OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Distinguished poet Major Jackson to visit OSU on April 15

03/21/2011

Award-winning African American poet Major Jackson will read from his latest collection, “Holding Company,” on Friday, April 15, at Oregon State University.

The literary event, which is part of OSU’s Visiting Writers Series, begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library’s main rotunda on the OSU campus. It is free, open to the public, and will be followed by a question-and-answer session and book signing.

Publisher’s Weekly described “Holding Company” as a “powerful book [that] represents a painful but inspired journey.” Poet Aafa Michael Weaver said of the book: “Jackson knows the truth of black magic. It is a magic as simple as the belief in humanity that subverts racism, or the esoteric and mystical magic of making jazz, the music of hope and love.”

In his book, Jackson explores art, literature, and music as a kingdom, a “dark, seductive force” in people’s lives, invoking such poets as Constantine Cavafy, Pablo Neruda, and Dante Rossetti.

The author of two previous collections of poetry, “Hoops” (2006) and “Leaving Saturn” (2002), Jackson has published poems in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Boulevard, and TriQuarterly among many other literary journals and anthologies. His honors include a Whiting Writers Award, the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Born in Philadelphia, he is an associate professor of English at the University of Vermont.

The 2010-11 Visiting Writers Series is supported by The Valley Library, the OSU Department of English, the Office of the Provost, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele, and the OSU Bookstore.