|8th Annual Literary
Old Dominion University
October 7-10, 1985
Writing in the New York Times Book Review, poet and critic David Ignatow has said that Michael Harper is a poet who is passionately identified with the history of his people.... It is Harper's achievement to have projected his most difficult and complex insights and feelings through the epical manner, yet at the same time carried us along to identify with him."
Michael S. Harper won the Poetry Society of America's Melville Crane award for his book Images of Kin. His other books--among them Nightmare Begins Responsibility, History is Your Own Heartbeat, Debridement, and Dear John, Dear Coltrane--have earned him two National Book Award nominations, as well as awards given by the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the Black Academy of Arts and Letters. A highly regarded performer of his work, Harper will give a lecture titled "Chants of Saints" on Wednesday and will close the Festival with a poetry reading on Thursday evening. [extracted from 1985 brochure]