Thomas Kneeland


Indianapolis, IN

Author's Bio

Thomas Kneeland is an award-winning poet, educator, speaker, humanitarian, and visual artist. He is the author of We Be Walkin’ Blackly in the Deep (Marian University), and a 2022 Frontier Poetry Global Poetry Prize finalist, representing the continent of Africa. His poetry is widely published in the United States in journals and archives such as Up the Staircase QuarterlySouth Florida Poetry JournalINverse Poetry ArchivesClepsydra Literary & Art MagazineRigorous Magazine, and High Shelf Press.

His work has been commissioned for a number of organizations, including the Indiana Arts Commission, the Indiana State Library, the University of Indianapolis College of Applied Behavioral Sciences, and Black Lives Matter.

He founded The Elevation Review, an international poetry journal that amplifies the voices of underrepresented writers, with a strong emphasis on those writers whose cultures and communities combat the looming clouds of marginalization and oppression.

Kneeland holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from DePauw University, an M.A. in Ministry — with a specialization in Worship Art — from Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, and is a thesis candidate in Butler University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, where he studies poetry. 

Publications & Prizes

Stop F*cking Killing Us! (Barnes & Noble Publishing, 2021)
Uncaged (Lulu Press, 2019)
Shades of Gold (Lulu Press, 2018)
High Shelf Press
INverse: Indiana's Poetry Archive
, ,
You Might Need to Hear This
Prizes won: 

2022 Frontier Global Poetry Prize (Finalist) - Africa

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Tracy K. Smith, Yusef Komunyakaa, Adrian Matejka, Eugene Gloria, Mitchell L.H. Douglas, Rowan ricardo Phillips, Joseph Heithaus, Joy Priest, Donika Kelly
What I'm reading now: 
Omeros by Derek Walcott, The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones, The Renunciations by Donika Kelly, dying in the scarecrow's arms by Mitchell L.H. Douglas

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
African American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
San Jose, CA
Raised in: 
Greenville, MS
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Aug 03, 2023