Cornelius Eady was born in Rochester in 1954. He is the author of seven volumes of poetry. A Pulitzer Prize nominee, he is co-founder of the Cave Canem Foundation, a nonprofit organization for black poets. Eady has received the Prairie Schooner Strouse Award and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Foundation.
In 2001, Eady responded to Jacob Lawrence's Summer Street Scene in Harlem in a poem that was published in MAG's Voices in the Gallery: Writers on Art.