Decades from now, we might look back on the early years of the 21st century as a particularly important moment in the history of African American poetry, especially poetry by women. Over the last 12 years, several black women poets have won prestigious awards for their works, gained or expanded their followings, and edited or co-edited notable collections.
2000 - Lucille Clifton wins the National Book Award for Poetry for her volume Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000.
2001 - Sonia Sanchez is awarded the Robert Frost Medal.
2002 - Tracy K. Smith's volume The Body's Question was selected by Kevin Young as the recipient of the Cave Canem Prize for a first book of poetry.
2004 - The Second Furious Flower Poetry conference, a large gathering of poets and literary scholars organized by Joanne Gabbin, takes place at James Madison University in Virgina from September 22 - September 25.
2005 - Patricia Smith's Teahouse of the Almighty (2006) is selected by Edward Sanders as a National Poetry Series Winner.
2006 - Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem's First Decade edited by Toi Derricotte, Cornelius Eady, and Camille Thornton Dungy is published.
2007 - Lucille Clifton awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.
2007 - Elizabeth Alexander becomes first-ever recipient of Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize.
2007 - The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South edited by Nikky Finney is published.
2007 - Natasha Trethewey wins the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her volume Native Guard (2006).
2007 - Nikki Giovanni reads poem on April 17, at the Virginia Tech Convocation commemorating the April 16 Virginia Tech massacre.
2009 - Elizabeth Alexander reads "Praise Song for the Day" at inauguration of Barack Obama.
2009 - Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry edited by Camille T. Dungy is published.
2009 - Praise Song For The Day: A Poem For Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration by Elizabeth Alexander and Bicycles: Love Poems by Nikki Giovanni are top two best selling volumes for the year.
2010 - Lucille Clifton is awarded the Robert Frost Medal.
2010 - "73 Poems for 73 Years: Celebrating the Life of Lucille Clifton" organized and hosted by Joanne Gabbin and Nikki Giovanni, is held at James Madison University on September 21.
2010 - Camille T. Dungy wins the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award for her volume Blue Smith (2011).
2010 - The 100 Best African American Poems edited by Nikki Giovanni is published.
2011 - Nikky Finney wins National Book Award for Poetry for her volume Head Off & Split.
2011 - Sonia Sanchez appointed Poet Laureate of Philadelphia.
2011 - The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry edited by Rita Dove is published.
2012 - Elizabeth Alexander begins her "twitter poem project" on twitter.
2012 - Marilyn Nelson is awarded the Robert Frost Medal.
2012 - Tracy K. Smith wins the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her volume Life on Mars.
2012 - Poets Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, and Joanne Gabbin organize a celebration for Toni Morrison at Virgina Tech University on October 16.
2012 - The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 is published by BOA Editions Ltd
2012 - Natasha Trethewey is appointed Mississippi's Poet Laureate.
2012 - Natasha Trethewey is announced as the new U.S. Poet Laureate.
• Future Histories project
• A Timeline of African American Poetry
• 20 Years of Awards & Recognition in Poetry, 1992-2012