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DATE: Feb. 13, 2004

Performance honors work of poet, activist

DEARBORN---Three actresses and a musician will combine music and choreographed movement with the poetry of scholar and activist Gloria House during "Praisesong for Gloria House" at 6 p.m. March 8 in Lecture Hall B of the Social Sciences Building (formerly the School of Management Building) on the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus.

Gloria House reads poetry during UM-Dearborn's African American Read-in Chain on Feb. 2.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, is a collaboration of UM-Dearborn's African and African American Studies Program, the Commission for Women and the Women's Studies Program's "Composing a Life" series. The event is supported through the King/Chavez/Parks Visiting Professor Initiative administered by the Office of the Provost.

The performance was conceived and is directed by acclaimed playwright Ron Milner, and will feature actresses Nkenge Zola, Jara McKinney and Judy Milner along with bassist Marion Hayden.

House, who writes under the name Aneb Kgositsile, is a visiting professor of humanities at UM-Dearborn this year.

"I've long admired Aneb's work, thought of it as world-class, and believe that she's been overlooked long enough as both an activist and a poet," according to Ron Milner.

Following the March 8 performance, the audience can interact with House, Milner and the cast during a reception and question and answer session.

"We are honored that we can collaborate with the Women's Studies Program and its 'Composing A Life' series to showcase this exciting work," said humanities Prof. Deborah Smith Pollard, director of the African and African American Studies Program. "'Praisesong for Gloria House' mirrors what the series was created to do each year: it celebrates a multifaceted woman, in this case a scholar, teacher and poet, whose work in all of these fields has been exemplary."

House is a writer-in-residence at the University of Detroit Mercy's Dudley Randall Center for Print Culture. She is professor emerita at Wayne State University and has taught at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She also is a former copy editor for the Detroit Free Press.

She has published two books of poetry--Rainrituals and Blood River: Poems 1964-1983. Shrines, her latest collection, will be released this year.

For more information about the event, contact Pollard at (313) 593-1391.

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