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Arts@Night, 2/01

Release Date:
1/30/2012 7:44 PM

UNH Poetry Reading Features Activism, Social Consciousness

Melanie Henderson, Becky Thompson, poets Melanie Henderson (left); Becky Thompson

Feb. 1, 2012

WEST HAVEN, CONN. – Two award-winning poets, Becky Thompson and Melanie Henderson, will read at the Arts@Night program at the University of New Haven on Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m.

The poets are Becky Thompson, a poet, teacher and activist who is also the author of several scholarly books, and Melanie Henderson, the 2009 Larry Neal Writers Award from the Washington D.C.  Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

The Arts@Night Program, sponsored by the UNH Department of English, is free and open to the public. It takes place at the UNH Bookstore, located just inside the main entrance to campus at 300 Boston Post Road.

“These award winning poets will kick off the spring reading series,” says Randall Horton, assistant professor of English. “With their debut collections, both of these poets have contributed greatly to the landscape of American literature. Not only will these poets read their stunning work, but they will talk about their activism and developing a social conscious.”

Thompson, is the author of “When the Center is on Fire,”  “A Promise and a Way of Life,” “A Hunger So Wide and So Deep,” and “Mothering without a Compass.”  Her most recent co-edited volume is “Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS From the Black Diaspora.”

The winner of Rockefeller, Ford, National Endowment for the Humanities and American Association of University Women fellowships, she was awarded the Gustavus Myers Award for Outstanding Books on Human Rights, and the 2011 Creative Justice Press Winter Chapbook Prize.

She has worked with students at Duke University, Wesleyan University, Bowdoin College, and the University of Colorado and is a professor of sociology at Simmons College in Boston.

Henderson was born, raised and lives in Washington, D.C. She is an alumnus of Howard and Trinity Universities.  Prior to earning a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., she studied poetry at the Voices Summer Writing Workshops in San Francisco, Calif.

Her debut collection of poems, “Elegies for New York Avenue,” won the 2011 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Drumvoices Revue, jubilat, Reverie, Torch, Tuesday; An Art Project, and The Washington Informer among others.

She participated in Huong's Peace Mural Exhibition in Washington, DC (2008-2009) and was selected as a feature reader for the 2009 Joaquin Miller Cabin Poetry. She is the managing editor of Tidal Basin Review.

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. UNH enrolls approximately 6,400, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and University College, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.