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Prize-winning poet to read from his works April 30


Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor
(217) 333-2177; a-lynn@illinois.edu

4/23/
2002



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Prize-winning poet Michael S. Harper will read from his works during a free public event at the University of Illinois.

The event is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. April 30 (Tuesday) in the Author's Corner of the Illini Union Bookstore, 809 S. Wright St., Champaign.

Harper, a professor of English at Brown University, is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, including his most recent book, "Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems" (UI Press, 2000). His other titles include "Honorable Amendments," "Images of Kin" and "History Is Your Own Heartbeat."

Harper has received many awards for his poetry, including the Melville Cane Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and the Robert Hayden Poetry Award.

Describing Harper as "one of the finest poets of our time," George Cuomo of the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle said, "Harper’s poetry has drawn its vitality from the incredible energy of his language and the honesty of his perceptions."

Poetry magazine wrote of the poet: "Placing himself at a crossroads that unites the particulars of his private life to the more universal experiences of all African Americans, Harper is a poet-historian who calculates ‘how much the past costs' to a given individual, how many 'skeletons in the closet' one inherits."

Harper’s reading is part of the ongoing Poetry series being co-sponsored by the UI Press and the Illini Union Bookstore. It also is part of the semesterlong "Exploring the Human Experience" celebration sponsored by UI Chancellor Nancy Cantor.