Cave Canem

Cave Canem is a home for the many voices of African poetry, and they are dedicated to the growth and development of African American poets. Cave Canem is latin for “Beware of the Dog”, and their symbol that can be traced back to house of the tragic poet in  Pompeii. The symbol is supposed to represent protection for poets while releasing new poetic voices into the world. Toi Derricote and Cornelius Eady founded it in 1996, and it is based in Brooklyn, New York.  Some of their other poets include Claudia Rankine and Natasha Trethewey.  They give out an annual award called the Cave Canem Poetry Prize.  This is awarded to the first book of an author, and it is dedicated to the finding of exceptional writings by an African American author.  The past winner was Spit Back a Boy by Iain Haley Pollock.  There is also the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize, and it is offered every other year.  This is awarded to the second book by an author.  The award celebrates literature that displays long lasting cultural value and literary excellence. The last winner was Through the Stonecutter’s Window by Indigo Moor.

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