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Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series

Visiting Authors 2000-2009

2009  Elizabeth Alexander: Poet, Children’s Writer, Memoirist, Essayist

Winner of National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, the Jackson Poetry Prize,

the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Poet; Chancellor, Academy of American Poets, and the Anisfield-Wolf

Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry; Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

Major works: The Venus Hottentot; Body of Life; Antebellum Dream Book; American Sublime; Miss Crandall’s Schoolfor Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color; The Black Interior; Power and Possibility; Praise Song for the Day: A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration; Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems, 1990-2010; The Light of the World; The Trayvon Generation

Elizabeth Alexander 2009 CAALS guest.jpg
Delany 2008

2008  Samuel R. Delany: Science Fiction Author, Essayist

Winner of several Nebula Awards, Hugo Award, Stonewall Book Award, and Eaton Award for Lifetime


Major works: Babel-17; Empire Star; The Einstein Intersection; Nova; The Fall of the Towers; Driftglass;

The Tides ofLust; Dhalgren; Triton; Empire; Distant Stars; Stars in My Pocket like Grains of Sand; They Fly at

Ciron; Equinox; Aye, and Gomorrah; Phallos; The Jewel-Hinged Jaw; Heavenly Breakfast; Starboard Wine;

The Motion of Light in Water; Wagner/Artaud; Straits of Messina; Silent Interviews; The Mad Man; Atlantis;

Longer Views; Bread and Wine; Hogg; Shorter Views; Times Square Red, Times Square Blue; Dark Reflections;

Through the Valleyof the Nest of Spiders; Captives of the Flame; The Jewels of Aptor; The American Shore;

In Search of Silence: The Journals of Samuel R. Delany.

2007  Marilyn Nelson: Poet, Children’s Writer

Winner of two Pushcart Prizes, Newbery Honor, Frost Medal, the AnisfieldWolf Award for Non-Fiction, the Poetry Society of America’s Robert Frost Medal for Lifetime Achievement; elected Chancellor, Academy of American Poets and Fulbright Fellow; NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children; NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature; Denise Levertov Award, The Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.

Major Works: For the Body; Mama’s Promises; The Homeplace; Magnificat; The Fields of Praise; Carver: A Life

in Poems; Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem; The Cachoeira Tales; A Wreath for Emmett Till;

Miss Crandall’s School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color; Sweethearts of Rhythm; Beautiful Ballerina; Snook Alone; Faster than Light: New and Selected Poems; How I Discovered Poetry;  American Ace; Augusta Savage: The Shape of a Sculptor’s Life; A is for Oboe.

Marilyn Nelson 2007

2006  Charles Johnson: Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist, Cartoonist

Winner of National Book Award; Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and

Letters, MacArthur Fellowship, and Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award from the Corporate Council

for the Arts

Major works: Black Humor; Half-Past Nation Time; Faith and the Good Thing; Oxherding Tale; Middle Passage; Dreamer; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Being and Race: Black Writings since 1970; Pieces of Eight; Soulcatcher and Other Stories; Turning the Wheel: Essays on Buddhism and Writing; Dr. King’s Refrigerator and Other Bedtime Stories; Taming the Ox; Buddhist Stories, and Reflections on Politics, Race, Culture, and Spiritual Practice; The Words & Wisdom of Charles Johnson; The Adventures of Emery Jones, Boy Science Wonder; The Way of the Writer: Reflections on the Art and Craft of Storytelling; Grand: A Grandparent's Wisdom for a Happy Life    



2004  Pearl Cleage: Novelist, Playwright

NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Fiction

Major works: We Don’t Need No Music; Dear Dark Faces: Portraits of a People; One for the Brothers; Mad at Miles: A Blackwoman’s Guide to Truth; The Brass Bed and Other Stories; Deals with the Devil: And Other Reasons to Riot; What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day; I Wish I Had a Red Dress; Hymn for the Rebels; Duet for Three Voices; The Sale; puppetplay; Hospice; Good News; Essentials; Banana Bread; Porch Songs; Come and Get These Memories; Chain; Late Bus to Mecca; Flyin’ West; Blues for an Alabama Sky; Bourbon at the Border; Some Things I Never Thought I’d Do; Babylon Sisters; Baby Brother’s Blues; Seen it All and Done the Rest; Till You Hear from Me;Just Wanna Testify; Things I Should Have Told My Daughter



2005  Edward P. Jones: Novelist, Short Story Writer

Winner of Pulitzer Prize, International Dublin Literary Award, PEN/ Hemingway Award, O. Henry Prize,

MacArthur Fellowship, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Fiction, and PEN/Malamud Award

Major works: Lost in the City; The Known World; All Aunt Hagar’s Children

  • Wikipedia page

Pearl Cleage at Marygrove.JPG

2003  Cornelius Eady: Poet
Winner of Lamont Prize, Finalist for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize in Drama

Major works: Kartunes; Victims of the Latest Dance Craze; Autobiography of a Jukebox; Boom Boom Boom;

The Gathering of My Name; You Don’t Miss Your Water; Brutal Imagination; Hardheaded Weather



2002  Edwidge Danticat: Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist, Memoirist

Winner of the Pushcart Prize for Short Fiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Fiction, the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and MacArthur Fellowship; Finalist for the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award (2), The Story Prize, Vilcek Foundation Prize

Major works: Breath, Eyes, Memory; Krik? Krak!; The Farming of Bones; After the Dance; Behind the Mountains; The Dew Breaker; Anacaona, Golden Flower: Haiti, 1490; Brother, I’m Dying; Eight Days; Create Dangerously; Clair of the Sea Light; Mama’s Nightingale; Untwine, The Art of Death; Everything Inside

2001  Toi Derricotte: Poet, Memoirist

Winner of the Pushcart Prize, Folger Shakespeare Library’s Poetry Committee Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Non-Fiction, PEN/Voelcker Award, and Robert Frost Medal for Lifetime Achievement

Major works: The Empress of the Death House; Natural Birth; Captivity; Tender; The Black Notebooks; Natural Birth; The Undertaker’s Daughter; I: New and Selected Poems



2000 Lucille Clifton (1936-2010):  Poet, Children’s Writer

Winner of the National Book Award, Chancellor, Academy of American Poets, Anisfield-Wolf Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry, the Poetry Society of America’s Robert Frost Medal for Lifetime Achievement (2010), and Emmy Award.

Major works: Good Times; Good News about the Earth; An Ordinary Woman; Generations; Two Headed Woman;

Good Woman; Next; Ten Oxherding Pictures; Quilting; The Book of Light; The Terrible Stories; Blessing the Boats;

Mercy; Voices; The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton

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