Co-sponsored with Cave Canem Foundation
Tsitsi Ella Jaji is a Zimbabwean poet and an American academic. Her poetry collection, Beating the Graves, was published in 2017 in the African Poetry Book Series at the University of Nebraska Press. She is an associate professor of English with a specialty in African and African American literary and cultural studies at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
Irène Mathieu is a pediatrician, writer, and public health researcher and the author of three poetry collections—Grand Marronage (Switchback Books, 2019), which won Editor’s Choice for the Gatewood Prize; orogeny, which won the Bob Kaufman Book Prize; and chapbook the galaxy of origins. She serves as an editor for Muzzle Magazine and for the Journal of General Internal Medicine’s humanities section.
Matthew Shenoda is a writer, professor, and university administrator. His debut collection of poems, Somewhere Else (Coffee House Press), was named one of 2005's debut books of the year by Poets & Writers Magazine and was winner of a 2006 American Book Award. He is also the author of Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone and most recently Tahrir Suite: Poems, winner of the 2015 Arab American Book Award. Additionally, Shenoda is a founding editor of the African Poetry Book Fund.