Maryland Institute, College of Art Department of Language & Literature presents:

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A writer, a performer, an artist, Dr. Chezia Thompson Cager, Director of Spectrum of Poetic Fire - the Reading Series at the Maryland Institute College of Art, is a woman of incredible vision and insight into the world of literature and humanity. With an impressive resume, a keen sense of the value and craft of writing, and an instinct for selecting the best and the bravest, Dr. Thompson leads the 21-year old Spectrum into a new year of incredible programming that blends established writers with the fresh, new voices that will guide us into the new millennium.

Dr. Thompson is a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award recipient for 1999 and 2001, a 1996 Artscape Poetry competition winner (selected by Josephine Jacobsen), and the new director of Spectrum of Poetic Fire - The Reading Series at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore. Recently she completed and performed "The Joyce Scott Suite Poems" as a tour of "Kicking it with the Old Masters" at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Her most recent poems appear in The Baltimore Review Winter 2000 and WordWrights Magazine July 2000 and March/April 2001. Her most recent book, The Presence of Things Unseen: Giant Talk, is available through Maisonneuve Press. Her most recent article "Folk Realitites and Bourgeoisie Fantasies: 4 African-American Artists in Baltimore" appears in Volume Four of LINK: A Critical Review of the Arts in Baltimore and the World. As the subject of the film "Praise Song for Katherine Dunham: A Choreopoem" she sees her curatorial works as having the same goals as her directorial work at the Mildred E. Bastian and The Mendenhall Centers for the Performing Arts. As the Artscape 2000 Fine Arts Market Curator, her recent exhibits include "Carl Clark: Photographer," "Through the Fire to the Limit - African American Artists in Maryland," and "Playing in the Dark Tower - Images from the Black Literary Landscape." A graduate of Washington University and Carnegie-Mellon University, she has done research studies in Nigeria, Jamaica, and Haiti.

On the personal tip she says:

I'm a River Maiden, who gives thanks for the gift of love and the mission begun long ago by my maternal grandmother, Mississippi poet and performance artist, Mary Ellen Gideon - whose unpublished messages I carry.

(Biography from When Divas Laugh -- InPrint Editions, 2001)

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