Yona Harvey

Yona Harvey is the author of the poetry collection, Hemming the Water, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award from Claremont Graduate University. Her work has been published and anthologized in many publications including A Poet’s Craft: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Sharing Your Poetry andThe Force of What’s Possible: Accessibility and the Avant-Garde. She has received an Individual Artist grant in nonfiction from The Pittsburgh Foundation and participated in workshops and residencies at the inaugural Cave Canem retreat, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Multidisciplinary artist Vanessa German incorporated Harvey’s poetry texts in her museum installation “It’s Out of My Hands” for 21st Century Juju: New Magic, Soul Gadgets, and Reckoning. Harvey also created an audio piece for Casey Droege’s Six x Ate project (MOCA Cleveland), “Into Orbit,” a version of which also appears in the 2014 Pittsburgh Biennial. 

She has also served as the Cave Canem Writer in Residence at Washington College’s Rose O’Neill Literary House and as Director of the undergraduate Creative Writing Program at Carnegie Mellon University.

Her personal website is yonaharvey.com.


My interest in the visual arts and creative writing ignited when I was an undergraduate student in Washington, DC. I facilitated creative writing workshops as a member of the DC WritersCorps, which poet and activist Kenneth Carroll directed. The program gave me many foundational insights about creative writing instruction, mentorship, team-teaching, collaboration, curriculum development, and self-evaluation.

I challenge students set their intentions for their work and to disrupt stale writing habits by planning and executing self-designed writing experiments and by seeking fellowship with people whose arts and interests are different from their own. I encourage students to embrace their academic and artistic curiosities and to allow these interests to shape their daily writing practice. Every space students inhabit can become an educational, art-making, generative space.

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