2018 Keynote Speakers | Virginia Hamilton Conference | Kent State University

2018 Keynote Speakers

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Marilyn Nelson
Marilyn Nelson

Poet, author and translator

Marilyn Nelson, a three-time finalist for the National Book Award, is one of America’s most celebrated poets. She is the author or translator of seventeen poetry books for adults and children, five chapbooks, and a memoir, named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2014, entitled How I Discovered Poetry.

Her honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, an A.C.L.S. Contemplative Practices Fellowship, the Department of the Army’s Commander’s Award for Public Service, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, a fellowship from the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Frost Medal - the Poetry Society of America’s most prestigious award, for a “distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry.” Nelson is a professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut; was (2004-2010) founder/director and host of Soul Mountain Retreat, a small non-profit writers’ colony; and held the office of Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut from 2001-2006.

Marilyn Nelson’s website is http://marilyn-nelson.com

  • American Ace (Penguin Random House, 2016)
  • My Seneca Village (namelos, 2015)
  • Snook Alone (Candlewick Press, 2010)
  • Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World (Dial Books, 2009)
  • The Freedom Business: Including A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa (Front Street, 2008)
  • A Wreath For Emmett Till (2005) - Boston Globe Horn Book Award; Coretta Scott King Honor Book; Michael L. Printz Honor Book; Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book
  • Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem (2004) - Coretta Scott King Honor Book; Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry
  • Carver: A Life in Poems (2001) - Boston Globe/Horn Book Award; Flora Stieglitz Straus Award; National Book Award finalist; Newbery Honor Book; Coretta Scott King Honor Book

David Bloome

David Bloome

Distinguished Professor of Literacy, The Ohio State University

David Bloome is a professor and researcher in the Language, Education and Society and Adolescent, Post-Secondary and Community Literacies programs in the Department of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University.

Dr. Bloome is interested in how people use written language to construct knowledge and learning opportunities, to construct social relationships and social identities, to create collective memories, to connect people and events across time and space, and to improve their communities and the various “worlds” in which they live. He is also interested in the potential of classroom education for connecting academic learning and local knowledge and for building communities; and in the teaching and learning of reading and writing in ways that have meaning for students, their families, and their communities, and that integrate academic excellence with social justice.

In 2006, Dr. Bloome received the College of Education Dean’s Distinguished Scholarship Award; in 2014, he received the AERA Division 6 Mentoring Award. He was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2015, Dr. Bloome received the John J. Gumperz Memorial Award for Distinguished Lifetime Scholarship from the AERA Special Interest Group on Language and Social Processes.

Dr. Bloome teaches courses on discourse analysis, writing in classrooms and community, language, literacy and culture, among others. He has taught at the upper elementary through high school levels. He is currently director of the Center for Video Ethnography and Discourse Analysis and co-director of the Columbus Area Writing Project.


Cheryl and Wade Hudson

Authors and publishers, Just Us Books

Wade Hudson

Wade Hudson is an author and publisher. He is also president and CEO of Just Us Books, Inc., an independent publisher of books for children and young adults. Among his 30 published books for children and young adults are Book of Black Heroes from A to Z, Jamal’s Busy Day, Pass It On: African American Poetry for Children, Powerful Words: More Than Two Hundred Years of Extraordinary Writing by African Americans, It’s Church Going Time, Feelings I Love to Share and Friends I Love to Meet.
He has received a New Jersey Stephen Crane Literary Award; The Ida B. Wells Institutional Leadership Award (2008) presented by the Center for Black Literature; and the Madame C. J. Walker Legacy Award (2012) given by the Zora Neale Hurston-Richard Wright Foundation. He has also been inducted into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent. His website is http://wadehudson-authorpublisher.com

Cheryl Willis Hudson

Cheryl Willis Hudson is an author, editor and co-founder/editorial director of Just Us Books, Inc., an independent company that focuses on Black interest books for children and young adults. Cheryl has authored over two dozen books for young children including Bright Eyes, Brown Skin (with Bernette Ford), AFRO-BETS ABC Book, Good Morning, Baby, Glo Goes Shopping, From Where I Stand, and Clothes I Love to Wear (Marimba Books); Hands Can and Construction Zone (Candlewick Press); and My Friend Maya Loves to Dance (Abrams). She has also co-edited a number of titles including How Sweet the Sound: African American Songs for Children (Scholastic, Inc.). Cheryl is a member of the Children’s and Young Adult Committee of PEN America and has served as diversity consultant to a number of educational publishers.

Outside of her full-time immersion in children’s books, Cheryl enjoys a cappella singing and creating handmade story quilts. Her website is http://cherylwhudson.weebly.com