Cornelius Eady


Photo (retouched)

Cornelius Eady is the author of seven books of poetry; Kartunes, (Warthog Press, 1980), Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, (Ommation Press, 1986), winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets, The Gathering of My Name, (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1991), nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, You Don’t Miss Your Water, (Henry Holt and Co., 1995), The Autobiography of a Jukebox (Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 1997),  Brutal Imagination (Putnam, 2001), and The War Against The Obvious; New and Selected Poems (forthcoming, 2008, Putnam)

He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Literature (1985), a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, (1993), a Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Traveling Scholarship to Tougaloo College in Mississippi (1992-1993), a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to Bellagio, Italy, (1993), and The Prairie Schooner Strousse Award (1994). His work appears in many journals, magazines and the anthologies Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep, In Search of Color Everywhere, and The Vintage Anthology of African American Poetry, (1750-2000) ed. Michael S. Harper. In June 1997, an adaptation of You Don't  Miss Your Water  was performed at the Vineyard Theatre, in New York City. In April 1999, Running Man, a music-theatre piece co-written with jazz musican Diedre Murray was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and awarded a 1999 Obie for best musical score and lead actor in a musical.

He has taught poetry at SUNY Stony Brook, where he directed its Poetry Center,  City College. Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, The Writer’s Voice, The 92nd St Y,  The College of William and Mary, and Sweet Briar College. With poet Toi Derricote, he is co-founder of Cave Canem, a summer workshop/retreat for African American poets. In January 2002, a production of Brutal Imagination (with a score by Diedre Murray) opened at the Vineyard Theatre, where and won the 2002 Oppenheimer award for the best first play by an American Playwright.  At present he is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame.