Yolanda Wisher is the 2016-17 poet laureate of Philadelphia. Wisher has been a force within Philadelphia’s literary scene for the past two decades, upholding poetry as a public art. She holds a B.A. in English and Black Studies from Lafayette College and an M.A. in Creative Writing/Poetry from Temple University. She is the author of the poetry volume “Monk Eats an Afro” and co-edited the anthology “Peace is a Haiku Song” with mentor and first Philadelphia Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez. She has led and curated many innovative and community-driven programs with local and national partners, including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Rosenbach Museum and Library, Jefferson University, Historic Germantown, LiveConnections and the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture. In April 2017, in collaboration with Philadelphia Contemporary, she organized the Outbound Poetry Festival. Her writings have been featured in a variety of media including GOOD Magazine, PennSound, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Citizen, Contemporary Black Canvas, Harriet the Blog, PoetryNow, Obsidian, Ploughshares and CBC Radio. A Pew Fellow, Cave Canem Fellow, and Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence, she is currently the 2017-2018 CPCW Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Germantown.
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