Yolanda Wisher

Director of Education City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

Yolanda Wisher is a Philadelphia-based poet, singer, musician, and educator. Wisher was born in the Germantown section of Philadelphia and raised in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where she was named the county’s first poet laureate at the age of 23.

Wisher is a Cave Canem graduate and received an M.A. in Creative Writing/English from Temple University and a B.A. in English and Black Studies from Lafayette College. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, including Fence, Gathering Ground, The Ringing Ear, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Ploughshares. In 2013, she co-edited the international anthology Peace is a Haiku Song with former Philadelphia Poet Laureate, Sonia Sanchez. As a teacher, radio host, and founder/director of the Germantown Poetry Festival, Wisher has utilized poetry as a conduit for community-building and youth empowerment for over fifteen years.

Wisher currently directs the Art Education department of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and is also a Founding Cultural Agent for the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, a new citizen-powered initiative. Her first book of poetry, Monk Eats an Afro, was published by Hanging Loose Press in May 2014.