Poet, essayist, biographer, editor, filmmaker and distinguished Detroit teacher, Melba Joyce Boyd is honored for her 50-year career with Kresge’s 2023 Distinguished Artist.

    The Lifetime Achievement Honor, launched in 2008, comes with a $50,000 prize.

    Boyd, 72, has an impressive resume and a list of accolades that includes numerous outstanding book awards from the Library of Michigan 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 of 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 get real appreciation for your work from people who understand what it means to work in Detroit,” she said in a statement. “It’s something special. It’s a reminder and a celebration of the culture we have here and how it continues.”

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