Detroit poet Melba Joyce Boyd wins coveted Kresge Eminent Artist Prize

A Detroit poet, essayist, biographer, editor, filmmaker and Distinguished professor, Melba Joyce Boyd is being honored for her 50-year career with the title of 2023 Kresge Eminent Artist.

The lifetime achievement honor, which was launched in 2008, comes with a $50,000 prize.

Boyd, 72, has an impressive resume and list of accolades which includes many Library of Michigan Notable Book Awards and a 2010 Independent Publishers Award. The same year, she was also a finalist for the NAACP Image Award for Poetry. She has published 13 books and is a Distinguished Professor in African American Studies at Wayne State University.

Boyd said one thing that’s great about the Kresge Eminent Artist award is that you don’t apply for it.

“You’re getting real appreciation for your work from people who understand what it means to work in Detroit,” she said in a statement. “That’s something special. It’s a reminder and celebration of the culture we have here and the way it continues.”

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