Professor Jabari Asim, director of the Writing, Literature and Publishing MFA program and Elma Lewis Distinguished Fellow, has been named Emerson College Distinguished Professor of Multidisciplinary Letters.
The new designation honors his “distinguished contributions to the institution and society as a prolific author, thought leader, cultural and literary critic, teacher, and mentor,” said Interim Provost Jan Roberts-Breslin.
Asim will have the opportunity to devote more time to scholarly and creative work, but will continue to teach, direct the WLP graduate program, and serve as Elma Lewis Fellow.
“I’m delighted to receive this recognition from Emerson,” Asim said. “I hope that I will continue to be productive in a way that brings honor to our community.”
Asim is the author of eight books for adults and 13 books for children. His most recent work includes his debut poetry collection, Stop and Frisk: American Poems (Bloomsday Literary, 2020); the novel, Yonder (Simon & Schuster 2022); and the forthcoming children’s books, Me and Muhammad Ali (Nancy Paulsen Books, October 2022) and A Child’s Introduction to Jazz: The Musicians, Culture, and Roots of the World’s Coolest Music (Black Dog & Leventhal, December 2022). His writing has appeared in Essence, The Baffler, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The New Republic, American Prospect, and Yale Review, among other publications.
He formerly was editor-in-chief of Crisis, the NAACP’s magazine of politics, culture, and ideas; and was an editor at the Washington Post, where he wrote a syndicated column on politics, popular culture, and social issues. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Creative Arts in 2009.