YOLANDA WISHER ’98 is a leading voice in Pennsylvania poetry, a musician, and an educator.

Wisher was appointed the inaugural poet laureate of Montgomery County in 1999 and was poet laureate of Philadelphia in 2016.

Wisher is the author of the poetry collection Monk Eats an Afro. Her work has been included in the anthologies Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First DecadeThe Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, and A Best of Fence: The First Nine Years.

Founder and director of Germantown Poetry Festival, Wisher has served as director of art education for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. A Pew Fellow, she received an Art and Change grant from the Leeway Foundation and is one of the founding cultural agents for the citizen-run U.S. Department of Arts and Culture.

Blending poetry, blues, and jazz, her band, the Afroeaters, has performed on NPR Music’s Live Sessions and for events hosted by Philadelphia Museum of Art, Free Library of Philadelphia, U.S. Department of Arts & Culture, and Barnes Foundation.

Wisher teaches poetry workshops, and her works are featured at many poetry events as well as in newspaper and magazine articles, radio segments, and podcasts.

She was represented this year among historical markers installed by Temple University that honored select Temple faculty and alumni for Women’s History Month.