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April 8, 2022

Visiting Writers Series to feature inaugural winner of Maya Angelou Book Award

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Northwest Missouri State University’s Visiting Writers Series will feature the inaugural recipient of the Maya Angelou Book Award as the series concludes its 2021-22 lineup.

Author Threa Almontaser will appear at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 18, at the Raymond J. Courter College Park Pavilion on the Northwest campus. The event is free and open to the public; it will move to the J.W. Jones Student Union Living Room in case of inclement weather.

Almontaser, a Yemeni American poet, was named last September as the inaugural winner of the Maya Angelou Book Award for her debut collection of poetry, “The Wild Fox of Yemen” (Graywolf Press 2021). The collection examines the life of a young Muslim woman in New York, half a world away from her roots in Yemen.

Additionally, she is the winner of the Walt Whitman Award presented by the Academy of American Poets and the Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize. She also is a recipient of writing fellowships awarded by Duke University, the Fulbright Program and National Endowment for the Arts.

Almontaser earned her Master of Fine Arts degree and TESOL certification from North Carolina State University.

The Maya Angelou Book Award is a national award established by the Kansas City Public Library and six other Missouri universities, including Northwest, to celebrate contemporary poetry and fiction writers whose work reflects a commitment to social justice and inclusion. Named for Missouri-born memoirist, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, the award is accompanied by a $10,000 stipend.

The Visiting Writers Series is designed to enrich Northwest’s educational mission while promoting the values of community, civil discourse and self-expression. Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corporation, Green Tower Press, and the Department of Language, Literature and Writing sponsor the series.

For information about the Visiting Writers Series, contact Daniel Biegelson, the series director and a senior instructor of English, at dbiegel@nwmissouri.edu or 660.562.1266.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704