AfriGeneas States Research Forum
[PA] Calvin H. Waller Graduates Penn State
"Calvin H. Waller"
Penn State's 8th annual African American read-in on February 5-6
University Park, Pa. --- Penn State's 8th annual African American Read-In will occur Feb. 5-6, Sunday and Monday, at Heritage Hall, the HUB-Robeson Center, on the University Park campus.
Sunday is known nationally as community day and will include numerous activities for youth and adults, starting at 4 p.m. and ending before 6 p.m. Readings of poems and performance of African American literature will be the primary focus, but middle school and high school students from State College Area School District will also be recognized for the quality of their work in the African American Literature writing contest.
The program will feature award-winning poet Mary Weems, who currently teaches English at John Carroll University and is the author of several books, including Public Education and the Imagination-Intellect: I Speak from the Wound in my Mouth and Poetry Power, a workbook/book introducing middle school students to the art of poetry. Her new collection of poems is titled Tampon Class.
Monday's program, typically known as School Day, will focus on four noted poets who exemplify activism through their work in "Poets in Pursuit of Social Justice:" Kalamu ya Salaam,
Salaam is a nationally known poet from New Orleans and founder of NOMMO Literary Society, a New Orleans based creative writing workshop; Runagate Multimedia, Inc., which raises awareness about New Orleans and African heritage cultures; and e-Drum, an electronic informational list for Black writers. His current poetry/activist performances are based on the recovery of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His published works include the spoken word CD My Story, My Song and his books The Magic of Juju: An Appreciation of the Black Art Movement and What is Life?
Poet, photographer, journalist, and Vietnam veteran, Steptoe is the founder and publisher of Whirlwind Press. He was one of the 2005 American Book award recipients for his collection of poems titled A Long Movie of Shadows.
Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, assistant professor of English at Penn State Altoona, writes of her experiences and of a Liberia homeland devastated by war and violence in the poetry books Before the Palm Could Bloom and Becoming Ebony.
Both events are free to the public and are sponsored by the following Penn State units: Africana Research Center, Black Graduate Student Association, Paul Robeson Cultural Center, the Center for the History of the Book, Minority Graduate Equity, the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, Center for Language Acquisition, Children,Youth, Families and Children Consortium, Department of History, and the Department of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies.
Books for the events have been donated by Barnes and Noble Bookstore, the Penn State Bookstore, Webster's Bookstore, and Houghton Mifflin. Also, the Black Graduate Student Association will collect donations of pennies for those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
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