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Sterling D. Plumpp

“You can not ever get free as a result of legislation...you always have to take freedom.”Sterling D. Plumpp

Sterling Dominic Plumpp (born January 30, 1940)  is a poet, educator, and essayist with a long history of writing, teaching, and activism. He is the author of fourteen books including Home/Bass, Velvet Bebop Kente Cloth, Ornate with Smoke and Blues Narratives. He is the editor of two anthologies, Somehow We Survive, a collection of South African Writing and Steel Pudding: Writing from the Gary Historical and Cultural Society Writer’s Workshop. Plumpp is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he served on the faculty in the African American Studies and English Departments and most recently served as a visiting professor in the Master of Fine Arts Program at Chicago State University.

In 2009, Valley Voices produced an entire issue of its journal, The Sterling Plumpp Issue, focused on his poetry, interviews and critical explorations of his work. He is the recipient of numerous awards as a blues poet and African American cultural storyteller.  In 2014 he was awarded the American Book Award for Home/Bass: Poems.

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