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Nathaniel Mackey to receive African American literature award in SF

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By Scott Rappaport
UC Santa Cruz

UC Santa Cruz professor of literature Nathaniel Mackey will be presented with the Stephen Henderson Award of the African American Literature and Culture Society (AALCS) at a reception in San Francisco on May 23.

Mackey is being honored for his life’s work in poetry, fiction and literary criticism. His many published works include Bass Cathedral, Splay Anthem, Paracritical Hinge and Discrepant Engagement.

Mackey received a 2006 National Book Award in the poetry category for his book Splay Anthem. He received a Whiting Writer’s Award in 1993 and was elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets in 2001, one of the highest honors in the field of poetry.

The African American Literature and Culture Society was established in 1993 for the promotion and study of African American literature. The Stephen Henderson Award is named in honor of one of the pioneer figures in African American literary criticism. Previous recipients of the honor include Charles Johnson, Eugene Redmond, Marilyn Nelson and Al Young.

The Henderson Award will be presented to Mackey by Professor Loretta Woodard, president of the AALCS, at a reception co-sponsored by the Toni Morrison Society, the Charles Chesnutt Association, the John Edgar Wideman Society and the Charles Johnson Society. The program will also include a brief reading by Mackey. The presentation and reception take place at 5 p.m. in the Marina Room of the Hyatt Regency in Embarcadero Center.

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