Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Tyehimba Jess  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT History Non-Fiction Poetry

Born: Detroit, Michigan


Illinois Connection

Jess graduated from the University of Chicago and taught at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

Biographical and Professional Information

Tyehimba Jess is a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, and has received fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. A veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, he exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TEDxNashville Conference, and received a 2016 Lannan Literary Award. Jess' fiction and poetry have appeared in many journals, as well as anthologies such as ''Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry'', ''Beyond The Frontier: African American Poetry for the Twenty-First Century'', ''Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art'', ''Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam'', ''Power Lines: Ten Years of Poetry from Chicago's Guild Complex'', ''Slam: The Art of Performance Poetry''.Jess has taught at the Juilliard School, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island in New York.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- '''''Leadbelly''''' *Winner, National Poetry Series, 2004 *Best Poetry Books List, Library Journal, 2005 *Best Poetry Books List, Black Issues Book Review, 2005 '''''Olio''''' *Winner, Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, 2017 *Winner, Anisfield-Wolf Award in Poetry *Poetry Award, Society of Midland Authors *Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation, Black Caucus of American Library Association *Finalist for poetry, National Book Critics Circle Award, 2016 *Finalist, PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, 2017 *Finalist, Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, 2017 *Top poetry book of spring, Library Journal, 2016 *Starred Review, Publishers Weekly *Starred Review, Library Journal '''Other Awards