January 31, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Editor's note: To request a photo
of Eady, e-mail Mhobbes@smith.edu.
Cornelius Eady to Read at
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.-The Poetry Center
at Smith College will present poet Cornelius Eady at 7:30 p.m.
on Tuesday, Feb. 19, in Stoddard Hall Auditorium.
Dubbed "the heir of Langston Hughes" by The Southern
Review, Eady is the author of seven books of poetry and two librettos.
Much of his work celebrates Harlem and addresses the experiences
of the African-American family threatened by barriers of color
and class. As poet Leslie Ullman writes, his poems offer "brief
glimpses of urban life, meditations to jazz and blues music,
and a quiet, crystalline sort of anger."
His most recent volume, "Brutal Imagination," explores
the vision of the black man in white imagination with what Booklist
calls "tremendous verve, drama, compassion, and insight."
The bulk of the collection is narrated by the black kidnapper
invented by Susan Smith to cover up the killing of her two young
Eady's second book, "Victims of the Latest Dance Craze,"
won the 1985 Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets,
and his fourth book, "The Gathering of My Name," was
nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize. Other collections include
"You Don't Miss Your Water" and "The Autobiography
of a Jukebox." Eady is the recipient of fellowships from
the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts,
the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest
Foundation. He collaborated with composer Diedre Murray to write
two music-dramas: "You Don't Miss Your Water" and "Running
Man," a 1999 Pulitzer Prize finalist.
In 1996, with poet Toi Derricotte, Eady founded Cave Canem, which
offers workshops and retreats for African-American poets. He
has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, The
Writer's Voice, the 92nd St. Y, The College of William and Mary,
Sweet Briar College, and the State University of New York at
Stony Brook, where he also directed the Poetry Center. Born in
Rochester, N.Y., Eady now makes his home in New York City, where
he is Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the City College.
Eady's reading at Smith will be followed by a book-selling and
signing. For more information, call Cindy Furtek in the Poetry
Center office at (413) 585-4891 or Ellen Doré Watson,
director, at (413) 585-3368.