Poets at the End of the World: A Reading at Cave Canem

Join Poets at the End of the World at Cave Canem for an intimate night of lively poetry. Poets at the End of the World (PEW), is a collective comprised of Cave Canem fellows and acclaimed poets Ama Codjoe, Donika Kelly, Nicole Sealey, Evie Shockley and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon. Influenced by the work and lives of legendary poets Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, June Jordan and Audre Lorde to turn literary work into action, PEW dedicates itself to service and social justice. Through donated collective honoraria, Poets at the End of the World contributes tangible support to institutions dedicated to a more just and equitable world.  Free and open to the public. This program is made possible by support from The Fringe Foundation.

Ama Codjoe was raised in Youngstown, Ohio with roots in Memphis and Accra. She is the author of Blood of the Air (Northwestern University Press, April 2020), winner of the eighth annual Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Ama has been awarded support from Cave Canem, Jerome, Robert Rauschenberg and Saltonstall foundations, as well as from Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Crosstown Arts, Hedgebrook and the MacDowell Colony. Her poems have appeared in The Georgia ReviewGulf Coast OnlineVirginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a 2017 Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, The Georgia Review’s 2018 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, a 2019 Disquiet Literary Prize, and a 2019 NEA Creative Writing Fellowship.

Donika Kelly is the author of the chapbook AVIARIUM (fivehundred places, 2017), and the full-length collection BESTIARY (Graywolf 2016), winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the 2017 Hurston/Wright Award for poetry and the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. BESTIARY was long listed for the 2016 National Book Award and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award & a 2017 Publishing Triangle Award. A Cave Canem Graduate Fellow, recipient of a Lannan Residency fellowship and a fellowship to the Fine Arts Work Center, Donika received her MFA in Writing from the Michener Center for Writers and a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University. She is an Assistant Professor at Baruch College, where she teaches creative writing.

Born in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and raised in Apopka, Florida, Nicole Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast (Ecco, 2017), finalist for the PEN Open Book and Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards, and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named (Northwestern University Press, 2016), winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her other honors include a 2019 Rome Prize, the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from The American Poetry Review, the Poetry International Prize and a Daniel Varoujan Award, grants from the Elizabeth George and Jerome Foundations, as well as fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, CantoMundo, Cave Canem, MacDowell Colony and the Poetry Project. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and elsewhere. Recently named a 2019-2020 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, she is the former executive director of Cave Canem Foundation, a visiting professor at Boston University and the 2018-2019 Doris Lippman Visiting Poet at The City College of New York.

Evie Shockley is the author of semiautomatic (Wesleyan Poetry Series, 2017), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the LA Times Book Prize, and winner of the 2018 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. She has published four other collections of poetry—including the new black (Wesleyan, 2011), winner of the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the Black Caucus of ALA’s Literary Award for Poetry— as well as a critical study, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (Iowa, 2011). Her honors include the 2015 Stephen Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry and the 2012 Holmes National Poetry Prize. She is spending 2018-2019 as a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Shockley is Professor of English at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon is the author of Open Interval (Pitt Poetry Series, 2009), a 2009 National Book Award finalist; Black Swan (Pitt Poetry Series, 2002), winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize;  Poems in Conversation and a Conversation (Slapering Hol Press, 2008), a chapbook collaboration with Elizabeth Alexander; and Leading With a Naked Body (Slapering Hol Press, 2019), a forthcoming chapbook collaboration with Leela Chantrelle. She has written plays and lyrics for The Cherry, an Ithaca, NY arts collective. Her work has been featured in Courage Everywhere at National Theatre London, celebrating women’s suffrage and the fight for political equality. Currently at work on The Coal Tar Colors, her third poetry collection, and Purchase, a collection of essays, she teaches at Cornell University.

Cave Canem’s third-floor loft space at 20 Jay Street in Brooklyn, New York is mobility-accessible with an elevator at the main entrance to the building. When planning to attend an event at our Brooklyn headquarters, please call 718.858.0000 to let us know that you require wheelchair seating.