WMU News

Frostic Reading Series presents poet Major Jackson

Feb. 2, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's Gwen Frostic Reading Series presents award-winning poet Major Jackson, Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m. in the Little Theatre.

Jackson's first book of poems, "Leaving Saturn," was selected by poet and novelist Al Young to receive the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for best first book by an African American poet. In 2003, "Leaving Saturn" was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award and received critical attention in The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor and Philadelphia Inquirer, and on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered. His poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Boulevard, Callaloo, Post Road and The New Yorker, among other literary publications.

Formerly the literary arts curator of the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia, Jackson is the recipient of fellowships and awards from Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, as well as a commission from the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. In 2003, he was among 12 recipients to receive the prestigious Whiting Writers Award and was selected by former United States Poet Laureate Billy Collins as a Witter Bynner Fellow for the Library of Congress.

Jackson is an assistant professor of English at the University of Vermont and a member of the M.F.A. Creative Writing Program at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. He resides in South Burlington, Vt.

Jackson's presentation is the fourth reading in the spring semester schedule of the Gwen Frostic Reading Series. There are two more readings this semester.

Naeem Murr, novelist
Thursday, Feb. 19, 8 p.m.

Eileen Pollack, novelist
Monday, March 15, 8 p.m.

All readings are free and open to the public and will be held in the Little Theatre at the corner of Oakland Drive and Oliver Street on WMU's historic East Campus. Free off-street parking is available behind the theatre.

The Gwen Frostic Reading Series is sponsored by the WMU Department of English and University Roadhouse. For more information about the Frostic Reading Series, contact English department Chair Arnie Johnston at <arnie.johnston@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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