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Institute for African Development Seminar: Moving Worlds, Moving Words - featuring Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

Friday, March 19, 2021 at 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Virtual Event

Poetry is sometimes viewed as the least directly political of literary genres, yet the political and other forms of exile have encroached on the lives of writers. Forced to flee their homeland, writers have chosen to make exile a vital theme as well as a practical condition. The IAD Migration Poetry Hour will highlight poets whooften straddle two worlds, seeking truth in experience as theirpoetry bear witness to new beginnings, new experiences and new stories.

Dr. Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, a Liberian civil war survivor and poet, who immigrated with her family to the US during the Liberian civil war. Her books of poetry have been critically reviewed by literary critics and scholars in Europe, Africa, South America, America, and elsewhere. A regular interviewee on her poetics by NPR affiliate TV and Radio stations around the US, Dr. Wesley is also a public speaker on topics about the Liberian civil war, the plight of women, and African and African Diaspora poetics. She is the author of six books of poetry and a children's book, including, Praise Song for My Children: New and Selected Poems (Feb, 2020) When the Wanderers Come Home, (2016), Where the Road Turns, (2010), The River is Rising, (2007), Becoming Ebony, (2003), and Before the Palm Could Bloom: Poems of Africa, (2012). Jabbeh Wesleys individual poems and nonfiction articles have been published in numerous magazines, including Harvard Review, Harvard Divinity Review, Transition Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review, New Orleans Review, Black Renaissance Noire, among others. Her poetry and nonfiction pieces have been anthologized in dozens of books in the US and across the world, and her work has been translated in Spanish, Finnish, and Hebrew. She is Professor of English, Creative Writing, and African Literature at Penn State Universitys Altoona campus. Conversations from Penn State | Patricia Jabbeh Wesley | Season 7 | Episode 11 | PBS

The event will be moderated by Naminata Diabate, Associate Professor, Comparative Literature, Cornell

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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, English, Department of Performing and Media Arts, Global Learning, Cornell Council for the Arts, Institute for African Development, Center for the Study of Inequality, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies




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Jackie Sayegh

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Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

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Professor, English and Creative Writing, Penn State University

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