September 28, 2020 - 6:00pm
Co-sponsored by the Department of English, The Humanities Center, The Year of Creativity (2019/20), the Center for Creativity, the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series, and the Office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies.
This event features transnational and genre-breaking writer Dionne Brand and poet Harryette Mullen who, according to Elizabeth Frost, “pioneered her own form of bluesy, disjunctive lyric poetry.” Both of these writers stretch the boundaries of language—itself an act of resistance—contributing to the new meaning-making, from the inner landscape to the outer landscape. This event is co-presented with the University of Pittsburgh’s Humanities Center.
Dionne Brand is a renowned poet, novelist, and essayist. Her writing is notable for the beauty of its language, and for its intense engagement with issues of international social justice. Her work includes nine volumes of poetry, five books of fiction and two non-fiction works. Her many awards and honors include the Griffin Poetry Prize for her volume Ossuaries, the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Trillium Book Prize for her volume Land to Light On, and the Toronto Book Award and the BOCAS Prize for fiction for her most recent novel Theory. Her 2018 volume, The Blue Clerk, was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry and the Griffin Poetry Prize and won the Trillium Book Prize. Brand is Poetry Editor at McClelland & Stewart-Penguin Random House Canada and is Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. She is a member of the Order of Canada. She was the Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto 2009-2012.
Acclaimed poet and literary scholar Harryette Mullen is Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing and African American literature. Her collections of poetry include S*PeRM**K*T (1992), Sleeping with the Dictionary (2002), Recyclopedia (2006), and Urban Tumbleweed: Notes from a Tanka Diary (2012). Her poetry has been hailed by critics as unique, powerful, and challenging. Mullen’s numerous honors and awards include fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Guggenheim Foundation, the Jackson Poetry Prize, and a United States Artist Fellowship.
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