CORVALLIS - One of the nation's most noted African American poets will read from her works on Thursday, Feb. 15, in Corvallis as part of Oregon State University's Visiting Writers Series.

Toi Derricotte, who has published four books of poetry, will give a reading at the Corvallis Arts Center beginning at 7:30 p.m. The center is located at 700 S.W. Madison in Corvallis. The event is free and open to the public.

She also will meet informally with students at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Malamud Room of Moreland Hall.

Derricotte's four books of poetry include "Natural Birth," "The Empress of Death House," "Captivity" and "Tender," which received the Paterson Poetry Prize for 1998. She also wrote a memoir, "Black Notebooks," which was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book in 1998.

Winner of numerous awards, Derricotte has received a pair of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1985 and 1990). The United Black Artists, USA, Inc., honored her with its Distinguished Pioneering of the Arts Award in 1993, and she received prestigious Pushcart Prizes in 1989 and 1998.

Active as an educator, Derricotte leads workshops throughout the United States and she is a co-founder of Cave Canem, a workshop retreat for African American poets.

Derricotte has taught in the graduate creative writing programs at New York University, George Mason University, Old Dominion University, and Mills College. In 1999-2000, she was the Delta Sigma Theta Endowed Chair in Poetry at Xavier University.

She is on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is a professor of English. The OSU Visiting Writers Series brings to campus nationally known writers. For more information on the program, contact Tracy Daugherty of the Department of English at 541-737-1657.

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Tracy Daugherty, 541-737-1657