News Release| Jean Burden Poetry Reading; Cal State L.A.

Note to reporters and journalists: To arrange an interview with Wanda Coleman, please contact the CSULA Public Affairs office in advance at (323) 343-3050.

Legendary L.A. poet to read from Ostinato Vamps, The World Falls Away

Wanda Coleman to present annual Jean Burden reading at CSULA May 9

Los Angeles, CA – Award-winning poet and critically-acclaimed writer Wanda Coleman will present this year’s Jean Burden Poetry Reading at California State University, Los Angeles on Thursday, May 9, 6:30 p.m., in Cal State L.A.’s Golden Eagle Ballroom.

Coleman will read from her most recent volumes of poetry, Ostinato Vamps and The World Falls Away, and other writings. After the reading, she will sign copies of several of her books. Admission to this event is free and open to the public.

Often called “the unofficial poet laureate of Los Angeles,” Wanda Coleman was born in the Watts community of South Los Angeles and has been a prominent figure in the Los Angeles literary world for more than 30 years.

In 2012, she was awarded the prestigious Shelley Memorial Award by the Poetry Society of America and she is a past recipient of California Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and Guggenheim fellowships.

Coleman has published more than 20 books, including Bathwater Wine, winner of the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and Mercurochrome: New Poems, a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award. She has twice been a finalist for Poet Laureate of California in 2005 and 2012, and was the first literary fellow named by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs in 2003.

For more about Coleman, go to http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/wanda-coleman and http://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/poetry/crossroads/qa_american_poetry/wanda_coleman/.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, Department of English, and College of Arts and Letters at CSULA. It is also co-sponsored by University of Pittsburgh Press, Department of Pan African Studies, Statement Magazine and Students Speak: Poetry and Music Society.

The University is located at the Eastern Avenue exit, San Bernardino Freeway, at the interchange of the 10 and 710 Freeways. Public (permit dispensers) parking is available on the top level of Parking Structure C. For more on the poetry reading, call the Cal State L.A. English Department at (323) 343-4140.

Jean Burden Annual Poetry Series
This series, one of the longest running and most prestigious in the U.S., was established in 1986 by friends of the late Jean Burden to honor her achievements as a poet, essayist, editor, teacher and scholar. An Illinois native, University of Chicago alumna, and Altadena resident, Burden served as poetry editor of Yankee Magazine for 47 years, and published two collections of poetry, a volume of essays on poetry, and six books on animal welfare. Sustained by a generous bequest from Virginia E. Smith, the Jean Burden Series has featured such guest readers as Lucille Clifton, Victor Hernández Cruz, Rita Dove, Anthony Hecht, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Galway Kinnell, Carolyn Kizer, Maxine Kumin, Andrew Motion, Harryette Mullen, Mary Oliver, Linda Pastan, Adrienne Rich, Mark Strand, and Richard Wilbur.

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CALENDAR LISTING

WHO & WHAT: Award-winning poet and critically-acclaimed writer Wanda Coleman presents Cal State L.A.’s 28th Annual Jean Burden Poetry Reading Series. A book signing will follow the reading. (The event is free and open to the public.)

WHEN: Thursday, May 9, 6:30 p.m. (Doors will open at 5:45 p.m. for refreshments and seating.)

WHERE: Cal State L.A.’s Golden Eagle Ballroom. The University is located at the Eastern Avenue exit, San Bernardino Freeway, at the interchange of the 10 and 710 Freeways. Public (permit dispensers) parking is available on the top level of Parking Structure C. For campus map and directions, go to /univ/maps/cslamap.php.

DETAILS: For more information, contact the CSULA English Department at (323) 343-4140.

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 225,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. www.calstatela.edu