Poet Yusef Komunyakaa to Receive Jean Kennedy Smith NYU Creative Writing Award, April 23

Benefit Reading for the NYU/Goldwater Hospital Writing Project

On Thursday, April 23, at 7 p.m., New York University’s Creative Writing Program will host a reading and award ceremony to benefit the NYU/Goldwater Hospital Writing Project. Yosef Komunyakaa, whose poetry collection Neon and Vernacular: New & Selected Poems 1977-1989 won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, will receive the 2009 Jean Kennedy Smith NYU Creative Writing Award of Distinction.

The event takes place in NYU’s Vanderbilt Hall, Greenberg Lounge, 40 Washington Square South (at MacDougal St.); it is open to the public, and voluntary donations are requested at the door. For further information, call 212.998.8816 or visit www.cwp.fas.nyu.edu.

The award ceremony will feature a reading by writers from the NYU/Goldwater Writing Project - known as the Golden Writers; the presentation of the award; and a reading by Komunyakaa. The project provides writing workshops for residents of Coler Goldwater, a 900-bed state hospital for the severely physically challenged. The workshop teachers are graduate students in NYU’s Creative Writing Program, and the proceeds from the benefit reading will provide fellowship support for these students in their continued work with Goldwater’s Golden Writers.

Komunyakaa, Senior Distinguished Poet in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at NYU, is the author of numerous books of poems including Pleasure Dome: New & Collected Poems, 1975-1999, Talking Dirty to the Gods, Thieves of Paradise, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and I Apologize for the Eyes in My Head. His prose is collected in Blue Notes: Essays, Interviews & Commentaries, and he has co-edited The Jazz Poetry Anthology. His honors include the William Faulkner Prize from the Université Rennes, the Thomas Forcade Award, the Hanes Poetry Prize, and the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam. In 1999 he was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.

Press Contact