Cornelius Eady


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The 2013 Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City included an appearance by Cornelius Eady, co-founder of Cave Canem, a national organization supporting African American poetry and poets. At the time of his visit, he had recently released Asking for the Moon, an album of jazz and poetry. He sat down for this On the Fly interview during his time in Iowa City.

The interview opens with Eady reading his poem “Crows in a Strong Wind.” He speaks of the nature of influence for writers, citing Walt Whitman as an example, as well as the ways in which music—including 45-rpm records—has influenced his own short form work. He also talks about literature and its relationship to the mysterious.

Eady is the author of several books of poetry. He has garnered an NAACP Image Award, the Academy of American Poets’ Lamont Prize, a Pulitzer Prize nomination, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. His work has also been adapted for the stage, including the Obie Award-winning Running Man.