Kamden Hilliard

Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Writing And Publishing, Cleveland State University Poetry Center

Kamden Hilliard is a peripatetic American poet whose first trip to Cleveland will be to begin a two-year appointment as the second Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Writing and Publishing. The Cleveland State University Poetry Center selected Hilliard in 2020 from among more than 100 candidates. The poet — who uses “they, them, their” pronouns — has described their writing as “longer, whitmanesque, manic work — fat on crashing syntax.” It has been collected into three linguistically playful chapbooks: “Distress Tolerance,” “Perceived Distance From Impact” and “henceforce: a travel poetic.” Born in southern California, Hilliard grew up partly in Hawai’i before earning an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers Workshop. After graduation, they accepted work in Greenville County, South Carolina, where they pioneered an AmeriCorps Vista position specializing in connecting LGBTQ youth to behavioral health services. Hilliard follows the poet Leila Chatti as the Anisfield-Wolf Fellow at the CSU Poetry Center. Her book “Deluge” came out from Copper Canyon Press in April 2020.