Ai is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Cruelty (1973), Killing Floor (1979), Sin (1986), Fate (1991), and Greed (1993). Her most recent work, Vice: New and Selected Poems (1999) won the National Book Award.
José Alcántara Almánzar, fiction writer, scholar, and literary critic, is the author of five collections of short stories dating from the early 1970s and 1980s, many of which are gathered in a recent anthology, El sabor de lo prohibido (1993). He lives and works in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Patrick Chamoiseau lives in Martinique. He is the author of several novels, including Chronigue des sept miséres, Solibo Magnifique, and Texaco (Prix Goncourt, 1992). He also wrote, with J. Bernabé and R. Confiant, Eloge de la Créolite.
Lucille Clifton, Poet Laureate of the State of Maryland (1975-85), was recently awarded the National Book Award for her Blessing the Boats (2000). For her numerous books of poetry she has received many fellowships and awards, including the Shelley Memorial Prize, a Charity Randall Citation, an Emmy Award from the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, a selection as a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library, a Lannan Achievement Award in Poetry, and the 1999 Lila Wallace-Readers' Digest Writers' Award. She serves on the board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets and was recently elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her poetry collection, The Terrible Stories (1996), was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Lenore Marshall Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award.
Maryse Condé was born in Guadeloupe. She is the author of several novels, including Hérémakhonon, Ségou: les Murailles de terre, Moi, Tituba, sorcière noire de Salem, La vie scèlérate, and Traversée de la mangrove. She is also author of La parole des femmes: essai sur de romancières de Antilles de langue française, La civilisation du bossale, and other studies of literature and culture. A new book, Tales from the Heart, is scheduled to appear in late 2001.
René Depestre is a poet and novelist, exiled by means of a "scholarship" after he helped to create a student/worker revolt that brought down the government of President Lescot in January 1946. for years Depestre experienced a series of deportations from various countries (France, Czechoslovakia, Brazil, etc.) because of his militant activities for the Communist Party. He has never returned to Haiti, except for a brief period at the beginning of the Françoise Duvalier regime in 1958, and lives today in southern France. He is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, literary and cultural criticism, and fiction, most recently Encore une mer a traverser (1998).
Toi Derricotte is author of four books of poetry and a memoir, The Black Notebooks. The Black Notebooks won the Annisfield-Wolf Award in nonfiction and the nonfiction award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association in 1997. [End Page 1220] Her latest book of poems, Tender, won the Paterson Poetry Prize in 1998. She is cofounder (with Cornelius Eady) of Cave Canem, the first workshop for African-American poets.
Rita Dove, Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia, is former Poet Laureate of the United States. Thomas and Beulah won her the Pulitzer Prize in 1987. Her seventh collection of poems, On the Bus with Rosa Parks, was published by W.W. Norton in 1999. Among the most recent of her many honors are the 1996 Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities, the 1996 National Humanities Medal, the 1997 Barnes and Noble Writers for Writers Award, the 1997 Sara Lee Frontrunner Award, the 1998 Levinson Prize for Poetry magazine, the 2000 Library Lion medal from the New York Public Library and the 2001 Duke Ellington Lifetime Achievement Award in the Literary Arts. Ms. Dove's song cycle Seven for Luck, set to music by John Williams and featured with the Boston Pops on PBS, was premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in July 1998, and her play The Darker Face of the Earth, has been performed at the Fountain Theatre in...