Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo

Marygrove welcomes Elizabeth Acevedo as its 31st author in Marygrove's Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series.


Marygrove College is proud to be entering the fourth decade of the Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series. From the great Gloria Naylor in 1989 to Pulitzer Prize-winning Colson Whitehead in 2018, Marygrove has brought significant African American authors to the attention of thousands in the Metro Detroit community.

Marygrove is thrilled to introduce Detroiters to the work of Elizabeth Acevedo as our 31st Contemporary American Author. This is a most exciting way to enter a new decade of signature event in the city of Detroit. Ms. Acevedo is one of today’s most talked-about slam and spoken word poets because her work is edgy and thought-provoking.

Acevedo is the author of the novel THE POET X, which won the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for fiction and of Beastgirl & Other Creation Myths, a collection of folkloric poems centered on the experiences of a first-generation American woman. On November 14, 2018, Elizabeth Acevedo received the National Book award for Young People's Literature: https://www.nationalbook.org/books/the-poet-x/. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. She has appeared nationally and internationally at venues such as The Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts, South Africa’s State Theatre, The Bozar in Brussels, and the National Library of Kosovo.

Acevedo is a National Slam Champion and her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Poetry, Puerto Del Sol, Callaloo, The Notre Dame Review, and others. Acevedo is a Cave Canem Fellow, Cantomundo Fellow, and participant in the Callaloo Writer’s Workshop.

Put this one in ink on your calendar! Bring friends.

To register for the reception that begins at 5:30 p.m. and Dinner with The Author that begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 26th, please click here

This series at Marygrove College is an annual event bringing a nationally-known author to our campus for a public lecture and seminar with students. It began when the late Frederick P. Currier, a former Marygrove College trustee, attended a reception on campus and remarked that he would like to bring a national writer to Marygrove for a weekend. Mr. Currier's start-up check soon followed his suggestion, and in 1989 nearly 600 guests of the College heard Gloria Naylor inaugurate the series.

On April 26, 2019, she will become the tenth National Book Award recipient to visit Marygrove since 1989.

The Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series and Defining Detroit, a program of Marygrove's Institute for Detroit Studies, have brought to Detroit audiences the recipients of eleven MacArthur "Genius" Grants, nine National Book Awards, six Pulitzer Prizes, eight Guggenheim Fellowships, five Pushcart Prizes, three Emmy Awards, and one Man Booker Prize. In addition, the two series have welcomed three U.S. Poets Laureate and one Presidential Inaugural Poet.

Since then, through the generous support of corporate donors, foundations, advertisers, friends, alumni, the Marygrove College Board of Trustees, and the Lillian and Donald Bauder Endowment, we have been able to keep the Authors Lecture Series free and accessible to the entire metropolitan Detroit community. To date, nearly 8,500 people have joined us at the Friday night public reading to hear outstanding writers share their work. The Friday evening reading/lecture is followed by a reception and book signing.

View the CAALS Author Archive

Contemporary American Author Lecture Series (CAALS)

Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series (CAALS)

The CAALS brings a nationally-known author to Marygrove College each year for a public lecture and a seminar with students.

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