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Contact: Christine Payton April 12, 2012
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
Keorapetse “Willie” Kgositsile, Poet Laureate of South Africa, will visit the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and read from his work at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 26, in the Ernest J. Gaines Center located on the third floor of the Edith Garland Dupré Library.

Kgositsile is an internationally renowned poet, literary figure, and activist who lived in the United States from 1962 to 1975. He studied African American expressive culture in the U.S., and his poetry is heavily influenced by jazz.

Kgositsile received an MFA in poetry from Columbia University, and was a professor of creative writing at UCLA. He has been the recipient of a number of literary awards, including the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, the Harlem Cultural Council Poetry Award, the Conrad Kent Rivers Memorial Poetry Award and the Herman Charles Bosman Prize.

Kgositsile is the author of nine books of poetry, including My Name is Afrika (Doubleday 1971), which established his early reputation. He is also the author of the recent scholarly study, Beyond Words: South African Poetics (2009).

He is special adviser to the South African Minister of Arts and Culture, is a founding member of the African National Congress (ANC) Veterans League and is a member of the ANC National Centenary Task Team. Though he was exiled from South Africa for 29 years, while he lived in the U.S. and other African countries, he returned near the end of apartheid and the political triumph of Nelson Mandela.

His reading tour of the U.S. in March and April 2012 includes readings at the Library of Congress, New York University, Columbia, CUNY Graduate Center, University of California at Santa Cruz, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, Rutgers, Brown, Vanderbilt and UL Lafayette.

This event is sponsored by the Ernest J. Gaines Center, the UL Lafayette SGA Lyceum Committee, the Friends of the Humanities, the UL Lafayette English Department and the Edith Garland Dupré Library.

For more information, call the Ernest J. Gaines Center at 337-482-1848. Edith Garland Dupré Library is located at 400 E. St. Mary Blvd, Lafayette, LA.


About UL Lafayette
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the second largest university in the state, with over 16,000 students. It’s a public institution that awards bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. It includes diverse offerings from the humanities to scientific research and leads the nation in areas like computer science, biology and nursing. Its student-athletes – Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns – compete in NCAA Division I, the highest level of collegiate competition.

Document last revised Thursday, April 12, 2012 8:37 AM

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