Pulitzer Prize Poet Visits Campus

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The University of West Georgia will host Yusef Komunyakaa, a Pulitzer Prize poet, on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m., in the Campus Center Ballroom. The event is free and the community is invited to attend.

 The University of West Georgia will host Yusef Komunyakaa, a Pulitzer Prize poet, on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m., in the Campus Center Ballroom. The event is free and the community is invited to attend. Komunyakaa is widely celebrated for his poems on the Vietnam War, as well as for his writings devoted to and inspired by jazz. He co-edited “The Jazz Poetry Anthology” and has collaborated with composers and jazz musicians in many recordings and performances.

He is currently the Distinguished Senior Poet in New York University’s graduate creative writing program.

In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize for the book, “Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems,” Komunyakaa has also received the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the William Faulkner Prize from the Université de Rennes, the Thomas Forcade Award, the Hanes Poetry Prize and many other recognitions and awards.

He is also the author of “Copacetic,” “Dien Cau Dau,” “Talking Dirty to the Gods,” and “Pleasure Dome.” His most recent collection of poetry, “Warhorses,” was released by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 2008.

Guests will have an opportunity to purchase books and have them signed by the author after the reading.

Born Joseph Brown in 1947 in Louisiana, Komunyakaa assumed the name of his grandfather, a Trinidad émigré to the United States.  He served in the army from 1969 to 1970 as a correspondent and managing editor of the Southern Cross during the Vietnam War, and earned a Bronze Star.

This reading is sponsored by the Department of English and Philosophy, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the Office of  Institutional Diversity, Ingram Library’s Penelope Melson Society and the Creative Writing Program.

For more information, contact Jonette Larrew at 678-839-6512.