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Simmons College Professor Receives Award From New England Poetry Club

Afaa Michael Weaver Accepts Prestigious May Sarton Award

BOSTON (January 7, 2010) — Afaa Michael Weaver, Simmons College professor of English and a nationally acclaimed poet, was awarded the prestigious May Sarton Award from the New England Poetry Club Dec. 7 at the Yenching Library at Harvard University. The award is given to a poet whose work is an inspiration to other poets; recipients are chosen by the club's board.

Weaver — director of the Simmons College Zora Neale Hurston Literary Center and holder of the endowed chair position as Alumnae Professor of English at Simmons — was chosen for his contributions to the art of poetry, his service as a role model, and his work as a teacher, writer, and artist. At the award ceremony, Weaver was introduced as a poet, playwright, and professor who also has been a blue-collar worker, soldier, and poetry festival organizer. Upon receiving the award, Weaver read pieces of his work and spoke about those who had inspired him.

Weaver has published nine collections of poetry and has been nominated several times for a Pulitzer Prize. He was featured on the cover of the national "Poets & Writers" magazine November 2007 and noted for his "poignant and delicate observations, his sense of freedom, his portraits of African-American history and culture, and his ability to get beyond the sentimental and banal."

The New England Poetry Club was founded in 1915 by poets Amy Lowell, Robert Frost, and Conrad Aiken. The club sponsors the oldest poetry reading series in the country.

Simmons College is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston. It offers an undergraduate education for women, and renowned coeducational graduate programs in health sciences, education, liberal arts, social work, library and information science, and communications management, as well as the nation's first MBA program designed specifically for women.