African American poet, essayist and novelist Ishmael Reed will conclude the 2002 – 2003 “Who Speaks for America?” lecture series with a presentation 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 18, in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education, Room 203.
Reed is a recognized novelist, poet and publisher. A few of his recent books include “Multi America: Essays on Cultural Wars and Cultural Peace,” “Another Day at the Front: Dispatches from the Race War,” “From Totems to Hip-Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas, 1900 – 2002,” “Mumbo Jumbo” and “Flight to Canada.”
He has received a MacArthur Fellow and American Book Award and is best known for his use of parody and satire to challenge the formal conventions of tradition in relation to diversity. Reed has lectured at numerous universities, including Harvard, Dartmouth, Yale and Berkeley.
In addition to his writing accomplishments, Ishmael Reed was also a co-founder and serves on the board of Directors of the Before Columbus Foundation, a public organization established to promote American multicultural literature.
“No one says a novel has to be one thing,” says Reed. “It can be anything it wants to be, a vaudeville show, the six o’clock news, the mumblings of wild men saddled by demons.”
Alex Kuo, Department of Comparative American Cultures, created the “Who Speaks for America?” lecture series 20 years ago. The program brings to campus award-winning writers, poets and activists, giving faculty, staff, students and residents the opportunity to hear diverse voices.