Office of University Communications & Marketing

UNA Writers’ Series To Host Renowned Author Ishmael Reed
Feb. 9, 2012



FLORENCE, Ala. – Ishmael Reed, novelist, poet, playwright and essayist, will perform March 20 at 12:30 p.m. in the Guillot University Performance Center at the University of North Alabama as part of its spring Writers’ Series. Sponsored by the Department of English, the 29th annual event is free and open to the public.

Reed, who is a MacArthur recipient, is the author of 28 published works. Two of his books were nominated for the National Book Award, and his book of poetry “Conjure” was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Pam Kingsbury, instructor of English and chair of the Writers’ Series, said Reed’s “Beware Do Not Read This Poem” was cited by the Gale Research Company as one of the approximately 20 poems that teachers and librarians said is one of the most frequently read poems studied in literature classes across the education curriculum.

Poet and memoirist Tennessee Reed, the daughter of Ishmael Reed, will also read from her poetry during the spring 2012 Writers’ Series on March 20 at 11 a.m. in the performance center. According to Kingsbury, Tennessee Reed has published 335 pages of poetry in four collections. She currently assists Ishmael Reed by designing his online magazine “Konch.” A reception and booksigning with Ishmael and Tennessee Reed will follow the event.

Dr. Will Verrone, assistant professor of English, will give a lecture on Ishmael Reed’s work in film and screenwriting March 19 at 2 p.m. in the GUC Loft.

“My discussion will focus on Reed’s work in film and television, primarily as a screenwriter and producer,” Verrone said. “I will discuss his style and thematic concerns and the significance and relevance of his film work in relation to his novels, poetry and essays. I am hoping to locate and possibly show some clips. I will also discuss why Reed perhaps chose film or video for specific works as opposed to his more recognized literary work.”

Daryl Brown, associate professor of English, serves on the Writers’ Series committee with Kingsbury and Verrone. He said the campus community has had an enthusiastic response so far to Ishmael Reed coming to UNA.

“People have reacted quite favorably to him,” Brown said. “His reputation is on par with very few other writers.”

For more information about the event, contact Pam Kingsbury at 256-765-4890 or the English Department at 256-765-4238.