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Jan. 9, 2004
CONTACT: Kathleen Shields
734.487.4400
kathleen.shields@emich.edu

Pulitzer Prize winner to give keynote at EMU's Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration, Jan. 19

YPSILANTI – Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, will be the featured presenter at Eastern Michigan University’s annual celebration of the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr., Monday, Jan. 19.

Parks will speak briefly at the President’s Luncheon at the Ypsilanti Marriott at 12 p.m.; deliver the keynote address during the keynote celebration at Pease Auditorium at 3 p.m.; and host a talkback session following the 8 p.m. performance of her play, “In the Blood,” at Sponberg Theatre.

Parks was awarded the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play “Topdog/Underdog.” She received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2001 and, in 2003, was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and the Pen-Laura Pels Award for Excellence in Playwriting.

Parks also is an accomplished songwriter, screenwriter and novelist. Her first novel, “Getting Mother's Body,” was published in 2003 to critical acclaim. Her first feature film, “Girl 6,” was directed by Spike Lee. Parks is currently writing the film adaptation of Toni Morrison's novel “Paradise” for Harpo Films and the musical “Hoopz” for Disney.

Parks is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, and currently directs the Dramatic Writing Program at the California Institute of Arts.

Parks’ appearances are as follows:
• The EMU President’s Luncheon, Monday, Jan. 19, 12-1:30 p.m., Ypsilanti Marriott Ballroom. Tickets ($15 for students, $30 all others) can be purchased at the Quirk/Sponberg box office, 487.1221; the Convocation Center box office, 487.2282; or online at www.emich.edu/convocation. Open to the public. Seating for the luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m.

• Martin Luther King, Jr., Keynote Celebration: “You Didn’t Hear Me Then, Will You Hear Me Now?” Monday, Jan. 19, 3 p.m., Pease Auditorium. The keynote celebration will feature Parks, the EMU Gospel Choir, EMU Jazz Ensemble and the presentation of the Evans/Strand Diversity Award and the Nora and Lee Martin and Margaret Crawford Trailblazer Awards. Free and open to the public.

• Talkback Session, Sponberg Theater, Monday, Jan. 19, after the 8 p.m. presentation of Parks’ play, “In The Blood.” Presented by the EMU Theatre Department. Tickets are available at the Quirk/Sponberg box office, 487.1221.

For a complete listing of EMU activities celebrating the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., go to: http://cot.emich.edu/mlk.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive, metropolitan university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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