Naomi Long Madgett

Naomi Long MadgettNaomi Long Madgett, Ph.D., Poet Laureate of the City of Detroit and the recipient of the 2012 Kresge Eminent Artist Award, is the author of ten books of poetry and two textbooks, and editor of two anthologies. Her poems appear in numerous journals and more than 180 anthologies both here and abroad. Several have been set to music and publicly performed. Her career as a published poet spans more than sixty years, her first small collection appearing when she was only seventeen years old.

She is founder and publisher /editor of Lotus Press, Inc., and professor of English emeritus at Eastern Michigan University.

Among her many honors are an American Book Award, induction into three halls of fame, three honorary degrees, and several lifetime achievement awards. She has recorded some of her poems at the Library of Congress. At the request of his wife, she wrote the poem for the 1975 inauguration of Governor William Milliken and read it at the ceremony. Her poem celebrating the tricentennial of Detroit was sealed in a time capsule December 31, 2001.

In 1993 the national Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award was established to recognize and publish an outstanding manuscript by an African American poet.

On June 4, 2005, a life-size sculpture of Dr. Madgett, commissioned by the Board of Directors of Lotus Press and created by Artis Lane, was unveiled and is now a part of the permanent collection at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, the largest facility of its kind in the world.

The most accurate account of her life and work can be found in her autobiography, Pilgrim Journey, and Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series, Volume 23 (Gale Research). Some of her papers are in the Fisk University Special Collections Library, and the more complete Naomi Long Madgett/ Lotus Press Papers are on deposit at the University of Michigan Special Collections Library in Ann Arbor.

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