Whittier College News Release
For Immediate Release - June 12, 2000
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New Poem Composed for Whittier College Inauguration
Michael Harper, the first poet laureate for the state of Rhode Island, read "The Presidential Voice of Katherine Haley Will," a new poem composed especially for the inauguration of Will as Whittier College's 13th president on Friday, March 3. Harper, who has published 10 books of poetry, is University Professor and professor of English at Brown University, where he has taught since 1970. He was poet laureate of Rhode Island from 198893. Dear John, Dear Coltrane and Images of Kin, New and Selected Poems were nominated for the National Book Award and Images won the Melville-Cane Award from the Poetry Society of America. History Is Your Heartbeat won the Black Academy of Arts & Letters Award for poetry. Will, who came to Whittier last July, is the first woman to lead the college in its 113-year history. She holds master's and doctoral degrees in English from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, and her specialty is the Victorian novel. She also studied at Carleton College in Minnesota and earned a B.A. in English from Tufts University.