Cover for HARPER: Use Trouble. Click for larger imageCALL FOR PAPERS

Michael S. Harper
“Canon Maker: Poet, Editor, Teacher, Mentor, Scholar”
Wednesday – Friday, March 13-15, 2013

The English Department at The University of Missouri – Columbia in conjunction with Cave Canem Foundation invites scholars, poets, and jazz musicians to participate in a three-day academic symposium that celebrates and
explores the multi-faceted contributions of Michael S. Harper. The symposium will begin on Wednesday, March 13 and conclude on Friday, March 15, 2013 with a musical tribute and jazz poetry reading.

Michael Harper, Professor of English at Brown University since 1970, is the
author of 15 books of poetry, the most recent of which is Use Trouble (University
of Illinois Press, 2009). His Dear John, Dear Coltrane and Images of Kin were
nominated for the National Book Award. He edited The Collected Poems of
Sterling A. Brown, selected for the National Poetry Series in 1979, and Every
Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep. With Anthony Walton, he co-edited The Vintage Book of
African American Poetry and is co-editor of Chant of Saints, an anthology of
African-American Art, Writing and Scholarship.

He was the first Poet Laureate of the State of Rhode Island and has received
many honors, including the 2008 Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of
America, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation and a National
Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Award. In 1990 he received the Robert
Hayden Poetry Award from the United Negro College Fund. He has been
honored with honorary doctorates in Letters from Trinity College (Hartford, CT),
Coe College (Cedar Rapids, IA), Notre Dame College (Manchester, NH), Kenyon
College (Gambier, OH), and Rhode Island College (Providence, RI). Washington
& Jefferson College (Washington, PA). He was elected to the American Academy
of Arts & Sciences in 1995.

For more than 42 years, Michael S. Harper has not only created a body of work
that has changed the way that African-American poetry is viewed, there are four
generations of published novelists, poets, playwrights, and professors who credit
his teaching, mentorship and scholarship for their beginning.

This symposium promises to be a stimulating set of conversations and
performances celebrating the work and vision of Harper (just days before his 75th
birthday on March 18.)

We invite one-page abstracts for individual papers and panels. Students are also
invited to submit abstracts for consideration. Abstract and proposals should be
submitted via email to (please put Michael Harper
Symposium and your last name in the subject line) and should be in either
Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, or Rich Text format, 12 pt, Times Roman. Abstracts
and proposals should include the following:

A cover page that contains the following information for abstracts and panels:

1. Author’s name
2. Title of Submission
3. Institutional affiliation
4. Contact information (email, phone number, mailing address)

Send abstracts for papers and panels by November 16, 2012. Notification of
acceptance will be made by January 28, 2013.

We are also seeking regional and local jazz artists to perform on the final night of
the conference. Performers should send a link to one live performance video and
bio to Glenn North at by December 7, 2012.

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