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Louisiana Poet Laureate to Visit

Before Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Brenda Marie Osbey, the Poet Laureate of Louisiana, was serving on the faculty of the city’s Dillard University as artist-in-residence, conducting seminars and colloquia in literature, creative writing and New Orleans Black culture.

Since then, Osbey has taken a visiting assistant professorship in English at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge while Dillard is closed for repairs of Katrina’s destruction.

Osbey will visit Smith to give a poetry reading, “Onward: New Orleans,” on Thursday, December 1, at 7 p.m. in Stoddard Auditorium; and a seminar on the Black Culture of New Orleans on Friday, December 2, at 4 p.m. in Neilson Browsing Room (tea will be served).

A native of New Orleans, Osbey is the author of All Saints: New and Selected Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 1997), which received the 1998 American Book Award. Her other works include Desperate Circumstance, Dangerous Woman (1991), In These Houses (1988) and Ceremony for Minneconjoux (1985).

Among Osbey’s awards and honors are the Camargo Foundation Fellowship (Cassis, France, 2004), the Louisiana Division of the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship (1994), the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation Maxi-Grant (1993), and the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship (1990). She has been a fellow of the MacDowell Colony; the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown; the Kentucky Foundation for Women; the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; the Millay Colony and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, Harvard University.

Osbey’s visit is sponsored by the women’s studies department and by Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, a feminist, interdisciplinary journal based at Smith and published by Indiana University Press.

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