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9/25/2008 California poet laureate to speak at Linfield College

press image McMINNVILLE – Al Young, poet laureate of California, will present "Is Nerve Enough? Creativity, the Arts, and Human Survival," Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Nicholson Library at Linfield College.

His visit to Linfield is under the auspices of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. He will spend a week on campus meeting with Linfield students, faculty and staff and will lecture in classes and participate in a variety of discussions during his visit.

Young was born in Mississippi and was reading by the age of three. He began publishing poems, stories, and articles in his early teens, and has lived most of his life in San Francisco. He has been a poet, writer, teacher and lecturer throughout his literary career and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in Spanish. He has taught poetry and fiction writing at a number of universities nationwide, including the Universities of California at Berkeley, Santa Cruz and Davis, and Stanford University. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Review, Seattle Review, Rolling Stone, and the Norton Anthology of African-American Literature. As a screenwriter, Young has worked with Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor.

Young often travels internationally – reading, lecturing and performing with musicians. His poetry and prose have been translated into Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, German and other languages. In 2001, he traveled to the Persian Gulf to lecture in Kuwait and Bahrain on African-American literature and culture for the United States Department of State. In March 2005, he completed a three-week lecture tour of India with the United States Department of State. Young has also received numerous awards including the Wallace Stegner, Guggenheim, Fulbright and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships; the PEN-USA Award for Non-Fiction; and the Pushcart Prize, as well as two American Book Awards and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year citation.

The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program brings leaders in their fields to campuses of small liberal arts colleges. The program brings together people from diverse backgrounds with different points of view in an atmosphere in which they can learn about each other.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, call 503-883-2498.