Yolanda Wisher

PO Box 44534
Philadelphia, PA 19144

Author's Bio

Yolanda Wisher (b. 1976) is a multidisciplinary poet and educator. The 3rd Poet Laureate of the City of Philadelphia, Wisher is a Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence (2016), Pew Fellow (2015), Catalyst Initiative Grantee (2015), Leeway Art & Change Grantee (2008), Cave Canem Fellow (1999-2000), and the first Montgomery County Pennsylvania Poet Laureate (1999). Born in Philadelphia and raised in North Wales, Pennsylvania, Wisher attended Lafayette College, where she received a B.A. in English/Black Studies. Wisher later earned an M.A. in English/Creative Writing-Poetry from Temple University. Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afro (Hanging Loose Press, 2014) and the co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song (City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, 2013). Her work has been featured in Fence, GOOD Magazine, Harriet: The Blog, MELUS, Ploughshares, PUBLICPOOL, Supplement, The Sun Ra Mixtape Vol. 1, and in the anthologies Gathering Ground, Gravyland, Lavanderia, Stand Our Ground, and The Ringing Ear. As an English teacher at Germantown Friends School, Wisher founded and directed the Germantown Poetry Festival (2006-2010). She also served as the Director of Art Education for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (2010-2015). Wisher was a Founding Cultural Agent and the Chief Rhapsodist of Wherewithal for the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (2014-2016). She lives in Philadelphia.

Publications and Prizes

Monk Eats an Afro
(Hanging Loose Press, 2014)
Cave Canem IV
(Cave Canem, 1999)
, Cave Canem VI
(Cave Canem, 2001)
, Fence Reader
(Fence Books, 2009)
, Gathering Ground: Cave Canem 10th Anniversary Reader
(University of Michigan Press, 2006)
, Gravyland: Writing Beyond the Curriculum in the City of Brotherly Love
(Syracuse University Press, 2010)
, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South
(University of Georgia Press, 2007)
American Poetry Review, Black Arts Quarterly, Chain, Drumvoices Revue, Fence, Hanging Loose, Melus, Meridians Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, Open Letter, Ploughshares, POeP!
Big Blue Marble Bookstore
, Bowery Poetry Club, Brooklyn Public Library, iMPeRFeCT GALLERY
, KGB Bar Poetry Series, Maplewood Mall, Midtown Scholar Bookstore
, Moonstone Arts Center
, Pennsylvania State Capitol, Philadelphia City Hall, Philadelphia Museum of Art, PhillyCAM
, Poets House, Swarthmore College
, Vernon Park, Philadelphia
Prizes Won: 
City of Philadelphia Poet Laureate (2016-17) Hedgebrook Writer in Residence (2016) Pew Fellowship (2015) Leeway Art & Change Grantee (2008) First Montgomery County Pennsylvania Poet Laureate (1999)

More Information

Listed as: 
Poet, Spoken Word Artist
Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
African American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Raised in: 
North Wales, PA
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last updated: Dec 14, 2016