Melba Boyd: A thought leader in African American literature and cinema

Melba Joyce Boyd, Distinguished Professor in African American Studies, is an award-winning author of 13 books, nine of which are poetry. Boyd’s critically acclaimed and widely reviewed work, Discarded Legacy: Politics and Poetics in the Life of Frances E. W. Harper, 1825-1911, was the first comprehensive study on Harper.

Boyd’s poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction have appeared in anthologies, academic journals, cultural periodicals and newspapers in the United States and Europe. She has a doctor of arts in English from the University of Michigan, and both a B.A. and M.A. in English from Western Michigan University.

Boyd’s work throughout the years has been highly lauded. Her volume of poetry, Death Dance of a Butterfly, was recognized by the Library of Michigan as a Notable Book in 2013. Her book Wrestling with the Muse: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press earned the 2005 Honor for Nonfiction from The Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Her following book, Roses and Revolutions: The Selected Writings of Dudley Randall, received the 2010 Independent Publishers Award was recognized by the Library of Michigan as a Notable Book in 2010, and was a finalist for the 2010 NAACP Image Award for poetry and the 2009 ForeWord Book of the Year for poetry. Other honors include The Sojourner Truth Meritorious Service Award, National Conference of Artists Award and the Charles H. Wright Museum's Women's Award.

Her areas of expertise include the following:

  • African American literature
  • African American cinema
  • Poetry
  • Documentary film