Cynthia Rowley Designs "Cause" T-Shirt for the Academy of American Poets

Posted on

Apr 20 2004

New York, April 20, 2004--Renowned fashion designer Cynthia Rowley has designed a "cause" t-shirt to benefit the Academy of American Poets. The white t-shirt combines an image of billiard balls with a line from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks's famous poem, "We Real Cool. Seven at the Golden Shovel." All proceeds from the sale of the t-shirt benefit the Academy, a nonprofit arts organization celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.

"We are thrilled that Ms. Rowley has created this t-shirt for the Academy of American Poets," said the Academy's executive director, Tree Swenson. "The t-shirt is a great way to merge two arts: poetry and fashion. Now poetry lovers have a cool new way to wear their hearts on their sleeves."

The t-shirt features the first line of the Brooks poem printed on multi-colored billiard balls, an allusion to the pool players described in the poem. The t-shirts can be purchased for $45 each at the Academy of American Poets' online gift shop at and at Cynthia Rowley boutiques in New York City.

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) was the author of more than twenty books of poetry, including Annie Allen (1949), for which she received the Pulitzer Prize. From 1985 to 1986 she was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Her accolades include an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, the Frost Medal, a National Endowment for the Arts award, the Shelley Memorial Award, and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Guggenheim Foundation.

In 1995 Cynthia Rowley received the New Talent Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America; the Council honored her again in 1998 with the Perry Ellis Award for New Menswear Design Talent. Cynthia Rowley boutiques are located in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, East Hampton, and Japan. Ms. Rowley is also the author, with Ilene Rosenzweig, of Swell.: A Girl's Guide to the Good Life.

The Academy of American Poets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1934 to foster appreciation for contemporary poetry and to support American poets at all stages of their careers. For more information on the Academy and its programs, visit