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Week of January 11, 2010

MLK: ‘Push’ author Sapphire to speak on women, literacy

Award-winning poet, author and educator Sapphire will present “Push, Literacy, Women and African American Literature” at 2 p.m. Jan. 18 in the Michigan Union Ballroom.

The event, presented by MLibrary, is free and open to the public.

“Precious,” the film adaptation of Sapphire’s bestselling novel “Push,” recently won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for the U.S. dramatic competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Lee Daniels and executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, “Precious” is widely anticipated to be an Oscar-contender.

“Push” tells the story of Claireece “Precious” Jones, an overweight African-American teenager struggling to find her place in the world despite her history of incest, abuse and illiteracy. Sapphire received numerous awards for “Push,” including the First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction, Book-of-the Month Club.

Sapphire’s poetry, fiction and essays have been translated into 11 different languages and her work has been adapted for the stage in several countries. She worked with literacy students in Harlem and the Bronx, and has taught writing and poetry workshops at a number of schools, including SUNY Purchase, Trinity College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Brooklyn College, the New School University and the Writer’s Voice in New York City.

This event is sponsored by the University Library, and cosponsored by the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives, University Housing, Bentley Historical Library, Law Library and the School of Information.



Anna Ercoli Schnitzer, on her greatest passion: “Working to improve the physical and virtual accessibility to all of our community, regardless of individual physical or mental challenges.”


  • Arts & Bodies, Dec. 18-Jan. 15, 2010, Work•Detroit, 3663 Woodward Ave, Detroit
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