Passionate, Sharp, and Crisp Poetry
GAMBIER, Ohio (March 26, 2004) Honorée Jeffers has a gift for writing poetry that is, in the words of one critic, "passionate, sharp, and crisp." Jeffers will share her talents with the Kenyon community as the second of this semester's two visiting minority artists.
During her two-week stay, which begins on March 28, Jeffers will visit classes and teach seven poetry workshops. A public reading on Thursday, April 8, at 8:00 p.m. in Peirce Lounge will highlight her visit.
An Alabama native, Jeffers writes about the struggles of African-Americans and women in her poetry. She often explores the religious basis of racial and sexual prejudice. "Art is a vocation," Jeffers wrote in one article. "I have been called to preach, through my poetry, the word. My ability to speak out comes from above, from my belief that a higher power guides me and that I have to speak the truth. Speaking truth, or at least my truth, is my vocation."
Jeffers has published two collections of poetry. The Gospel of Barbecue, published in 2000, was awarded the 1999 Stan and Tom Wick Prize for Poetry. Outlandish Blues, her second collection, was published in 2003.
"Honoree Jeffers lights up any room she enters," says Professor of English David Lynn, who, as editor of the Kenyon Review, has published some of her work. "The music of her poetry, the warmth of her voice, her energy, her humor, and her passion make her both a fine poet and a memorable performer and teacher."
Jeffers currently serves as assistant professor of English at the University of Oklahoma, teaching poetry and creative writing. She has also taught at Talladega College, the University of Alabama, Cleveland State University, and Knox College.
Jeffers's visit to Kenyon is sponsored by the College's Visiting Minority Artist Program.