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

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

Philadelphia-based poet, singer, educator and curator Yolanda Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afro (Hanging Loose Press, 2014) and the co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song (Philadelphia Mural Arts, 2013). Wisher was named the inaugural Poet Laureate of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in 1999 and the third Poet Laureate of Philadelphia in 2016. A Pew and Cave Canem Fellow, she has been a Writer in Residence at Hedgebrook and Aspen Words. Wisher taught high school English for a decade, served as Director of Art Education for Philadelphia Mural Arts, and founded and directed the Germantown Poetry and Outbound Poetry Festivals. She performs a unique blend of poetry and song with her band The Afroeaters and has led workshops and curated events in partnership with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the U.S. Department of Arts & Culture. Wisher was the 2017-2018 CPCW Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently the Curator of Spoken Word at Philadelphia Contemporary and is part of the first cohort of artists with studios at the Cherry Street Pier on the Delaware River Waterfront.

 Wisher with sisters Yshonda & Yvette in North Wales, PA, Xmas circa 1987.

Wisher with sisters Yshonda & Yvette in North Wales, PA, Xmas circa 1987.

 Wisher with her cello circa 1984.

Wisher with her cello circa 1984.