Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project brings award-winning poet to Auburn University

Published: October 15, 2015
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The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project at Auburn University will present a reading and discussion with award-winning poet Jean Valentine at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 21, in the first floor auditorium of the Ralph B. Draughon Library.

The event, which is co-sponsored by South Arts and the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Women's Resource Center and Multicultural Center at Auburn, is free and open to the public.

Valentine was born in Chicago, graduated from Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has lived most of her life in New York City. She won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award for her first book, "Dream Barker," in 1965. Her 13th book of poetry, "Shirt in Heaven," was published this year. "Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965 – 2003" was the winner of the 2004 National Book Award for Poetry and "Break the Glass" was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Valentine was the New York State Poet Laureate from 2008-2010. She has received the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and awards from the National Education Association, Bunting Institute, Rockefeller Foundation, New York Council for the Arts and New York Foundation for the Arts. She also has earned the Maurice English Prize, Teasdale Poetry Prize and Poetry Society of America's Shelley Memorial Prize. In 2014, she was given an award for exceptional accomplishment in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Valentine has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, Columbia University and the 92nd Street Y, a multifaceted cultural institution and community center located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project is a part of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the College of Human Sciences at Auburn. It was developed in 2003 to bring educational opportunities to prisoners in Alabama.