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March 3, 2004

ULM Graduate and Acclaimed Author to Visit Campus

Brian Keith Jackson, ULM graduate and author, will speak at two events on campus next week. The first event at 11 a.m. is for area high school students, and the evening event at 5 p.m. is open to everyone. Both programs will be held in the University Conference Center on the 7th floor of the ULM Library on Thursday, March 11.

Brian Keith Jackson moved from Monroe to New York in 1990 to pursue a career in the arts. Frustrated by images of black men in the media and their portrayal on stage and screen he began writing plays, which were performed at La Mama, etc, Theatre for the New City, Nuyorican Poets Cafe. For his efforts he received fellowships from Art Matters and the Jerome Foundation.

Jackson then made the transition from the stage to the page, with his debut novel, "The View From Here," which won the First Fiction Award from the American Library Association Black Caucus and also received a fellowship from the Millay Colony of the Arts. "The View from Here" was a bestseller in South Africa and was recently translated to French by Musee Dapper. The New York Times Book Review said that his "prose had visceral pungency," while People likened him to Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, calling it a "triumph."

"Walking Through Mirrors" his second novel soon followed again prompting Kirkus Review to call it "an intriguing and variant contribution. A lean and nicely told story." And Paper followed by saying, "Jackson's prose prompts responses from both the head and the heart via delivery that is clearly thoughtful, yet never contrived."

His third novel, "The Queen of Harlem" was recently published and he is working on a collection of short stories, a novel, "The Documentary," and a play, "Collage Cafe", which will be produced by Monday Morning in spring 2003.

He has written for The London Observer, Paper, Nylon and has contributed to several anthologies. When he isn't writing he focuses on art collecting, music and travel. He lives in Harlem.

Sponsorship for the daytime program is provided by the Citgo President's Speaker Series. The evening program is sponsored by the Arts and Sciences Showcase and Department of English.

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