May 10, 2010

Mount Union College will present the Wolf Lecture featuring poet laureate Marilyn Nelson on April 2 at 7 p.m. in Dewald Chapel.

Nelson was born in Cleveland, OH in 1946 and raised on military bases. As a poet, Nelson developed a unique perspective on the U.S. Armed Services being the daughter of one of the Tuskegee airmen.

She earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California-Davis, a master of arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota.

Nelson has earned over 15 awards, honors and grants since 1976 for her published works and has written many books including 'Magnificat' in 1995 and 'Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem' in 2005. She was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and the PEN Winship Award. Her poetry collection for The Fields of Praise won the 1998 Poet's Prize. Nelson has also written two collections of poetry for children.

Nelson has taught in colleges across the world including University of Paul Valery in France, New York University, U.S. Military Academy- West Point and Universitat Hamburg in Germany. She served as a board member for the Connecticut Humanities Council from 1983-1985 and for the Poetry Society of America for two years. Nelson also served as a judge for 18 different poetry contests, such as the James Laughlin Award for the Academy of American Poets in 2000 and the Cave Canem Poetry Prize in 2001. She is also a member of the Connecticut Poet Laureate selection committee.

Nelson received the honor of being named Poet Laureate for the State of Connecticut in 2001. Nelson was recommended to the Connecticut Commission on the Arts by a panel of five literary professionals who considered several dozen nominations of poets submitted by the public. She served her five-year term in the honorary position which was created by the General Assembly to recognize a Connecticut poet of the highest distinction.

The Eleanor Mincks Wolf Lecture was established by John L. Wolf of Medina in memory of his wife Eleanor. A 1939 graduate of Mount Union College, she was a former teacher of English and Latin in Richfield and Highland school districts. The Wolf Lecture is free and open to the public.

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