Poet, war survivor to read March 19

Ithaca City of Asylum is pleased to cosponsor a reading by Dr. Patricia Jabbeh Wesley on March 19 at 4 p.m. The free online event is organized by Cornell’s Institute for African Development and will be moderated by Dr. Naminata Diabate, associate professor of comparative literature at Cornell.

You may register for the Zoom session here.

Dr. Wesley fled Liberia’s civil war in 1991 and settled in the United States with her family. She has published six books of poetry: When the Wanderers Come Home, Where the Road Turns, The River Is Rising, Becoming EbonyBefore the Palm Could Bloom: Poems of Africa, and Praise Song for My Children

“Vulnerable in their combination of grief and levity, Wesley’s poems deal with family, community, and war,” the Poetry Foundation writes.

Wesley’s poetry and nonfiction has been published in numerous magazines and journals, including Harvard Review, Harvard Divinity Review, Transition Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard ReviewNew Orleans Review, Black Renaissance Noire, and in dozens of anthologies.

In addition to her writing, Wesley is a professor of English, creative writing, and African literature at Penn State University’s Altoona campus. She has conducted research on Liberian women’s war stories, chaired the African Literature Division of the Modern Language Association, and served as an expert witness in the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Hearings in Minneapolis.

A native of Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa, moderator Naminata Diabate is a scholar of African and African diaspora studies with an emphasis on questions of sexuality and gender studies.

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