Tyehimba Jess

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General Information

Name: Tyehimba Jess

Pen Name: None

Genres: Non-Fiction, Poetry, History

Born: Detroit, Michigan

Website: http://www.tyehimbajess.net/

Email: N/A

Illinois Connection

Jess graduated from the University of Chicago and taught at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

Biographical and Professional Information

Tyehimba Jess is a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, and has received fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. A veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, he exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TEDxNashville Conference, and received a 2016 Lannan Literary Award.

Jess' fiction and poetry have appeared in many journals, as well as anthologies such as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, Beyond The Frontier: African American Poetry for the Twenty-First Century, Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Power Lines: Ten Years of Poetry from Chicago's Guild Complex, Slam: The Art of Performance Poetry.

Jess has taught at the Juilliard School, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island in New York.

Published Works

  • LeadBelly: Poems, Wave Books, 2005
  • Olio, Wave Books, 2016

Titles for Purchase and at Your Library

Literary Awards


  • Winner, National Poetry Series, 2004
  • Best Poetry Books List, Library Journal, 2005
  • Best Poetry Books List, Black Issues Book Review, 2005


  • Winner, Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, 2017
  • Winner, Anisfield-Wolf Award in Poetry
  • Poetry Award, Society of Midland Authors
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation, Black Caucus of American Library Association
  • Finalist for poetry, National Book Critics Circle Award, 2016
  • Finalist, PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, 2017
  • Finalist, Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, 2017
  • Top poetry book of spring, Library Journal, 2016
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
  • Starred Review, Library Journal

Other Awards:

  • Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, 2001
  • Lannan Literary Award in Poetry, 2016

Speaking Engagements and Upcoming Appearances

Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)

For booking information for Tyehimba Jess, or to reach Tyehimba directly, please send a note to Vaughan Ashlie Fielder at: The Field Office.

For media inquiries, contact Ryo Yamaguchi Wave Books.

External Links

Tyehimba Jess on WorldCat


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