Photo by Ryan Collerd. Courtesy of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. 

Photo by Ryan Collerd. Courtesy of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. 

Yolanda Wisher (b. 1976) is a multidisciplinary poet and educator. Currently the 3rd Poet Laureate of the City of Philadelphia, Wisher is a Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence (2016), Pew Fellow (2015), Catalyst Initiative Grantee (2015), Leeway Art & Change Grantee (2008), Cave Canem Fellow (1999-2000), and the first Montgomery County Pennsylvania Poet Laureate (1999).

Born in Philadelphia and raised in North Wales, Pennsylvania, Wisher attended Lafayette College, where she received a B.A. in English/Black Studies. Wisher later earned an M.A. in English/Creative Writing-Poetry from Temple University.

Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afro (Hanging Loose Press, 2014) and the co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song (City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, 2013). Her work has been featured in Fence, GOOD Magazine, Harriet: The Blog, MELUS, Ploughshares, The Sun Ra Mixtape Vol. 1, and in the anthologies Gathering Ground, Gravyland, Lavanderia, Stand Our Ground, and The Ringing Ear. As an English teacher at Germantown Friends School, Wisher founded and directed the Germantown Poetry Festival (2006-2010). She also served as the Director of Art Education for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (2010-2015). Wisher was a Founding Cultural Agent and the Chief Rhapsodist of Wherewithal for the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (2014-2016). She lives in Philadelphia.