Author Valerie Boyd will give a reading of her literary work Tuesday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Reading Room of the West Virginia University Downtown Library. The reading is free and open to the public.

Boyd is a widely published journalist, author and cultural critic, and is best known for her critically acclaimed biography “Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston.”

Zora Neale Hurston is one of the pre-eminent writers of 20th-century African-American literature. Hurston was closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance and has influenced such writers as Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Gayle Jones, Alice Walker and Edwidge Danticat.

“Valerie Boyd is a versatile, dynamic writer,” said Mark Brazaitis, a professor in WVU’s Department of English and the director of the Creative Writing Program. “She has published her work widely, including in well-known magazines such as Essence and Oxford American. She’ll give a great reading, and I know our students will benefit from hearing what she has to say.”

Boyd obtained her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 1985 and her Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction from Goucher College in 1999. Currently, she is an associate professor and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia where she teaches narrative nonfiction writing as well as arts reviewing and literary journalism. She has also taught creative nonfiction in the graduate writing program at Antioch University in Los Angeles.

Boyd is currently working on a book entitled “Spirits in the Dark: The Untold Story of Black Women in Hollywood.” She lives in Atlanta.

For more information about the event, contact Mark Brazaitis at 304-293-9707 or via e-mail at



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