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Camonghne Felix

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Camonghne Felix
Bronx, New York
Occupation(s)Writer, poet, communications strategist
Notable workBuild Yourself a Boat (2019)

Camonghne Felix (pronounced /kəmn/ kuh-MOHN; born 1992)[1] is an American writer, poet, and communications strategist. In 2015, she was appointed as Governor Andrew Cuomo's speechwriter, and was the first black woman and youngest person to serve in the role. Her debut poetry collection, Build Yourself a Boat, was longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award.[2][3]



Felix participated in the national slam poetry festival Brave New Voices and was featured in the festival's 2010 HBO series.[4] She published her first chapbook, Yolk, in 2015.[4] Her poetry was included in the 2018 anthology The Breakbeat Poets Volume 2: Black Girl Magic.[5]

Her debut poetry collection Build Yourself a Boat was released in April 2019 by Haymarket Books.[6][7] The poems cover topic such as sexual assault, abortion, and politics.[8] Build Yourself a Boat received positive critical reviews. Ian Hogdson of South Side Weekly described it as "an impressive first collection, highlighting Felix’s unmistakable voice and impressive talent."[4]

Glamour featured a poem Felix wrote and performed in honor of Breonna Taylor in the magazine's 2020 Women of the Year film.[9]

Communications work[edit]

Felix worked as the head of racial justice initiatives at Do Something in 2015.[10] According to The Verge, she was fired after a meeting in which she suggested that the organization invest in Black communities after the murders of the Charleston Nine.[10]

She previously worked as a senior manager of communications at Ms.[2] In 2015, Felix was Gov. Andrew Cuomo's official speechwriter and was the first black woman and youngest person to hold the position.[2] In 2019, Felix was the communications director for the campaign of Chicago mayoral candidate Amara Enyia.[11] The next year, she was hired as the director of surrogates and strategic communications for Elizabeth Warren's 2020 presidential campaign.[2][4] As of 2020 she is the vice president of strategic communications at Blue State, a digital strategy firm.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Felix was raised in The Bronx, New York.[13] She received her masters of fine arts degree from Bard College, and is mentored by Mahogany L. Browne.[14] She is queer.[15]


For Build Yourself a Boat:



Collections and chapbooks
  • —— (2015). Yolk (1st ed.). p. 43.
  • —— (2019). Build Yourself a Boat. Haymarket Books.
List of poems
Title Year First published Reprinted/collected
Why I loved him 2022 — (May 30, 2022). "Why I loved him". The New Yorker. 98 (14): 51.


  1. ^ Coval, Kevin; Lansana, Quraysh Ali; Marshall, Nate, eds. (7 April 2015). The BreakBeat Poets: New American poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. Chicago: Haymarket Books. ISBN 978-1-60846-395-4. OCLC 899155665.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Elizabeth Warren strategist nominated for National Book Award". NBC News. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  3. ^ "A New Poem by Camonghne Felix". www.out.com. 2019-08-15. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  4. ^ a b c d "Sailing On". South Side Weekly. 2019-08-06. Retrieved 2020-05-03.
  5. ^ "V Books: 'The Breakbeat Poets Volume 2: Black Girl Magic' Review". Vibe. 2018-06-08. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  6. ^ Felix, Camonghne (2019). "Build Yourself a Boat". haymarketbooks.org. Haymarket Books. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  7. ^ "On Camonghne Felix's Build Yourself a Boat". The Kenyon Review. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  8. ^ Quart, Alissa (2019-10-23). "Opinion | Elizabeth Warren Has a Poet on Her Team. Here's Why That's a Good Idea". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  9. ^ a b Rosa, Christopher (19 October 2020). "All the Inspiring Moments in Glamour's 2020 Women of the Year Film". Glamour. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  10. ^ a b Schiffer, Zoe (2020-06-17). "How a Twitter campaign brought down the CEO of a prominent mental health startup". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-06-17.
  11. ^ Donovan, Lisa (December 13, 2018). "The Spin: Mayoral candidates' taxes | Pritzker meets Trump | Foster-Pelosi peace deal". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  12. ^ Ibrahim, Shamira. "The Fight for $15 Is More Important Than Ever". Complex. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  13. ^ "Camonghne Felix | Growing up in the Bronx, her new book "Build Yourself A Boat", and more". wgnradio.com. WGN Radio 720. 2019-04-02. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  14. ^ "Poetic Lenses: Our Fifteenth Annual Look at Debut Poetry". Poets & Writers. 2019-12-11. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  15. ^ a b "Out100: Authors and Journalists of the Year". www.out.com. 2019-11-26. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  16. ^ Yee, Katie (2020-03-10). "Here are the finalists for the 2020 Lambda Literary Awards!". Literary Hub. Archived from the original on 2020-04-01. Retrieved 2020-11-15.

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