This website is a part of Lift Every Voice, a year-long, nationwide celebration of the 250-year tradition of African American poetry. With signature events in New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Kansas City; readings, performances, and moderated conversations at public libraries around the country; and a revelatory new anthology edited by Kevin Young, Lift Every Voice aims to highlight the richness and diversity of African American poetic imagination and its central place in American poetry.
Watch: Kevin Young, Principal Humanities Advisor, introduces Lift Every Voice
Lift Every Voice is directed by Library of America in partnership with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and with libraries, arts organizations, and bookstores in all fifty states. It is supported by three funders to whom we're deeply grateful: the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Emerson Collective.
LIFT EveRy VOIcE: Why AFriCAN amERiCAn PoeTry MatteRs
engages participants in a multifaceted exploration of African American poetry, the perspectives it offers on American history and the struggle for racial justice, and the universality of its imaginative response to the personal experiences of Black Americans over three centuries. The initiative features:
in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, and Los Angeles;
in 49 public libraries nationwide;
which includes video readings and commentary, programming support, detailed biographies of key poets, and many more resources intended for students and general readers alike.
President & Publisher Library of America
PrincipAL Humanities Advisor
Director Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Associate Publisher Library of America
Public Humanities Fellow: Programming
Public Humanities Fellow Library of America
Project Coordinator: Poetry
Contributing Editor Library of America
Online Content Manager
Online Content & Community Manager Library of America
AddiTionaL lifT eVeRy Voice HuMaNiTiEs ADVisoRs INcLuDe:
Director Creativity and Free Expression Ford Foundation Wun Tsun Tam Mellon Professor in the Humanities Columbia University
Joanne M. Braxton
Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Professor of English and Humanities The College of William & Mary
Brent Hayes Edwards
Professor of English and Comparative Literature Columbia University
Joanne V. Gabbin
Professor of English James Madison University
Professor of English New York University
Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry Yale University
Associate Professor of English Rutgers University
Board of Trustees Professor of English Northwestern University
Walton M. Muyumba
Associate Professor of English Indiana University
Library of America gratefully acknowledges its Lift Every Voice institutional partners: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Poetry Foundation, the National Book Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, Poets House, Cave Canem, and the Center for African American Poetry & Poetics. Funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Emerson Collective.