Detroit native Tyehimba Jess' first book of poetry, LEADBELLY (Verse Press/Wave Books, 2005), was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the "Best Poetry Books of 2005." Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU alumnus, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004- 2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000-2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TEDxNashville Conference. Jess is an Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island.