Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

March 9, 1995

Author Jamaica Kincaid Will Read at the Library of Congress

On Thursday evening, February 16, Jamaica Kincaid will read from her work in the Mumford Room on the 6th floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave., S.E. The reading, which is presented under the auspices of the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund, will begin at 6:45 p.m.; Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Rita Dove will introduce Ms. Kincaid. Tickets are not required.

Jamaica Kincaid was born and educated in St. John's, Antigua, in the West Indies, and now lives in Bennington, Vermont. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and The Paris Review. Ms. Kincaid's first book, a collection of stories entitled At the Bottom of the River, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1984, received the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Her second book, Annie John, the story of a girl's coming of age in the West Indies, appeared in 1985. A Small Place, a book about St. Lucia, was published in 1988; her fourth novel, Lucy, in 1990. A new novel, Autobiography of My Mother, will appear this spring.

The poetry and literature reading series at the Library of Congress is the oldest in the Washington area, and one of the oldest in the United States. This annual series of public poetry and fiction readings, lectures, symposia, and occasional dramatic performances began in the 1940s and has been almost exclusively supported since 1951 by a gift from the late Gertrude Clarke Whittall, who wanted to bring the enjoyment and appreciation of good literature to a larger audience. The Poetry and Literature Center, which administers the series, is also the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1936, when the late philanthropist Archer M. Huntington endowed the Chair of Poetry at the Library of Congress. Since then, many of the nation's most eminent poets have served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and, after the passage of Public Law 99- 194 in 1985, as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. The Poet Laureate suggests authors to read in the literary series, plans other special literary events during the reading season, and usually introduces the programs.

Interpreting services (American Sign Language, Contact Signing, Oral and Tactile) will be provided if requested five business days in advance of an event. Call (202) 707-6362 TTY and voice to make a specific request. For other ADA accommodations, please contact the Disability Employment Program Office at (202) 707-9948 TTY and (202) 707-7544 voice.

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PR 95-032
ISSN 0731-3527

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