James Weldon Johnson Memorial Lecture: Robin Coste Lewis
ROBIN COSTE LEWIS won the National Book Award for Voyage of the Sable Venus, her first collection of poetry. The book was also a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and it was named one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker and The New York Times. Literary Hub named it one of the best books of the last twenty years. Her second book, To the Realization of Perfect Helplessness, winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, weaves together poetry with an archival exploration of photographs found in her late grandmother’s home. The former poet laureate of Los Angeles, Lewis holds a PhD in Poetry and Visual Studies from the University of Southern California, an MFA in poetry from New York University, an MTS in Sanskrit and comparative religious literature from the Divinity School at Harvard University, and a BA from Hampshire College in post-colonial literature and creative writing. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, Transition, and The Massachusetts Review. Lewis has taught at Hampshire College, Hunter College, Wheaton College, and the NYU Low-Residency MFA in Paris. She is currently writer in residence at the University of Southern California.