Tickets for the Feb. 9 event in which Sapphire, poet and author of The New York Times bestseller “Push,” will speak about her experiences and then present a question-and-answer session followed by a book signing, are now buy one and get one free.
The question-and-answer session will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 9 in the Alumni Room of John C. Myers Convocation Center. The cost for this session is $10 for general admission, $2 for Ashland University students with I.D. and $8 for Ashland University faculty and staff. Tickets for these events can be purchased at the Ashland University Box Office in the Center for the Arts, Monday through Friday from 12‐6 p.m., or by calling 419-289-5125.
The Spectrum Arts and Lecture Series opens the semester with events titled “When Push Comes to Precious: The Novel, The Film, The Reality,” which deals with the New York Times bestseller “Push” and its adaptation to the big screen as the highly praised film, “Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire,” produced by Oprah Winfrey and Lee Daniels. The series will begin on Feb. 5 and 6 with the showing of the movie, “Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire.” The showing, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium. Limited seating is available for these events.
Co-sponsors for that program are Ashland Center for Nonviolence, Ashland University Bookstore, and the University’s Black Student Union, Minority Student Services and the Department of Student Life.
“Push” follows Claireece Precious Jones, an overweight teenager living in Harlem who endures being raped by her father, having his child, contracting HIV, and being physically and psychologically abused by her mother.
“Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire,” the film adaption of Sapphire’s novel, “Push,” recently won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Awards in the U.S. dramatic competition at Sundance (2009). “Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire” is the only film ever to win both the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals Audience Awards. It is a vibrant, honest and resoundingly hopeful film about the human capacity to grow and overcome.
Sapphire is the author of “American Dreams,” a collection of poetry, which was cited by “Publisher's Weekly” as, "One of the strongest debut collections of the nineties." Her novel, “Push,” won the Book-of-the-Month Club Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s First Novelist Award, and in Great Britain, the Mind Book of the Year Award.
“Push” was named by “The Village Voice” as one of the top 25 books of 1996 and by TIMEOUT New York as one of the top 10 books of 1996. “Push” was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work of Fiction. About her last book of poetry, “Poet's & Writer's Magazine” wrote, "With her soul on the line in each verse, her latest collection, “Black Wings & Blind Angels,” retains Sapphire's incendiary power to win hearts and singe minds."
Sapphire’s work has been translated into 13 languages and has been adapted for stage in the United States and Europe. She has performed her work at the legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Café, Franklin Furnace, the Bowery Poetry Club, Literaturwerkstadt in Berlin, and Apples & Snakes in London.
Sapphire’s poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in “The Black Scholar,” “The New York Times Magazine,” “The New York Times Book Review,” “The Teacher’s Voice,” “The New Yorker,” “Spin,” and “Bomb.”
In February of 2007, Arizona State University presented “PUSHing Boundaries, PUSHing Art: A Symposium on the Works of Sapphire.”
Sapphire has taught literature, fiction and poetry workshops at SUNY Purchase, Trinity College, and the Writer’s Voice in New York City. She has taught graduate writing workshops in MFA programs at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Brooklyn College, and at the New School University. In 1990 she received an Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award from Joyce Dinkins, then First Lady of New York City, for her work with literacy students in Harlem and the Bronx.