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Distinguished poet, translator, playwright Afaa Weaver to read at APSU

The APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts and the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center present a poetry reading by distinguished poet, translator and playwright Afaa Michael Weaver at 7 p.m., Monday, April 19 in the Morgan University Center, Room 303, on the campus of Austin Peay.

Weaver was born in 1951 in Baltimore, Md., to working-class parents. He attended public schools and graduated as a National Merit finalist at the age of 16. After two years at the University of Maryland, he entered the world of factory life alongside his father and uncles and remained a factory worker for 15 years. These years were a literary apprenticeship during which he wrote and published poetry, short fiction and freelance journalism. During that time he also started 7th Son Press and Blind Alleys, a literary journal.

His first book of poetry, “Water Song,” was published in 1985 as part of the Callaloo series. He received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship for poetry six months after signing the contract for the collections and left factory life to accept admission into Brown University's graduate writing program on a full university fellowship, where he completed the M.A. with a focus on theater and playwriting. Concurrently, he completed his B.A. in literature in English through Excelsior College.

Weaver has been a Pew fellow in poetry and taught in National Taiwan University and Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan as a Fulbright Scholar. At Simmons College in Boston, Mass., he is the alumnae professor of English and director of the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Center. In addition, he is chairman of the Simmons International Chinese Poetry Conference.

Weaver was scheduled to deliver a reading at APSU in February, but the University closed the day of this event due to inclement weather.

For more information on this event, contact the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at 931-221-7876. -- Charles Booth