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  CONTACT: Terry Gallagher
PHONE: (313) 593-5518
DATE: Sept. 13, 2005

Broadside Press to celebrate 40 years of publishing leading African American artists with a series of events in September

DEARBORN---Broadside Press, which has published some of the most important works by African American authors since it was founded in Detroit in the 1960s, will celebrate its 40th anniversary this fall with a series of events, including "an intergenerational dialogue about poetry and cultural development" at the University of Michigan-Dearborn on Sept. 22.

Planning for the celebration has been chaired by Gloria House, whose poetry has appeared in Broadside publications since the 1980s under the name of Aneb Kgositsile. House is associate professor of humanities at UM-Dearborn.

The UM-Dearborn event will feature Sonia Sanchez, one of the most influential poets of the Black Arts Movement, and Jessica Care Moore, who is a nationally celebrated performance poet as well as an editor and publisher.

In addition to their discussion, both Sanchez and Moore will read from their works at the event, which is free and open to the public. The program will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. in Lecture Hall B of the campus's Social Sciences Building. The event is part of the campus's "Text in Community" series organized by the Office of the Provost to "engage the campus community in discussions with authors whose works focus on significant current or emerging issues."

Broadside Press was founded by poet and librarian Dudley Randall in Detroit and began with the printing of "broadsides," single poems on large sheets of paper that sold for 50 cents. Broadside soon became one of the leading outlets for African American poetry, producing anthologies and books of verse by leading authors including Margaret Walker, Gwendolyn Brooks, Nikki Giovanni, Audre Lorde, Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), Melba Joyce Boyd, Etheridge Knight and Sonia Sanchez.

"Randall and the writers and artists who published under the Broadside Press label became major shapers of the cultural and intellectual developments fostered by the Black Arts Movement," according to scholar Julius E. Thompson.

Many of the most important works from the history of Broadside Press were published last year in an anthology, "A Different Image," edited by Gloria House, Rosemary Weatherston and Albert M. Ward.

The book comes along with a compact disc featuring readings of some of the selections, and was included in the list of "Michigan Notable Books," the Library of Michigan's annual selection of "books reflecting Michigan's rich cultural heritage, featuring high-quality titles with wide public appeal that are either written by a Michigan resident or about a Michigan-related topic."

In addition to the kick-off event at UM-Dearborn, Broadside's 40th anniversary will be celebrated with a gala at the Main Branch of the Detroit Public Library on Friday, Sept. 23 and workshops and readings at the Eastside Campus of Wayne County Community College on Saturday, Sept. 24.

For more information on the event at UM-Dearborn call the Department of Humanities at (313) 593-5433. For information about the other events, contact the Broadside Press at (313) 824-0785, or see www.BroadsidePress.org.

Sponsors for the anniversary events include UM-Dearborn, the Detroit Public Library, the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Society for the Culturally Concerned, the University of Detroit-Mercy and the Wayne County Community College District.

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