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    Award-winning poet to present reading Harryette Mullen was finalist for National Book Award


    ampoule arial,sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;”>An award-winning poet will read from and discuss her works on March 9 at California Lutheran University.

    “Reading and Conversation with Harryette Mullen” will begin at 4 p.m. in the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art on the Thousand Oaks campus.

    Mullen is the author of eight books of poetry, as well as short stories and critical essays. “Recyclopedia,” released in 2006, won a PEN Beyond Margins Award and “Sleeping with the Dictionary,” published in 2002, was a finalist for the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her most recent book, “Urban Tumbleweed: Notes from a Tanka Diary,” was released in 2013.

    Mullen was the 2009 recipient of the Academy of American Poets Fellowship. Other honors include the Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry, a Rockefeller Fellowship from the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Women’s Studies at the University of Rochester, and artist grants from the Texas Institute of Letters and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico.

    Critics have described Mullen’s poetry as unique, powerful and challenging. Her poetry draws on oral tradition, music and the spoken word. Her works feature wordplay and allusion and center on the tradition of African-American writing, with an emphasis on representations of black women.

    Mullen is an English professor at University of California, Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing, poetry and African-American literature.

    Born in Alabama and raised in Texas, Mullen had her first poem published in a local newspaper when she was in high school. Her first book of poetry, “Tree Tall Woman,” was published in 1981 before she went to graduate school, and selections from it are featured in “Recyclopedia.” While earning her doctorate at the University of California, Santa Cruz, she wrote her dissertation on slave narratives. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, she taught U.S. ethnic literature at Cornell University.

    Admission to the event in Cal Lutheran’s Guest Writer Series is free. The university’s English Department, Rolland Gallery, and Artists and Speakers Committee are sponsoring Mullen’s appearance.

    The Rolland Gallery is located in the William Rolland Stadium on the north side of Olsen Road between Campus Drive and Mountclef Boulevard. For more information, contact Jacqueline Lyons at [email protected].

    Harryette Mullen. Photo credit: Hank Lazer


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