Tyehimba Jess wins the Pulitzer Prize!

Tyehimba Jess, Associate Professor of English at the College of Staten Island, has won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for his work, Olio! We at the library are so proud of Professor Jess for achieving this magnificent honor.

His publisher describes the book this way: “With ambitious manipulations of poetic forms, Tyehimba Jess presents the sweat and story behind America’s blues, worksongs and church hymns. Part fact, part fiction, Jess’s much anticipated second book weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them.”

We invite you to check the book out at the library and read it for yourself! Olio lives in the CSI faculty display case in the first floor rotunda of the library. Find it using this call number, which describes its exact location in the case: Display Case – PS3610 .E874 A6 2016.

More about Professor Jess:

Detroit native Tyehimba Jess’ first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” Olio, his second collection, was published by Wave Books in April 2016. Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU alumnus, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004-2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000 – 2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TEDxNashville Conference. Jess is an Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island.

–Anne Hays