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Michelle Berry

Author's Bio

Former Tompkins County Poet Laureate Michelle Courtney Berry is a journalist, poet, feminist, playwright, entrepreneur, Reiki Master and performer of African, Cherokee and Irish heritage. Born in Manhatan and raised in the Catskills, she holds a Master's degree in Communication from Cornell University, where she was a Cornell Fellow; a dual BA degree in English, Literature & Rhetoric and Political Science & a minor in Public Affairs Communication from Binghamton University, where she was a Presidential Scholar, Scripps-Howard Foundation Scholar and Commencement Speaker. A former summer scholar at Georgetown's Institute on Political Journalism & at Vassar College, Ms. Berry has been a Cave Canem Fellow, Alternate Acting Mayor and Councilwoman for the City of Ithaca. In 2008, she was an elected Delegate for Mr. Barack Obama, garnering over 16,000 votes in NY's 22nd Congressional District. She has opened for The 14th Dalai Lama, Maya Angelou, Howard Zinn and been featured on "Good Morning America." In addition to her publication and performance schedule, she has also held progressive teaching positions at Broome Community College, Binghamton University, Cornell University and Ithaca College. In 2001, she was ranked 16th in the world at the National Poetry Festival in Seattle. She resides in the Fingerlakes Region with her family.

Publications and Prizes

Anthologies:
Gathering Ground: a reader celebrating Cave Canem's first decade (University of Michigan Press, 2006), Gifts from Our Grandmothers (Crown Publications, 2002), Cave Canem Poetry Anthology IV (Black Classic Press, 1999), Cave Canem Anthology II (Black Classic Press, 1998), Cave Canem Poetry Anthology II (Cave Canem, 1997)
Journals:
Horticulture, nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, Obsidian, Oxford American, Paterson Literary Review
Prizes:
Community Arts Partnership Award (Fiction) Cave Canem Fellowship (three years), Poets & Writers Grant (poetry reading at Awakenings Cafe), Poet Laureate of Tompkins County (two years), Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship in Poetry (summer 2009)

Michelle Berry Resume

Personal Favorites

What I'm Reading Now:
Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb, The Race Issue by Oxford American Magazine, Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, Hardheaded Weather by Cornelius Eady
Favorite Books:
Song of Solomon, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, The Shipping News, The Deep End of the Ocean, When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America, The Dance of Anger, Being Peace, In Praise of Slowness, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, War Talk, The God of Small Things, Slave Moth.and hundreds of books of poetry...too numerous to list!
Favorite Authors:
Ai, Cornelius Eady, Toi Derricotte, Lucille Clifton, Sonia Sanchez, Patricia Smith, Nikky Finney, Gwendolyn Brooks, Gabrielle Garcia Marquez, Julia Alvarez, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, Sharon Olds, Rebecca Walker, Arundhati Roy, Howard Zinn, Cornel West, Sapphire, Salman Rushdie Frank McCourt, James Baldwin, Michael Eric Dyson, Frederick Douglas, Diane Ackerman, Barbara Kingsolver, Barack Obama, Myla Goldberg, Maya Angelou, Thylias Moss, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Listing last updated: April 29, 2010

More Information

Listed as:
Poet
Gives readings?
Yes
Travels for readings?
Yes
Identifies as:
African American, Native American
Prefers to work with:
Any
Fluent in:
English
Born in:
New York, NY
Raised in:
Narrowsburg, NY

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