Chestertown, MD, February 21, 2002 — The Sophie Kerr Committee, in celebration of Black History Month, presents poet Calvin Forbes reading from his work on Thursday, February 28, 2002, at 4:30 p.m. in the College's Sophie Kerr Room, Miller Library. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
A former assistant professor of creative writing at the College, Forbes is "one of the prominent black voices to develop out of the 1970s . . . He communicates a . . . highly moral philosophy as well as the thoughts and emotions of a writer whose artistic ability and vision are still expanding," according to Dictionary of Literary Biography essayist Robert A. Coles. Forbes spent his poet's apprenticeship hitchhiking around the United States, working with poet Jose Garcia Villa at the New School for Social Research, and studying the works of John Donne, Gwendolyn Brooks and Philip Larkin. Whether writing about the lives of street people or the origin of the artistic impulse, in all his work, observes Coles, "Forbes is skillful in the way he suggests double, and sometimes, triple layered meanings through tight control over simile and metaphor, both of which spark clear, powerful phrases and images."
Forbes was born in Newark, NJ in 1945. He attended the New School for Social Research, Rutgers University, and Brown University, where he earned his M.F.A. His books of poetry include "The Shine Poems" (Louisiana State University Press, 2001), "From the Book of Shine" (1979), and "Blue Monday" (1974). His poems have appeared in many journals and can be found in anthologies such as "A Century in Two Decades: A Burning Deck Anthology, 1961-81" (1982) and "New Black Voices" (1972). His honors and awards include fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference. Forbes currently is an associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he teaches writing, literature and jazz history.