Poet Yolanda Wisher Visits St. Peter’s School
May 21st, 2013
Last Thursday, St. Peter’s School had a special presentation by the poet Yolanda Wisher, joined by doublebassist Mark Palacio and percussinist Karen! Ms. Wisher was born in the Germantown section of Philadelphia and raised in North Wales, PA. She began writing and publishing poetry in grade school and hasn’t stopped yet. She shared her love of words and music with the Early Childhood, Lower School, and Upper School Divisions in a beautiful and lively performance. She even recruited official St. Peter’s School back-up dancers!
Wisher co-founded a poet-activist collective in West Philadelphia based on June Jordan’s Poetry for the People blueprint. In 1999, she was named the first poet laureate of Montgomery County. An accomplished vocalist and musician, she reads and performs her work widely in schools, universities, and arts venues. Her poems have been published in Ploughshares, MELUS, Fence, and The Philadelphia Inquirer as well as the anthologies Stand Our Ground, Gathering Ground, Lavanderia, and The Ringing Ear. Wisher is a fellow of Cave Canem, an organization “committed to the discovery and cultivation of new voices in African American poetry.” Her first volume of poetry will be published by Hanging Loose Press in 2014.
As an English teacher at Germantown Friends School for ten years, Wisher mentored young poets, directed the slam team, and advised the staff of Polyphony, an award-winning student literary magazine. In 2006, Wisher founded the Germantown Poetry Festival, which showcased the talents of young poets from neighborhood schools for four years. She currently leads the art education department at the Mural Arts Program and continues to teach writing workshops for young people and adults.