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Interim Director Cornelius Eady


Poet, playwright, songwriter, and Cave Canem co-founder Cornelius Eady is Poets House’s Interim Director. He was born in Rochester, New York, in 1954 and is Professor of English and the John C. Hodge Chair of Excellence at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. He is the author of eight poetry collections, including Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize; The Gathering of My Name, nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; Brutal Imagination; and Hardheaded Weather, nominated for an NAACP Image Award. He wrote the libretto to Diedre Murray’s opera Running Man, which was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1999, and his verse play Brutal Imagination won the Newsday/Oppenheimer Award for the best first play from an American playwright in 2002. His “pandemic folk song” project, Don’t Get Dead, recorded with his folk trio, will be released in early November 2021 by June Appal Recordings. His work has appeared on NPR, PBS, and BBC Radio and his awards include fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as the Elizabeth Kray Award from Poets House.