Penn State Altoona announces African-American Read-In events - NOW: News on the Web - Penn State Altoona

Penn State Altoona announces African-American Read-In events

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 1117 hits

Penn State Altoona announces African-American Read-In events

ALTOONA — The twenty-fourth annual African-American Read-In Chain will be celebrated at Penn State Altoona February 24 – 25, 2013. This year’s theme is 1963 – 2013: from the March into the Millennium.

Events begin Sunday, February 24 at 4 p.m. in the Port-Sky Café with a community gathering featuring music, literature, and food. It is free and open to the public. You are invited to share a short reading from a work by an African-American author or just listen and enjoy. Advanced reservations are required. RSVP to or 814--949-5280 by February 8.

The Read-In Chain continues Monday, February 25 with “Monday Marathon,” an Open Mic Read-In in the Slep Student Center. From 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., various dance, theatre, and musical performances will take place to celebrate African-American authors and artists. A special session on black women writers will be held and at noon, Joe Petrulionis, instructor in philosophy and history, will offer the keynote presentation “Where's the Epic! Singing the Birth of a Multiethnic Nationality.”

In late afternoon, a coffee house will take place for Penn State Altoona students to share their original poetry and spoken word art. At 5:30 p.m., Ross Gay, featured author of the 2013 African American Read-In at Penn State Altoona will give a reading of his works.

Gay is the author of Bringing the Shovel Down and Against Which. His poems have been published in numerous magazines and journals, in addition to being widely anthologized. He is an editor for the chapbook press Q Avenue, and has collaborated with Kimberly Thomas on a number of art books. Gay received his M.F.A. in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, and his Ph.D. in American Literature from Temple University. He teaches in the low-residency M.F.A. program in poetry at Drew University, and in Indiana University’s English department.

A book signing will immediately follow the presentation, where the poet’s two books will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to the public and sponsored by the Penn State Altoona English Program’s Writers & Speakers Series.

If you’d like to sign up to read or have questions about the Monday Marathon, contact Robin Reese at

The 2013 African American Read-In at Penn State Altoona events are sponsored by Dr. Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry, chancellor; The Letters Arts and Sciences Program; The Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, The Division of Arts and Humanities; The Division of Education, Human Development, and Social Sciences; The Altoona College Honors Program; and the Blair County NAACP.

Media contact:
Marissa Carney, Media Relations Coordinator, University Relations 814-949-5105

Web Contact:
Jonathan O'Harrow, Webmaster, University Relations 814-949-5105

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