University of Vermont

University Communications

Sapphire, Author of Best-Selling Novel 'Push,' to Speak at UVM

Release Date: 11-01-2010

Author: Lee Ann Cox
Phone: 802-656-1107 Fax: (802) 656-3203

Poet, performer and author of the best-selling novel Push -- adapted into the Oscar-nominated film Precious -- Sapphire will speak on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in UVM's Davis Center, Grand Maple Ballroom. The talk, "Push, Precious, and Black Women in Literature," is free and open to the public. A limited book signing will follow the talk.

Sapphire, whose work has been called "spiky and uncompromising," is the author of two collections of poetry, American Dreams and Black Wings & Blind Angels. Her award-winning novel, Push, about an illiterate, brutalized Harlem teenager, was named one of the top 25 books of 1996 by the Village Voice and made into a major motion film produced by Oprah Winfrey.

Sapphire's work has been translated into thirteen languages and been adapted for stage in the U.S. and Europe. Her poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in such publications as the Black Scholar, The New York Times Magazine and the New Yorker and she has taught numerous literature and MFA graduate writing workshops. In 1990 she received an Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award for her work with literacy students in Harlem and the Bronx.

Captioning and sign language services will be provided.