New York, NY (January 9, 2024)—The Academy of American Poets, a leading supporter of poets across the nation, launches its ninetieth year by announcing the election of Jericho Brown, Diane Seuss, and Afaa Michael Weaver to its fifteen-member Board of Chancellors.

The Academy’s Board of Chancellors is composed of esteemed poets who serve as artistic advisors to the Academy and ambassadors of poetry to the nation at large, select the recipients of major Academy prizes and fellowships, and champion the organization's programs for poets and readers. Distinguished poets reflecting a wide range of geographic and stylistic communities have been elected to this position, including Elizabeth Alexander, John Ashbery, W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Lucille Clifton, Robert Creely, Rita Dove, Louise Glück, Yusef Komunyakaa, Naomi Shihab Nye, Claudia Rankine, Adrienne Rich, Mark Strand, and Arthur Sze. 

“Ninety years ago, Marie Bullock set out to secure a future for poets and poetry by founding the Academy of American Poets,” said Ricardo Maldonado, President & Executive Director. “Since 1946, our organization has counted on the counsel and expertise of acclaimed poets to help us fulfill our mission. We look forward to working with Jericho Brown, Diane Seuss, and Afaa Michael Weaver and are honored by their deep commitment to poetry as an agent of possibility for communities of readers and writers of all ages.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome Jericho Brown, Diane Seuss, and Afaa Michael Weaver as new Chancellors,” said Tess O’Dwyer, Chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors. “Everything we do as an academy is enhanced by the collective wisdom of our Chancellors. We’re especially proud that the leadership of the Academy reflects such a diverse range of voices. We celebrate the contributions these newly-elected Chancellors have made to poetry, on and beyond the page, across the nation and the world.”

Brown, Seuss, and Weaver, who will each serve a six-year term, were elected by members of the 2023 Board of Chancellors: Natalie Diaz, Nikky Finney, Carolyn Forché, Kimiko Hahn, Joy Harjo, Ilya Kaminsky, Dorianne Laux, Ed Roberson, Patricia Smith, Tracy K. Smith, Natasha Trethewey, and Kevin Young, as well as Marilyn Chin, Kwame Dawes, and Marie Howe, whose terms have since ended. Upon the conclusion of active service, Chancellors Emeriti remain an important part of Academy activities.

About Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown is the author of three collections of poetry: The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press, 2019), winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize and a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award; The New Testament (Copper Canyon Press, 2014), winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and named one of the best of the year by Library Journal; and Please (New Issues, 2008), winner of the 2009 American Book Award.

Chancellor Ilya Kaminsky wrote, “Jericho Brown is one of our most distinguished and beloved contemporary poets whose music speaks truth and whose vivid imagery gives us the solace of being fully alive in this difficult moment in time. As he joins the Academy of American Poets' leadership, his voice will certainly add to the conversation in most exciting ways, bringing new readers to poetry. Why do so many of us hurry to the bookshelf to pick up his books? Because his poetic vision both documents and inspires—in an era that many find to be numbing and terrifying. His voice is visceral and life-giving.”

Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Award and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, among others. He is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing as well as the director of the creative writing program at Emory University in Atlanta.

About Diane Seuss

Diane Seuss is the author of six books of poetry, including Modern Poetry (Graywolf Press, 2024); frank: sonnets (Graywolf Press, 2021), winner of the 2021 Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the 2021 National Book Critics Circle Award, the 2022 PEN/Voelcker Award, and the 2022 Pulitzer Prize; and Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl (Graywolf Press, 2018), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Chancellor Dorianne Laux wrote, "I’ve been following Diane Seuss for a good long while, from her first book in 1998, It Blows You Hollow, to her 2021 release, frank: sonnets. I haven’t ever read anything remotely like the latter: part memoir, part epic poem, part history of a woman poet in a man’s world, and the men: father, lovers, friends, and a son that enlightens her life. It’s a majestic book based on a kind of honesty we rarely see in poetry. Read her work to give yourself permission to find poems as a home for your own restless and evolving beauties and truths."

Seuss was writer-in-residence at Kalamazoo College for many years, and has been a visiting professor at Colorado College, the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program, and Washington University in St. Louis. She received a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2021 John Updike Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and served as Guest Editor of the Poem-a-Day series in March 2023. Seuss lives in Michigan.

About Afaa Michael Weaver

Afaa Michael Weaver has published several collections of poetry, including Spirit Boxing (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017); City of Eternal Spring (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014); and The Government of Nature (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013), for which he received the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. 

Chancellor Marilyn Chin wrote, “For over fifty years, Afaa Michael Weaver has graced us with an exhilarating lyric that has inspired multitudes. Whether he is writing about salient political issues, grinding at the factory or climbing the Great Wall, about gun violence in Baltimore or washing his father’s ‘twilight blue Chevrolet’ or just bopping around, he celebrates the beauty and contradictions of daily American life with a compassionate and discerning eye. A poet, mentor, and seer, Weaver is one of our most beloved elder statesmen in American poetry.”

Weaver has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a 1995 fellowship from the Pennsylvania State Arts Council, a 1998 Pew Fellowship, and a 2002 Fulbright Scholar appointment to Taiwan, where he taught at the National Taiwan University and Taipei National University of the Arts. In 2023, the Academy of American Poets awarded him the Wallace Stevens Award. He retired from Simmons College, where he held the Alumnae Endowed Chair for twenty years, and is a member of the core faculty in the Drew University MFA program in poetry and poetry in translation. Weaver lives in Dutchess County, New York

About the Academy of American Poets 

Celebrating its ninetieth anniversary in 2024, the Academy of American Poets is a leading publisher of contemporary poetry and a champion of poets across the country. The organization annually awards $1.3+ million to more than two hundred poets at various stages of their careers through its prize and fellowship programs. The organization also produces, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; established and organizes National Poetry Month each April; publishes the popular Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; provides free resources to K–12 educators, including the award-winning weekly Teach This Poem series; hosts an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and coordinates a national Poetry Coalition that promotes the value poets bring to our culture. To learn more about the Academy of American Poets, including its staff, its Board of Directors, and its Board of Chancellors, visit: