Yolanda Wisher

Yolanda Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afro (Hanging Loose Press, 2014) and the coeditor of Peace is a Haiku Song (Philadelphia Mural Arts, 2013). Wisher performs a unique blend of poetry and song with her band The Afroeaters, and her work has been featured in a variety of media including Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First DecadeGOOD MagazineThe Philadelphia InquirerContemporary Black CanvasRadio TimesPoetryNOW, Ploughshares, and CBC Radio. A Pew Fellow and Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence, Wisher was named the inaugural Poet Laureate of Montgomery County Pennsylvania in 1999 and the third Poet Laureate of Philadelphia in 2016. Wisher taught high school English for a decade, served as Director of Art Education for Philadelphia Mural Arts, and founded and directed the Germantown Poetry and Outbound Poetry Festivals. She has led workshops and curated events in partnership with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Free Library of Philadelphia, and US Department of Arts and Culture. Wisher is currently the 2017–2018 CPCW Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and the Curator of Spoken Word at Philadelphia Contemporary. 

Photo by Mark Palacio, 2014.