2x American Book Award recipient
Past President, National Council of
Teachers of English (NCTE)
Past Chair, Conference on College
Composition and Communication (CCCC)
Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of
English and African American
Studies at Penn State
Keith Gilyard has passionately embraced African-American expressive culture over the course of his career as a poet, scholar, and educator.
Since the 1970s, Keith Gilyard has made significant contributions to English studies as a writer, teacher, and participant in professional associations. His more than 100 publications include the influential education memoir Voices of the Self: A Study of Language Competence (1991), the wide-ranging True to the Language Game: African American Discourse, Cultural Politics, and Pedagogy (2011), and the revivifying On African-American Rhetoric (2018, with Adam Banks). He received an American Book Award for his biography John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism (2010). His dozens of creative works include the novella The Next Great Old-School Conspiracy (2016) and the poetry volumes Dominant Seventh (2020) and Monologues (2020).
A native New Yorker, Gilyard is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and African American Studies at Penn State University. He previously taught at the City University of New York--Medgar Evers College, where he helped to establish the National Black Writers Conference, and at Syracuse University, where he directed the Writing Program. Active in the Conference on College Composition and Communication as well as the National Council of Teachers of English since 1983, Gilyard served as Chair of CCCC in 2000 and as President of NCTE in 2012.