Dennis Brutus at
Worcester State University
Dennis Brutus' long association with Worcester State University, which spans over twenty years, began on May 28, 1982, when he appeared as key speaker at the inauguration of the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Worcester State University. The next day, May 29, 1982, he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for both his heroic activities as an opponent of Apartheid in South Africa as well as for his distinguished achievement as a poet. It was at this time that, partly out of gratitude for the University's support of him during his dramatic battle to win political asylum in the United States and partly out of a generous desire to assist the newly created Center for the Study of Human Rights, he donated an extensive number of personal manuscripts and other items to the Center.
After a long hiatus, Dr. Brutus returned to the University, participating in several human rights programs together with the Archbishop of South Africa, the Right Reverend Njongonkulu Ndungane, on March 21-11, 2000. Again, he made extensive donations to the Dennis Brutus Collection at Worcester State University which was formally unveiled on March 21, 2000. In the following year, he was appointed Poet-in-Residence for the spring semester, 2001, during which he appeared in human rights programs, co-taught courses in the University's Honors Program, and composed several new poems, one of which, "Zocalo, March 11, 2001," he read during the Commencement exercises for the University's125th Anniversary, May 19, 2001.