Marilyn Nelson will read from her works that include Faster Than Light, winner of the 2013 Milton Kessler Poetry Award. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, into a military family, Marilyn Nelson is a three-time finalist for the National Book Award and an accomplished poet, children’s verse author, and translator. She has won two Pushcart Prizes, two Yaddo residencies, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, and the 2012 Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America. Nelson is a professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut at Storrs and was Connecticut’s poet laureate from 2001 to 2006. In 2013, she was elected as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
Nelson is the daughter of one of the last of the Tuskegee Airmen. Her mother was a teacher. She spent much of her youth living on different military bases and began writing poetry in elementary school. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Davis and holds an MA from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD from the University of Minnesota.