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Writers Series to celebrate Black History Month with poetry reading

The Marshall University A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series will host renowned poet Allison Joseph on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Shawkey Dining Room of the Memorial Student Center.

Joseph is currently the director of the Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. Born in London, England, Joseph grew up in Toronto, Canada, and in the Bronx, New York.

In 2014, Joseph was awarded a Doctor of Letters honorary degree from her undergraduate alma mater, Kenyon College. She’s the author of many books, from poetry to fiction and nonfiction, and has been featured all over the country at festivals, conferences and other universities to read from her works.

In 2018, Joseph released the full-length book of poetry Confessions of a Barefaced Woman (Red Hen Press), which received Gold/First Place in poetry for the 2019 Feathered Quill Book Awards. The book was also a 2019 nominee in poetry for the NAACP Image Awards and a 2019 finalist for the Montaigne Medal and Da Vinci Eye Book Award, sponsored by the Eric Hoffer Book Awards.

Dr. Rachael Peckham, professor of English and coordinator of the Stringer Visiting Writers Series at Marshall, organized the reading.

“It’s a delight and an honor to bring Allison Joseph to Marshall,” Peckham said. “I was lucky enough to see her read, years ago, when I was in college and the experience never left me. She encircles some tender truths about race, gender, love and loss, in portraits and scenes that are intimately and powerfully rendered.”

Joseph’s reading is being planned in celebration of Black History Month and with support from the College of Liberal Arts; the Department of English; the Office of Intercultural and Student Affairs; the Drinko Academy; Drinko Library; the Honors College and the Society of Yeager Scholars.

The reading is free and open to the public and can be streamed at