Indiana State University Newsroom

Clarence Major lecture, exhibition and poetry reading set

February 21, 2011

Prize-winning poet, novelist, and visual artist Clarence Major will be making several public presentations on the ISU campus next week as part of a collaboration between the departments of English and art.

On Wednesday, Feb. 23, Major will speak on "Paul Laurence Dunbar: His Influences, Romanticism, and Race" in Root Hall A-264 at 3:30 p.m. as part of the Joseph S. Schick Lectures in Language, Literature, and Lexicography in the department of English.

On Thursday, Feb. 24, an exhibition of his paintings, poetry, and memorabilia, ‘‘Clarence Major: Myself Painting," will open with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. with a Visiting Artist Lecture at 5:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Center for Performing and Fine Arts. Major's lecture will be "Painting the Figure Posed and Unposed: Quest for the Moment between Movements." At 7:30 p.m., Major will give a poetry reading in the University Art Gallery.

All events are free and open to the public. Major's work will be on view in the University Gallery from Feb. 24 through March 25. The University Gallery is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Major was born in Atlanta and grew up in Chicago. As a high school student, he received a scholarship to attend drawing classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. He also began writing poetry and fiction. After a stint in the Air Force, he returned to Chicago, where he published Coercion Review, a magazine that included the work of some of the major poets of the 1950s. After he moved to New York City, he began work on his first novel, "All-Night Visitors," published in 1969. The next year, he published "Swallow the Lake," his first volume of poetry. Since then, he has brought out eight addition novels, twelve books of poetry, three anthologies of African American poetry and fiction, two dictionaries of African American slang, two collections of essays, and a memoir of his mother. He has also had paintings in dozens of one-man and group shows.

His visit is sponsored by the ISU College of Arts and Sciences, the departments of English and Art, the University Gallery, the Joseph Schick Committee of the English Department, and a grant from the Indiana Arts Council/Arts Illiana. For more information, contact the Department of English (237-3163) or the University Gallery (237-3720).