Marygrove Celebrates 28th Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series

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Marygrove Celebrates 28th Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series
Event to feature award-winning poet Claudia Rankine

To commemorate its twenty-eighth year of bringing nationally-known authors to its campus for a public lecture and seminar, Marygrove’s English and Modern Languages Department is pleased to announce that award-winning poet and playwright Claudia Rankine will be the featured guest at its Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series (CAALS) event.

In addition to delivering the Lillian and Don Bauder Lecture at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 8, 2016, Rankine will also host a master class for Detroit-area high school students and teachers beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the Marygrove College Theatre.

Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry including Citizen: An American Lyric (2014), a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, and Nothing in Nature Is Private (1995), winner of the Cleveland State Poetry Prize. She is also author of two plays: Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue (2009) and Existing Conditions (2010), along with several edited collections.

CAALS will also celebrate this year’s event by featuring a master class conducted by Rankine for Detroit-area high school students. Over 300 students and teachers from Fordson, Cass Technical, Cody, Ferndale, Martin Luther King, Loyola, East English Village, and Detroit International Academy for Young Women will attend the class which begins at 10:00 a.m. in the Marygrove Theatre. Winners of the Mary Helen Washington Writing Contest will be recognized as well. Afterwards, students will enjoy lunch and a tour of the Marygrove College campus.

Claudia Rankine will deliver the Lillian and Don Bauder Lecture at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 8, 2016 in Alumnae Hall on the Marygrove College campus. Afterward, she will sign copies of her books, which will be available for purchase. The evening lecture is free and open to the community.

Support for this year’s CAALS event is provided in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Claudia Rankine, contact Erin Piscopink at 313-927-1438 or episcopi@marygrove.edu. You may also visit: http://english.marygrove.edu/caals/claudia-rankine-2016.html.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; numerous video collaborations, and is the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. For her book Citizen, Rankine won both the PEN Open Book Award and the PEN Literary Award, the NAACP Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (Citizen was the first book ever to be named a finalist in both the poetry and criticism categories); and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Citizen also holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category. Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in California and holds the Aerol Arnold Chair in the University of Southern California’s Department of English.

ABOUT THE SERIES
The CAALS series, now in its twenty-eighth year at Marygrove, is an annual event bringing a nationally-known author to its campus for a public lecture and seminar with students.

It began when the late Frederick P. Currier, a former Marygrove College trustee, attended a reception on campus and remarked that he would like to bring a national writer to Marygrove for a weekend. Mr. Currier’s start-up check soon followed his suggestion, and on April 21, 1989 nearly 600 guests of the College heard Gloria Naylor inaugurate the series.

The series has flourished thanks in large part to the generosity of Lillian and Don Bauder whose endowment supports the evening lecture as well as the Mary Helen Washington Writing Contest in which local high school students respond in writing to the visiting author’s works.

To date, nearly 10,000 people have joined Marygrove at the Friday night public readings to hear outstanding writers share their work.

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