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Monday, April 15, 2013

SU Hosts 'An Evening with Meena Alexander' Apr. 25

Meena AlexanderSALISBURY, MD---A luminary of contemporary world literature, Meena Alexander, culminates Salisbury University’s spring Writers-on-the-Shore series Thursday, April 25.

“An Evening with Meena Alexander” begins 8 p.m. in the Worcester Room of the Commons.

Alexander is Distinguished Professor of English at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is known for lyrical writing that deals with migration, its impact on the subjectivity of the individual, and the sometimes violent events that compel people to cross borders, according to the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

She has written numerous collections of poetry, literary memoirs, essays, and works of fiction and literary criticism. Her poetry collections include Quickly Changing River, Raw Silk and Birthplace with Buried Stones. Her 2002 collection, Illiterate Heart, won the prestigious PEN Open Book Award. She also is the editor of Indian Love Poems.

Alexander has been honored by the Fulbright Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, MacDowell Foundation and the Arts Council of England, among others. She is a past Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellow.

She also has been a visiting fellow at the University of Paris—Sorbonne, the Frances Wayland Collegium Lecturer at Brown University, and a writer-in-residence at Columbia University’s Center for American Culture Studies. In 2009, Cambridge Scholars Publishing introduced an anthology of scholarship on her work, Passage to Manhattan: Critical Essays on Meena Alexander.

Noted writers, from Eavan Boland to Yusef Komunyakaa to Ngugi wa Thiong’o, have praised her work. Maxine Hong Kingston said, “Meena Alexander sings of countries, foreign and familiar, places where the heart and spirit live, and places for which one needs a passport and visas. Her voice guides us far away and back home. The reader sees her visions and remembers and is uplifted.”

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of Dr. Alexander’s acclaimed memoir, Fault Lines, named one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 1993” said SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach. “We are fortunate to have a writer of her stature visit Salisbury University, and I hope students, as well as the greater community, enjoy this special opportunity to hear her read.”

“As a poet and scholar of international acclaim, Meena Alexander connects SU with the world,” said Dr. Maarten Pereboom, dean of the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts. “Her visit is an impressive example of the University’s increasing commitment to looking beyond our own borders to embrace the global human experience, for the benefit of our students, faculty and the entire Salisbury community.”

Dr. Manav Ratti, assistant professor in SU’s English Department, said, “Meena Alexander’s work has powerfully opened an important space in literary studies and postcolonial studies.  Her writing touches people across cultures and nations, inspiring exciting new ways of thinking and flourishing in an interconnected world.  Her visit is a notable contribution to SU.”

Sponsored by the President’s Office, English and History departments, Writers-on-the-Shore, Fulton School Dean’s Office and Pi Gamma Mu international honor society, admission is free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit http://faculty.salisbury.edu/~mxratti/ma.htm.



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