The 2017 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence: Yusef Komunyakaa

The 2017 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence: Yusef Komunyakaa

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 / 7:00 PM
MultiCultural Center Theater

This year’s Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence is internationally renowned poet Yusef Komunyakaa. He is the author of seventeen books of poetry, including Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems (1994), winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Komunyakaa’s other works include Warhorses (2008); Taboo: The Wishbone Trilogy, Part 1 (2006); Pleasure Dome: New & Collected Poems, 1975-1999 (2001); Talking Dirty to the Gods (2000); and Thieves of Paradise (1998), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent collections of poetry include The Chameleon Couch (2011), Testimony: A Tribute to Charlie Parker (2013), and Emperor of Water Clocks (2015). He is the author of Gilgamesh: A Verse Play (2006), and, in collaboration with composer T.J. Anderson, the opera libretto Slip Knot.

In 2011 Komunyakaa was awarded the Wallace Stevens Award. He is also the recipient of numerous other honors and awards, including the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the William Faulkner Prize from the Université de Rennes, the Thomas Forcade Award, the Hanes Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Louisiana Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently he serves as Distinguished Senior Poet in New York University’s graduate creative writing program.

Born in Bogalusa, Louisiana, Komunyakaa served in the Vietnam War as a correspondent; he was managing editor of the Southern Cross during the war, for which he received a Bronze Star. He earned a BA from the University of Colorado Springs on the GI Bill, an MA from Colorado State University, and an MFA from the University of California-Irvine.

Books will be available for signing after the talk.

Sponsored by the Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence Program, created to bring distinguished practitioners of the craft of writing to the UCSB community. Co-presented by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and the Writing Program.