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Cornelius Eady Poetry Reading

Cornelius Eady Poetry Reading
Tue, 10/08/2013 - 7:30pm
Visiting Writers Series
Haybarn Theatre at Goddard College, 123 Pitkin Road
Plainfield, VT

Cornelius Eady is author of many books of poetry, including Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the Lamont Prize of the Academy of American Poets, The Gathering of My Name, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and Brutal Imagination. He is co-founder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African American poetry and poets.

This event is free and open to the public and is part of the Haybarn Literary Arts Festival at Goddard College to celebrate the College's 150th Anniversary!

Cornelius Eady was born in 1954 in Rochester, New York. He is the author of several books of poetry, including the critically acclaimed Hardheaded Weather Cornelius Eady(Penguin, 2008), which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. His other titles are Kartunes (Warthog Press,1980); Victims of the Latest Dance Craze (Ommation Press, 1986), winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets; The Gathering of My Name (Carnegie Mellon University Press,1991), nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; You Don’t Miss Your Water (Henry Holt and Co.,1995); The Autobiography of a Jukebox (Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 1997); and Brutal Imagination (Putnam, 2001).

His work appears in many journals, magazines, and the anthologies Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep, In Search of Color Everywhere, and The Vintage Anthology of African American Poetry (1750-2000) ed. Michael S. Harper.

With poet Toi Derricote, Eady is co-founder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African American poetry and poets. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Literature (1985); a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, (1993); a Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Traveling Scholarship to Tougaloo College in Mississippi (1992-1993); a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to Bellagio, Italy, (1993); and The Prairie Schooner Strousse Award (1994).

In June 1997, an adaptation of You Don't Miss Your Water was performed at the Vineyard Theatre, in New York City. In April 1999, Running Man, a music-theatre piece co-written with jazz musican Diedre Murray, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and awarded a 1999 Obie for best musical score and lead actor in a musical. In January 2002, a production of Brutal Imagination (with a score by Diedre Murray) opened at the Vineyard Theatre, where it won the 2002 Oppenheimer award for the best first play by an American Playwright.

Eady has taught poetry at SUNY Stony Brook, where he directed its Poetry Center; City College; Sarah Lawrence College; New York University; The Writer’s Voice; The 92nd St Y; The College of William and Mary; and Sweet Briar College. At present he is Professor of English and the Miller Family Endowed Chair in Literature and Writing at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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In most of Eady's poems there is a musical quality drawn from the Blues and Jazz. Indeed, many of his poem titles allude to traditional African-American hymns and modern musicians such as Thelonius Monk and Miles Davis. In You Don't Miss Your Water, Eady addresses the death of his father through a style traditional of the Blues, call and response. Brutal Imagination is comprised of two cycles of poems, each confronting the same subject: the black man in white America. The first cycle, which carries the book's title, is narrated largely by the black kidnapper invented by Susan Smith to cover up the killing of her two small sons. The second cycle, “Running Man,” focuses on the African-American family and the barriers of color and class. The title character represents every African-American male who has crashed into these barriers. These two cycles of poems taken together offer a stark reappraisal of race in America.

Join us for a reading, book signing, and Q&A reception with Cornelius Eady on Tuesday, October 8, 2013, at 7:30pm at the Haybarn Theatre at Goddard College!