Dr. Adam Falkner is a poet, educator and arts & culture strategist. He is the author of Adoption (Winner of the 2017 Diode Editions Chapbook Award) and The Willies (forthcoming from Button Poetry, 2020), and his work has appeared in a range of print and media spaces including on programming for HBO, NBC, NPR, BET, in the New York Times, and elsewhere. A former high school English teacher in New York City’s public schools, Adam is the Founder and Executive Director of the pioneering diversity consulting initiative, the Dialogue Arts Project, and Special Projects Director for Urban Word NYC, in which capacity he oversees the New York City Youth Poet Laureate program, and the organization’s partnerships with corporate and cultural institutions across the country. Adam has toured the United States as a guest artist, lecturer and trainer for thousands of students, educators and culture workers, and was the featured performer at President Obama’s Grassroots Ball at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. He holds a Ph.D. in English and Education from Columbia University.
As a researcher, Adam’s work focuses on themes of culturally empowering education, intergroup dialogue and the capacity for the applied arts to facilitate social change. His dissertation examined the impact of an innovative arts-based curriculum designed to disrupt one school’s tolerance-based approaches toward engaging issues of bullying across lines of race, gender, and sexual orientation, and explored the use of student creative writing and performance as tools toward cultivating safer, more courageous classrooms. Adam’s scholarship and teaching rely heavily on queer and critical race theories, critical whiteness studies, sociocultural literacies and education as a practice of freedom. He has served as a lecturer at Vassar College and Columbia University’s Teachers College, where he continues to facilitate professional development programming for educators across New York City.