Poetry News

Academy of American Poets Names Joy Harjo and Natasha Trethewey Its New Chancellors

By Harriet Staff
Academy of American Poets, logo

Today, the Academy of American Poets, leading champion of poets, poetry, and the work of poetry organizations, named two new Chancellors: poets Joy Harjo and Natasha Trethewey. In a press release, the organization articulates this position's significance. It's "an honorary position that has been held by some of the most distinguished poets in the United States, including W. H. Auden, John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, Lucille Clifton, Yusef Komunyakaa, Adrienne Rich, and Mark Strand. Poets elected to the Board of Chancellors become an important part of the history of Academy of American Poets and as of 2019, only 115 poets have been elected to this board since it was formed in 1946." Picking up from there: 

As members of the Board of Chancellors, Harjo and Trethewey will consult with the organization on matters of artistic programming, serve as judges for the organization’s largest prizes for poets, and act as ambassadors of poetry in the world at large. The new Chancellors were selected by the current members—Elizabeth Alexander, Ellen Bass, Marilyn Chin, Kwame Dawes, Forrest Gander,Linda Gregerson, Terrance Hayes, Brenda Hillman, Marie Howe, Khaled Mattawa, Alicia Ostriker, Alberto Ríos, and David St. John—and will be filling the seats vacated by Marilyn Nelson and Claudia Rankine, whose terms have concluded. New Chancellors are elected by the members of the current Board of Chancellors and serve for a period of six years.

“We’re honored to have Joy and Natasha as new Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets. Their participation, along with that of the other esteemed poets currently serving as Chancellors, ensures that poets remain at the heart of all we publish, program, and promote,” said Jennifer Benka, Academy executive director.

Learn more about Harjo and Trethewey via the Academy of American Poets


Originally Published: January 7th, 2019