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April 15, 2021

Paul Simon Institute to host virtual talk with Illinois’ poet laureate

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Illinois Poet Laureate Angela Jackson will discuss her writing and her vision of Illinois in a virtual conversation next week hosted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Jackson will join institute director John Shaw for the discussion at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 22, via Zoom. Shaw said he will ask Jackson about her life story and teaching career as well as her work as the state’s poet laureate.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker in November selected Jackson to serve as the state’s fifth poet laureate. Jackson was raised on Chicago’s South Side and attended Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. She has published four collections of poetry, and her forthcoming “More Than Meat and Raiment: Poems” will be released later this year. She is also a playwright and novelist and for 20 years was a member of the Organization of Black American Culture Writers Workshop. She has won several prestigious literary awards, including the American Book Award and Pushcart Prize.

“Angela Jackson is a state treasure,” Shaw said. “She is a celebrated poet, novelist, biographer, playwright and professor whose work demonstrates the importance of vivid writing and inspirational literature to American life.”

Registration is open

The event – part of the Simon Institute’s “Understanding Our New World” series of virtual conversations – is free and open to the public. Registration is required to receive the information to join the Zoom webinar.

The Simon Institute encourages attendees to send questions for Jackson either by email to paulsimoninstitute@siu.edu or in the “Questions and Comments” section on the registration form.

For more information, visit paulsimoninstitute.org/event-information.