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Tyehimba Jess, CLSC Author, Olio

Tuesday, June 26, 2018
10:45am

Location Amphitheater

Gate pass required. Purchase at our Main Gate Welcome Center, (716) 357-6250

Author, Olio  This lecture will also serve as a CLSC Roundtable presentation.

Tyehimba Jess is the author of Olio, which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. 

Olio was also nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Jean Stein Book Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Jess is also the author of Leadbelly, which was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.”

Jess received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004–2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000–2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship, and the 2016 Lannan Literary Award in Poetry. His fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.

Jess is a professor of English at College of Staten Island, and is an alum of Cave Canem and New York University.  


With ambitious manipulations of poetic forms, Tyehimba Jess presents the sweat and story behind America’s blues, worksongs and church hymns. Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, Jess’ much-anticipated second book, Olio, is part fact, part fiction, and weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African-American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them.

Olio is also the winner of the 2017 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Poetry, The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. It was also nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Jean Stein Book Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. 

Tyehimba Jess has received numerous accolades, including a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, a Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship, and the 2016 Lannan Literary Award in Poetry. Jess is also the author of Leadbelly and is a professor of English at College of Staten Island.

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