Poet Laureate 1999
Philadelphia-based poet Yolanda Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afro (Hanging Loose
Press, 2014) and the co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song (Philadelphia Mural Arts, 2013).
Wisher was named the inaugural Poet Laureate of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in
1999 and the third Poet Laureate of Philadelphia in 2016. A Pew and Cave Canem Fellow,
she has been a Writer in Residence at Hedgebrook and Aspen Words. Wisher taught high
school English for a decade, served as Director of Art Education for Philadelphia Mural Arts,
and was the 2017-2018 CPCW Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of
Pennsylvania. Wisher founded and directed the Germantown Poetry and Outbound Poetry
Festivals and currently works as the Curator of Spoken Word at Philadelphia Contemporary.
She regularly performs a unique blend of poetry and song with her band The Afroeaters and
is part of the first cohort of artists with studios at the Cherry Street Pier on the Delaware River