Dr. Melba Joyce Boyd is a Distinguished Professor in African American Studies at Wayne State University and an award-winning author of 13 books, nine of which are poetry. Boyd’s critically acclaimed and widely reviewed, 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 B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from Western Michigan University.
Research Interest/Area of Expertise
African American Literature
African American Cinema
- Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1922), African American Poet and Activist
- Dudley Randall (1914-2000) African American Poet and Publisher
- Essays on the African American Cinematic Experience
Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications
- University of Michigan, Doctor of Arts in English Language and Literature, 1979
- Western Michigan University, M.A. in English Language and Literature, 1972
- Western Michigan University, B.A. in English Language and Literature, 1971
Awards and Grants
Death Dance of a Butterfly received the 2013 Library of Michigan Notable Books Award for Poetry, Wrestling with the Muse: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press received the 2005 Honor for Nonfiction from The Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Roses and Revolutions: The Selected Writings of Dudley Randall received the 2010 Independent Publishers Award, the 2010 Library of Michigan Notable Books Award for Poetry, and was a Finalist for the 2010 NAACP Image Award for Poetry and the 2010 ForeWord Award for Poetry. Other awards include: The Sojourner Meritorious Award for Community Service, National Conference of Artist Award, the Charles H. Wright Museum's Women's Award, amont others.
"Frances E. W. Harper in the Situation of Ishmael," Cambridge Companion to American Literature of the Renaissance, Harvard University Press, 2016.
"Waiting for Smokey," Heaven Was Deroit (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2016)
Death Dance of a Butterfly (Ferndale, MI: Past Tents Press, 2012.
Roses and Revolutions: The Selected Writings of Dudley Randall (WSU Press, 2009).
Wrestling with the Muse: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press, New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
Star by Star: The Poetry and Publishing of Naomi Long Madgett, Co-Producer, 2009, documentary film.
The Black Unicorn: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press, Documentary film, 1996.
Discarded Legacy: Politics and Poetics in the Life of Frances E. W. Harper (WSU Press, 1994).
AFS 3200 African American Cinemaic Experience
AFS 5110 Black Women in America
AFS 2010 African American Culture
AFS 6990 Directed Studies in African American Studies
- AFS 5310 Special Topics in African American Studies: Black Women Writers in and Out of Context
- AFS 3200 African American Cinemaic Experience
- AFS 5110 Black Women in America
- AFS 2010 African American Culture
- AFS 6990 Directed Studies in African American Studies
Oxford Companion to African American Literature
Who's Who in American Literature