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Renowned poet Marilyn Nelson to present public reading April 23

April 2, 2013
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Marilyn Nelson (photo by Derek Dudek)

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host a poetry reading by renowned poet Marilyn Nelson as a part of the annual Chippewa Valley Reads! event at 7 p.m. April 23 in the Woodland Theater of Davies Center.

The topic of the reading will be African American history in verse. A book signing and reception will follow.

Nelson is the author or translator of 15 books and five chapbooks. Her work — spanning a readership that includes adults, young adults and children — focuses on race, civil liberties and African American history. She is a recipient of the Frost Medal, the Poetry Society of America's most prestigious award for a "distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry."

Chippewa Valley Reads! is a communitywide reading program designed to bring all ages of the Chippewa Valley community together through the joy of reading and discussing books by a well-known author. As the featured author for this year's event, Nelson will be in Eau Claire from April 23-25. In addition to her poetry reading at UW-Eau Claire, she will give three presentations at local area schools.

The April 23 reading is free and open to the public.

A pre-talk event, "The Magic of Words: Exploring African American History and Civil Rights Through the Poetry of Marilyn Nelson," will be held at 7 p.m. April 10 in the Kate Gill Library in Room 405 of Hibbard Hall. Dr. David Jones, professor of English, and Jon Loomis, assistant professor of English, will discuss the cultural and technical aspects of Nelson's work, with an emphasis on her books "A Wreath for Emmett Till" and "Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem."

These events are sponsored in collaboration with the Academic Affairs Professional Development Program; UW-Eau Claire Foundation; Visiting Minority Artist Program; College of Arts and Sciences; departments of English, history and education studies; women's studies program; Eau Claire Area School District; Eau Claire School Library Friends; and the Memorial High School Teen Literacy Initiative.

For more information about Nelson, visit her website. For details about the reading or Nelson's visit to Eau Claire, contact Dr. Jennifer Shaddock, professor of English, at 715-836-5476 or shaddoj@uwec.edu.

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OJ/JP/DW

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