Marilyn Nelson, the 2012 recipient of the Robert Frost Medal, will read from her work on Thursday, August 2, at the Hygienic Art Galleries in New London.
On April, 26, 1946 Marilyn Nelson was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Melvin M. Nelson, a U.S. serviceman in the Air Force, and Johnnie Mitchell Nelson, a teacher. Brought up first on one military base and then another, Nelson started writing while still in elementary school.
She earned her BA from the University of California, Davis, and holds postgraduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (MA, 1970) and the University of Minnesota (PhD, 1979).
Her books include The Cachoeira Tales, and Other Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 2005); The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems (1997), which was a finalist for the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the 1997 National Book Award, and the PEN Winship Award; Magnificat (1994);The Homeplace (1990), which won the 1992 Annisfield-Wolf Award and was a finalist for the 1991 National Book Award; Mama's Promises(1985); and For the Body (1978); all published by Louisiana State University Press.
She has also published collections of verse for children including:Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World (Dial Books, 2009); The Freedom Business: Including A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa(Front Street, 2008); The Cat Walked through the Casserole and Other Poems for Children (with Pamela Espeland, 1984) and Halfdan Rasmussen's Hundreds of Hens and Other Poems for Children (1982), which she translated from Danish with Pamela Espeland.
Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, and the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award. From 2001 - 2006, she served as the Poet Laureate of Connecticut. Since 1978 she has taught at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, where she is a professor of English.