Literary conference coming to Keystone

The Arts — By on June 26, 2008 at 11:09 am

The Greater Scranton area’s literary community should be marking its calendars for the second annual The Gathering: A Literary Conference for Readers, Writers and Thinkers to be held at Keystone College, La Plume, on August 7-10.

The Gathering at KeystoneThe theme for this year’s event will be “Setting the Table: Imagination and the Metaphorical and Literal Properties of Food.” Attendees, together with a group of the most talented authors and poets in the nation, will examine the literal and symbolic role that food has played in various forms of American literature over the course of the four-day literary conference and workshop.

Principal speakers for the event include: Michael Ableman, Ibtisam Barakat, Elise Blackwell, Cathleen Medwick, Greg Pape, and Suzanne Fisher Staples.

Ableman is a farmer, photographer, and author of “On Good Land: the Autobiography of an Urban Farm,” “From the Good Earth: A Celebration of Growing Food Around the World,” and “Fields of Plenty: A Farmer’s Journey in Search of Real Food and the People Who Grow It.”

Barakat is a Palestinian-American poet, author, and educator. Her memoir, “Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood,” has won widespread literary acclaim. She has been active in promoting Arab Israeli peace.

Blackwell is the author of three critically acclaimed novels: “Hunger,” “The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish,” and “Grub.” She teachers in the master of fine arts program at the University of South Carolina.

Medwick is a contributing editor to “Oprah” magazine. Her poetry, feature stories, essays, and reviews have been published in numerous national magazines and journals. She is the author of a major biography of Saint Teresa of Avila.

Pape is the award-winning author of eight books of poetry. He teaches in the master of fine arts program at the University of Montana.

Staples is a Nicholson resident and serves as Keystone College’s Scholar in Residence. She has written several award-winning novels for young readers including “Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind,” and “Under the Persimmon Tree.”

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