Editor’s note: This week, for National Poetry Month, we’re featuring 37 up-and-coming black poets who we expect do amazing work over the next decade. We grouped them by categories, though their works often blur boundaries and defy definitions. Monday’s theme was Black Regionalism, poets who look at black life and society through the prism of geographic regions or cultures. Tuesday, we presented poets who center being black and queer and place white, cis, heteronormativity to a backdrop. Today, these nine poets work in academic, cultural and government institutions committed to elevating and preserving the poetry artform.
Amanda Gorman is not going to let school get in the way of her dreams. Named the first National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, Gorman wrote her first poetry collection, The One For Whom Food Is Not Enough (Pemanship Books) before she got to Harvard. While still a co-ed, the Los Angeles native writes for the New York Times student newsletter, the Editis, and leads One Pen One Page, which she founded to promote literacy through free creative writing programming for underserved youth. She was also named one of this year’s Young Futurists by The Root.
Dexter L. Booth is the author of Scratching the Ghost (Graywolf Press), which won the 2012 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. His poems have been included in the anthology The Best American Poetry 2015, as well as Blackbird, the Southeast Review, Ostrich Review, Grist, Willow Springs, Bat City Review, Virginia Quarterly and other publications. Booth received his Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and is currently a contributing editor for Waxwing and a Ph.D. candidate and Provost Fellow at the University of Southern California.
Dustin Pearson, author of Millennial Roost (C&R Press) and A Family Is a House(C&R Press), won the Academy of American Poets Katharine C. Turner Prize and received fellowships from Cave Canem and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from Arizona State University and is a McKnight Doctoral Fellow at Florida State University. Formerly, he served as the editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review and a director of the Clemson Literary Festival.