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Poet Laureate of East St. Louis Presents at Florissant Valley

March 25, 2014

Eugene Redmond  
Eugene B. Redmond

In conjunction with National Poetry Month, Poet Laureate Eugene B. Redmond will give a presentation 11 a.m.-noon Thursday, April 3, on the third floor of the Instructional Resources building at the Florissant Valley campus.

Redmond will read from his most notable works and discuss his inspirations and his role as poet laureate of East St. Louis.

“This is the third year the library and English department have partnered to bring a nationally known poet to campus for our students in celebration of National Poetry Month,” said John Furlong, senior manager of library and instructional resources at STLCC-Florissant Valley.

The Higher Education Channel will be filming the event and plans to include some of the footage in its show about the local arts scene.

Redmond was named poet laureate of East St. Louis in 1976, the year Doubleday Publishing Co. released his best-selling book, "Drumvoices: The Mission of Afro-American Poetry."

From 1967-69, he served as teacher-counselor and poet-in-residence at Southern Illinois University’s Experiment in Higher Education, where he taught with Katherine Dunham. Following that, he was professor of English and poet-in-residence at California State University-Sacramento. During that time he won a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, an Outstanding Faculty Research Award, a Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, and served as a visiting professor at universities in the United States, Africa and Europe. In 1986, a year after he returned home to East St. Louis, local authors created the Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club in his honor.

Redmond received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from SIUE and has won an American Book Award for "The Eye in the Ceiling"; the Sterling Brown Award from ALA’s African-American Literature and Culture Association; a Staying the Course Award from ETA of Chicago; and the St. Louis American Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.