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'Poets ReWriting Race:' Martha Collins and Dawn Lundy Martin

Release date: March 27, 2012

Dawn Lundy Martin, above, and Martha Collins, right

Poets Martha Collins and Dawn Lundy Martin will read from their recent work on Tuesday, March 27, at 7 p.m., in the Batza Room of Goucher College's Athenaeum.

Collins is the author of White Papers and Blue Front, four earlier collections of poems, two books of co-translations from the Vietnamese, and two chapbooks. Martin is the author of A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering and Discipline, as well as a chapbook, The Morning Hour. After both poets read, there will be a book signing and Q&A.

The event is free and open to the public and is part of a two-part series titled "Poets ReWriting Race." For more information, contact Ailish Hopper Meisner, instructor of peace studies and English, at ameisner@goucher.edu or 410-337-6375.

Collins won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Blue Front, a book-length poem based on a lynching her father witnessed when he was five years old. Blue Front was also chosen as one of "25 Books to Remember from 2006" by the New York Public Library.

Collins' other awards include fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Bunting Institute, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Witter Bynner Foundation, as well as three Pushcart Prizes, the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award, a Lannan Foundation Residency Grant, and the Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize.

Collins founded the creative writing program at University of Massachusetts Boston and for 10 years was the Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College. She is editor-at-large for FIELD magazine and one of the editors of the Oberlin College Press. In spring 2010, she served as a distinguished visiting writer at Cornell University.

She has two forthcoming books: Day Unto Day (poems, 2013) and Black Stars: Poems by Ngo Tu Lap (co-translated with the author, 2014).

Martin's first full-length poetry collection, A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering, was selected for the 2007 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Her second collection, Discipline, won the 2009 Nightboat Books Poetry Prize. She is also the author of two chapbooks, The Undress and The Morning Hour, which was selected for the Poetry Society of America's National Chapbook Fellowship.

She co-edited, along with Vivien Labaton, The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism, a collection of essays on modern theories of activism in America. She also wrote the afterword, titled "What, Then, is Freedom," to Harriet Ann Jacobs' 19th-century slave narrative, Incidents of a Slave Girl.

Martin is co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation in New York, a national grant-making organization led by young women and transgender youth that focuses on social-justice activism. She is also a member of the Black Took Collective, a group of experimental black poets.

She has received two poetry grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and was awarded the 2008 Academy of American Arts and Sciences May Sarton Prize for Poetry.

Martin has taught at Montclair State University, The New School, and the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College. She is an assistant professor in the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Also as part of the "Poets ReWriting Race" events series, Poet Jake Adam York will give a reading and talk titled "Re/mix: Blue-Shifting Writing Race; or: An Improvisation on Relation; or: Improvised Relations; or: Relative Improvisations" on Friday, March 23, at 4:30 p.m. in the Batza Room of Goucher College's Athenaeum. 

This event is sponsored by Goucher's Peace Studies Program, the Kratz Center for Creative Writing, and the Isabelle Kellogg Thomas Lectureship in English Fund.