WMU News

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet to read at WMU

Nov. 1, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Prolific, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa will be at Western Michigan University Thursday, Nov. 8, to present a reading from his many works.

Komunyakaa's appearance is part of the WMU Reading Series sponsored by the University's Department of English and will be held at 8:30 p.m. in Room 2304 of Sangren Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Komunyakaa is the author of nine collections of poetry, including "Dien Cai Dau," which chronicles his experiences in Vietnam, and "Neon Vernacular," the winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Prize in 1994. Komunyakaa has received fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and awards including the Thomas Forcade Award, the William Faulkner Prize and the 2001 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. He also was elected chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 1999.

Critics have compared Komunyakaa to Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot and Amiri Baraka and, as a "Southern writer," he has been included in such collections as the "Norton Anthology of Southern Literature" and "The Oxford Companion to African American Literature."

Komunyakaa is a professor in the Council of Humanities and Creative Writing at Princeton University. For more information, contact the WMU Department of English at (616) 387-2572.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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