Two prominent authors will visit UF the week of Feb. 8 and speak in the Judaica Suite (Smathers Library, second floor in Special Collections Grand Reading Room).
On Monday, Feb. 8, at 4 p.m., Olive Senior will a selection of her poetry and fiction, and then discuss “Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal.” Her recent prize-winning book exposes a little known side of a major historic accomplishment.
The author of more than 16 books, Senior is one of the most recognized contemporary Caribbean writers, having won prizes for her fiction, poetry and non-fiction. She has worked internationally as a creative writing teacher and lecturer on Caribbean literature and culture. Senior is on the faculty of the Humber School for Writers, Toronto, and has taught in the writing programs at University of Toronto, St Lawrence University, Barnard College and Columbia University.
Her work in recording and disseminating the cultural heritage of Jamaica was honored in 2003 with the Norman Washington Manley Foundation Award for Excellence and in 2004 with the Gold Medal of the Institute of Jamaica. Senior’s writing is represented in numerous anthologies worldwide and has been translated into several languages.
This event is sponsored by the George A. Smathers Libraries, the Department of English, the Department of History, the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, MFA@FLA, Amherst College and the University of Miami.
The Judaica Suite welcomes Sidney Homan on Wednesday, Feb.10, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, Sidney Homan will present a lecture on “Directing Shakespeare: A Scholar on Stage.”
Homan is professor of English at the University of Florida and visiting professor at Jilin University in the People's Republic of China. An actor and director in commercial and university theatres, he is the author of some eleven books on Shakespeare and the modern playwrights. His “A Fish in the Moonlight: Growing Up in the Bone Marrow Unit” combines stories of his youth in South Philadelphia with his experience as artist-in-residence telling those stories to children on the bone marrow unit of his university's hospital.
He is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars, and was chosen as the University of Florida's Teacher/Scholar for 2014-2015. With his son Daniel, he has completed a novel about a German resistance group that attempts with a theatrical trick to overthrow Hitler.
Officially opened by President Bernie Machen on January 19, 2014, the Judaica Suite was designed by world-renowned architect, artist and UF alumnus Kenneth Treister.