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Kresge Eminent Artist Melba Joyce Boyd celebrated in online event, short film


This item has been updated following the online event it originally previewed.

Poet, essayist, scholar and more Melba Joyce Boyd was the star of an online celebration on April 13 in honor of her naming earlier this year as the 2023 Kresge Eminent Artist.

The celebration, hosted by Kresge Arts in Detroit, which administers the Eminent Artist initiative for the foundation, featured the debut of a short video about Boyd and her performance of a number of her poems accompanied by a jazz combo (featuring Kresge Artist Fellow Marion Hayden on bass, New York pianist Rod Williams, vocalist Shahida Nurullah and drummer Tariq Garner).

There were also be remarks by Kresge Detroit Program Managing Director Wendy Lewis Jackson, College for Creative Studies President Don Tuski and Kresge Arts in Detroit Executive Director Christina deRoos. (A link to the full program will be posted here when available.)

Boyd has been the subject of considerable media attention since her naming in January as the 15th Kresge Eminent Artist, an annual prize which comes with $50,000, no strings attached. The honor also comes with the creation of the short video and the creation of a monograph to be released later this year and available at no cost while its print run lasts. The Eminent Artist monographs are also available online in perpetuity.

Most recently, Boyd was interviewed and read poems on WDET’s Culture Shift program (check the show’s Tuesday, April 11, edition around the 1-hour mark). She can also be heard on a February edition of Michigan Radio’s Stateside program.