Canem.

Guest poets, such as Camonghne Felix, Mahogany Browne and others (TBA) read poems written and inspired by Toi Derricotte, and share personal reflections. Hosted by Cave Canem fellow and former Board President Amanda Johnston.

Suggested $25 donation. This virtual event will be broadcasted via Zoom.

Toi Derricotte’s sixth poetry collection, I: New and Selected Poems, was published in 2019 by University of Pittsburgh Press. Her numerous literary awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She received the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, the Distinguished Pioneering of the Arts Award from the United Black Artists, the PEN/Voelcker Award, the Elizabeth Kray Award for service to the field of poetry from Poets House, three Pushcart prizes and will is included in The Best American Poetry 2019. With poet Cornelius Eady, Derricotte co-founded the Cave Canem Foundation in 1996. She is Professor Emerita from University of Pittsburgh and is a former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Camonghne Felix is a poet, a writer, speaker, and political strategist. She received an M.A. in Arts Politics from NYU, an MFA from Bard College, and has received Fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and Poets House. Her first full-length collection of poems, Build Yourself a Boat (Haymarket Books), was longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry. Her books Dyscalculia, and Let the Poets Govern are forthcoming from Penguin Random House.

Amanda Johnston earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. She is the author of two chapbooks, GUAP and Lock & Key, and the full-length collection Another Way to Say Enter. Her work has appeared in numerous online and print publications, among them, CallalooPoetry MagazinePuerto del SolMuzzle, and the anthologies, Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry and Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism. She has received fellowships, grants, and awards from Cave Canem Foundation, Hedgebrook, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Austin International Poetry Festival. She is a member of the Affrilachian Poets, cofounder of Black Poets Speak Out, and founder of Torch Literary Arts.