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

November 9, 1995

Poets David Mura and Claudia Rankine To Read at the Library of Congress

On Thursday evening, November 30, poets David Mura and Claudia Rankine will read from their work in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building. The reading, presented under the auspices of the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund, will begin at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are not required.

David Mura is a poet, nonfiction writer, critic, playwright, and performance artist. His first collection of poetry, After We Lost Our Way, won the 1989 National Poetry Series Contest. His most recent collection of poems is The Colors of Desire (1995). Artistic Director of the Asian American Renaissance, an Asian American arts organization in Minnesota, Mr. Mura is also the author of Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei, which won the 1991 Josephine Miles Book Award and was listed in The New York Times's 1991 Notable Books of the Year. His memoir, Where the Body Meets Memory: An Odyssey of Race, Sexuality and Identity, appeared last spring.

Mr. Mura's multimedia performance piece, Relocations: Images from a Sansei, which he wrote and performed, had its premiere in 1990 at Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis. Along with novelist Alexs Pate, he has created and performs a multimedia performance piece, The Colors of Desire, which had its premiere at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. A film version of this piece, Slowly, This, was broadcast over PBS television last summer. Mr. Mura's awards and honors include the Lila Wallace- Reader's Digest Award, a US/Japan Creative Artist Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and a Discovery/The Nation Award. Mr. Mura has an M.F.A. degree in creative writing from Vermont College and has taught at the University of Minnesota, St. Olaf College, the Loft, and the University of Oregon.

Claudia Rankine, born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1963, is an assistant professor of English at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She graduated from Cardinal Spelman High School in the Bronx, New York, and earned her B.A. degree in English literature from Williams College and her M.F.A. degree in poetry from Columbia University School of the Arts in New York. The author of Nothing in Nature Is Private, she won the 1993 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Excellence in an Emerging Writer.

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PR 95-159
ISSN 0731-3527

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