Cornelius Eady & Toi Derricotte
Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady founded Cave Canem in 1996 with the intuition that African American poets would benefit from having a place of their own in the literary landscape. Over the past 14 years, that intuition has become a conviction. In Cave Canem, emerging poets find sustenance, a safe space to take artistic chances. The organization's community has grown from a gathering of 26 poets to become an influential movement with a renowned faculty and high-achieving national fellowship of 289. In addition to an annual writing retreat at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, programs include two book prizes with prestigious presses; workshops in New York City; Legacy Conversations with such poets and scholars as Lucille Clifton, Rita Dove, Arnold Rampersad and Derek Walcott; a Poets on Craft series; nationally based readings and panels; and the publication of two anthologies, Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem's First Decade (University of Michigan Press, 2006) and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (University of Georgia Press, 2007).