The African Poetry Book Fund (APBF) is thrilled to announce that it was awarded an Academy of American Poets Capacity-Building Grant in the amount of $50,000. The APBF is among 53 organizations that the Academy of American Poets is supporting through this program.
For ten years now, the APBF has published more than 180 authors. Singular in its contribution to American poetry, the APBF exceeds any other U.S. publishing enterprise in celebrating the work of African poets each year. This grant will allow the APBF to implement a course adoption initiative that will not only expand readership but also ensure that the APBF’s poetry titles are used by teachers and adequately engaged by students.
Over two years, the educational promotions manager will produce course adoption materials and educational resources for the entire catalogue of the African Poetry Book Series and the New-Generation African Poets Chapbooks Series. The APBF will launch a website section to house these free materials and resources.
In response to this award, APBF’s Founding Director Kwame Dawes said: “We are extremely grateful to the Academy of American Poets for recognizing the importance of finding ways to bring the work of African poets into full engagement with the intellectual and academic community. This grant will allow us to enrich the study of world poetry and African poetry written by poets of Africa and her diaspora located all around the world.”
Marguerite L. Harrold will be taking on this position in April 2023. Harrold is a poet, teacher, environmentalist, and community activist from Chicago. She has a Master of Fine Art degree in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. A member of the Community of Writers, an alum of the Bread Loaf Orion Environmental Writer’s Conference, and a 2021/2022 Hugo House Fellow, she is currently serving as Associate Editor of the Schooner.
Through its Capacity-Building Grant Program, the Academy of American Poets will help support grantees’ projects that aim to create a sustainable and effective organization in areas such as fundraising, marketing, and web development; skill-building for staff and board members; strategic and succession planning; diversity and equity initiatives; and leadership development and management training. A grant from the Hawthornden Foundation, originally founded in 1983 by the late Drue Heinz, makes this program possible.