S.C. Poetry Initiative announces 'Minority Writers Series'
American Book Award winner and Pushcart Prize nominee Matthew Shenoda will lead off the 2009 - 10 “Minority Writers Series,” sponsored by the S.C. Poetry Initiative and the University of South Carolina department of English.
Shenoda, assistant provost for equity and diversity and a faculty member in the School of Critical Studies at California Institute of the Arts, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, in the department of English lounge on the first floor of the Welsh Humanities Building.
Shenoda’s debut collection of poems, “Somewhere Else,” was honored as one of 2005’s debut books of the year by Poets & Writers magazine. It won a 2006 American Book Award and the Hala Maksoud Award for Emerging Voice, given by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. His latest collection, “Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone,” was published this fall by BOA Editions.
S.C. Poetry Initiative Director Kwame Dawes, distinguished poet-in-residence at the university, says Shenoda is “a splendid poet and critic. His verse is sophisticated and reflects his position as an Egyptian-born American poet whose star is rising.”
Dawes says the series “has been driven by a strong desire to bring to the campus writers who are making their mark in the literary arts and who are doing so with flair and force. This line-up represents exactly what I hoped we would be able to do.”
Coming up in the series:
- Colin Channer, Jan. 28, 2010. Channer is the author of two novels, a novella and many short stories. He also is the founder and artistic director of the Calabash International Literary Festival, the only annual literary festival in the English-speaking Caribbean. “He is a splendid novelist and an engaging presence (whose) work is popular even as it remains challenging,” Dawes said.
- Reginald Dwayne Betts, Randall Horton, Marcus Jackson and John Murillo, March 19, 2010. These four young writers have formed a collective called The Symphony in tribute to the gritty urban poetry of the late Etheridge Knight. “These four men write with distinctive voices but are consistent in one thing: They are gifted students of their craft,” Dawes said. “I think the Columbia community will be blown away.”
- Tracy K. Smith, April 23, 2010. Smith won the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize for her 2003 book, “The Body’s Question” (Graywolf Press). Her second book, “Duende” (Graywolf Press, 2007), won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. She teaches creative writing at Princeton University.
Locations and times will be announced later. All the events in the “Minority Writers Series” are free and open to the public.
For more information, contact Charlene Spearen, associate director of the S.C. Poetry Initiative, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-777-5492.