makalani bandele


3002 Leman Dr.
Louisville, KY

Author's Bio

makalani is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a BA in the Program of Liberal Studies, as well as a graduate of Shaw University with a Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Kentucky. An Affrilachian Poets and Cave Canem graduate fellow, he has also been awarded fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council, Millay Colony of the Arts, and Vermont Studio Center. A multidisciplinary, teaching artist and writer, makalani has done readings, writing workshops and classes at universities and conferences across the US for over 10 years. The list of journals where his poems have been published is wide-ranging and extensive, Sou’wester, Prairie Schooner, 32poems, “poem-a-day” on, Poetry Northwest, Washington Square Review, African-American Review, 32poems, and North American Review, are just the tip of the iceberg. His work has been published in several anthologies: Cave Canem Anthology XIII, Red Holler: Contemporary Appalachian Literature, and Black Bone: 25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets to name a few. makalani has published two collections of poetry, hellfightin’ (Willow Books, 2011) and under the aegis of a winged mind, awarded the 2019 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize.

Publications & Prizes

Black Bone:25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets (University of Kentucky Press, 2017)
Circe’s Lament: An Anthology of Wild Women Poetry (Accents Publishing, 2016)
Cave Canem Anthology XIII (Willow Books, 2015)
Red Holler: Contemporary Appalachian Literature (Sarabande Books, 2013)
Small Batch: An Anthology of Bourbon Poetry (Two of Cups Press, 2013)
under the aegis of a winged mind (Autumn House Press, 2020)
hellfightin (Willow Books, 2011)
Prizes won: 

First Prize in Experimental Poetry Contest, The Connecticut Poetry Society, 2021

MFA Award in Poetry, University of Kentucky, 2020

Autumn House Poetry Prize, Autumn House Press, 2019

Al Smith Fellowship, Kentucky Arts Council, 2014-2015

First Prize in Poetry, LEO Magazine, 2011

Integral Music Book Award, Aquarius Press/Willow Books, 2010

Cave Canem Fellowship, 2010, 2011, 2014

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Fred Moten Lillian Yvonne-Bertram Claudia Rankine Taylor Johnson Nathaniel Mackey francine j. harris Ruth Ellen Kocher Russell Edson Harmony Holiday
What I'm reading now: 
here is the sweet hand by francine j. harris, UN-AMERICAN by Hafizah Geter

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
African American
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Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Apr 10, 2022