Cortland Gilliam is a poet, educator, cultural organizer, and Ph.D candidate in Cultural Studies and Literacies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In his academic work, he studies cultures of school discipline, civics education, and histories of Black youth contributions to liberation movements of the late twentieth century.
Within the community, he serves as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors at the Marian Cheek Jackson Center, a nonprofit dedicated to making and preserving local history in Chapel Hill and Carrboro's Black neighborhoods. Relatedly, his creative work takes an interest in the hues and textures of racialized experiences, identities, and histories.
Cortland's poetry has been published in Gulfstream Magazine and the Triangle Poetry Twenty-Twenty-One anthology. Most recently, Cortland has been appointed as Chapel Hill's Poet Laureate for the 2023 and 2024 years.