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Two-day event to celebrate poet Gwendolyn Brooks
Two-day event to celebrate poet Gwendolyn BrooksNovember 18, 2003Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
Poets, academics and students will participate in “Gwendolyn Brooks: In Celebration of Her Words,” a symposium being held Nov. 21-22 by SU’s Department of African American Studies. Symposium events are free and open to the public; visitor parking is offered on a space-available basis in the Irving and University Avenue garages.
Brooks (1917-2000) wrote more than 20 books of poetry, including “Annie Allen,” for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950. She also wrote several other books, including the novel “Maud Martha” and a memoir, “Report from Part One: An Autobiography.” Among other honors, she received the National Medal of the Arts in 1995.
On Nov. 21, the program will run from 7-9 p.m. in Shaffer Art Building Shemin Auditorium. It will feature a keynote address by Sonia Sanchez, poet and professor of English and women’s studies at Temple University. Local poet Jackie Warren-Moore and SU faculty Micere Githae Mugo and Omanii Abdullah will offer poetry readings.
Sanchez received the Robert Frost Media in Poetry in 2001. She is the author of numerous books of poetry, including “Shake Loose My Skin” and “Does Your House Have Lions?”
The program on Nov. 22 will start out with poetry workshops from 9-11 a.m. and 1-2:15 p.m. Workshop leaders will include Sanchez, Warren-Moore, Abdullah, Antonio Winters and staff members from the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company. There will be workshops for students from City of Syracuse middle schools and high schools, as well as one for SU students and community members and one for performing poetry. Workshop presentations will be made from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in Shemin Auditorium.
Haki Madhubuti, poet and publisher of Third World Press, will give the keynote address on Nov. 22 from 3:45-5 p.m. in Shemin Auditorium.
Madhubuti is Distinguished University Professor at Chicago State University, where he founded and directed the Gwendolyn Brooks Center. His latest book is “Tough Notes: A Healing Call for Creating Exceptional Black Men.” He is co-founder of the Institute of Positive Education, the New Concept School and Betty Shabazz International Charter School.
The symposium will close with a performance poetry showcase at Jabberwocky Cafe in the Schine Student Center at 9 p.m., hosted by the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company.