Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate, is the only poet honored with both the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts. A professor of creative writing at the University of Virginia, she lives in Charlottesville.
Terrance Hayes is the author of four collections including Lighthead, winner of the 2010 National Book Award in Poetry; Hip Logic, which won the National Poetry Series; and Muscular Music, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He is a professor of creative writing at The University of Pittsburgh and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his wife, the poet Yona Harvey, and their family.
Yusef Komunyakaa's books of poems include Warhorses (FSG, 2008), Taboo (FSG, 2004), and Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize. He teaches at New York University.
NATASHA TRETHEWEY was the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, 2012-14. She is the author of four collections of poetry: Thrall, Domestic Work, Bellocq's Ophelia, and Native Guard, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. She is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University.
Crystal Williams is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. She is a native of Detroit, Michigan, and author of Kin and Lunatic. Her poetry appears in magazines such as Luna, Fourth River, Callaloo, The Indiana Review, and in the anthologies: American Poetry: The Next Generation, Poetry Nation, Sweet Jesus, and Beyond the Frontier, among others. Her essays can be found in publications including Ms. Magazine. She has been a featured reader at venues across the country including: The National Arts Club, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Sarah Lawrence College.
Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) was an American painter known for his portrayal of African American historical subjects and contemporary life. He called his style "dynamic cubism" and drew inspiration from the shapes and colors of Harlem.