The Museum of the African Diaspora Poets-in-Residence program was founded in 2018. This program provides writers with opportunities to respond to contemporary art of the African Diaspora and extend the reach of the museum through programming and educational workshops with local high school students.
2018 PIR Awardees
Tongo Eisen-Martin, @_tongogara_
Bio: Tongo Eisen-Martin is San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate. He is the author of the California Book Award–nominated “someone’s dead already” and of “Heaven Is All Goodbyes,” which received a 2018 American Book Award, a 2018 California Book Award, was named a 2018 National California Booksellers Association Poetry Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the 2018 Griffin International Poetry Prize. Eisen-Martin is also an educator and organizer whose work centers on issues of mass incarceration, extrajudicial killings of Black people, and human rights. He has taught at detention centers around the country and at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University.
Raina J. León, @rainaleon
Bio: Raina J. León, PhD is Black, Afro-Boricua, and from Philadelphia. She is a mother, daughter, sister, madrina, comadre, partner, poet, writer, and teacher educator. She believes in collective action and community work, the profound power of holding space for the telling of our stories, and the liberatory practice of humanizing education.
She seeks out communities of care and craft and is a member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective, Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Macondo, and Círculo de Poetas and Writers. She is the author of three collections of poetry, Canticle of Idols, Boogeyman Dawn, and sombra: dis(locate) and the chapbooks, profeta without refuge and Areyto to Atabey: Essays on the Mother(ing) Self. She also is a founding editor of The Acentos Review, an online quarterly, international journal devoted to the promotion and publication of Latinx arts.
She educates our present and future agitators/educators as a full professor of education at Saint Mary’s College of California. If you want to teach, connect with her on the interwebs!