Brenda Marie Osbey – Reading

Brenda Marie Osbey is an author of poetry and prose nonfiction in English and French. Her 1997 book, All Saints: New and Selected Poems, received an American Book Award. Among her many other awards, Osbey won the 2014 Langston Hughes Award for her book History and Other Poems, a study of the TransAtlantic Slave Trade in verse.

A native of New Orleans, Osbey was named in 2005 the first peer-selected Poet Laureate of Louisiana. During her two-year tenure, she toured the United States presenting weekly poetry readings, lectures and symposia advocating the rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region of the U.S. in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Osbey’s books include her collected poems, All Souls: Essential Poems, 2015; Desperate Circumstance, Dangerous Woman, 1991; and In These Houses, 1988. Her poems have been published in numerous journals, anthologies and collections, including CallalooObsidianEssenceSouthern ReviewEarly Ripening: American Women’s Poetry NowThe Made Thing: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry, Southern Literary Journal and The American Poetry Review.

Osbey has been a resident fellow of the MacDowell Colony, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Millay Colony, the Camargo Foundation, Maison Dora Maar, and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, Harvard University. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation. From 2011 through 2015, she was distinguished visiting professor of Africana studies at Brown University.

Osbey’s visit is sponsored by the Willson Center and the Barbara Methvin Endowed Professorship in the department of English.