Tyehimba Jess is the author of Leadbelly and Olio. Leadbelly was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” Olio, published in 2016, has been called “encyclopedic, ingenious, and abundant…” by Publishers Weekly, and “a daring collection, which blends forthright, musically acute language with portraiture” by Library Journal.
A Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, Tyehimba received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and was a 2004-2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Tyehimba is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000–2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TedX Nashville Conference. Tyehimba is the Poetry and Fiction Editor of African American Review, a faculty member at Pacific University MFA program, and an associate professor of English at College of Staten Island.