Odysseys: Ithaca Writers on Exile, Wandering, and Searching for Home

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Odysseys: Ithaca Writers on Exile, Wandering, and Searching for Home

A reading series presented by Ithaca City of Asylum


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Homer’s Odyssey recounts the adventures of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, as he seeks to return home after the Trojan War. In four monthly readings, pairs of Ithaca-based writers provide their take on the theme of odysseys, from the physical to the intellectual to the emotional. The series is organized by Ithaca City of Asylum, an all-volunteer group that offers refuge to imperiled writers from around the world.

Valzhyna Mort is a poet and translator born in Minsk, Belarus. She is the author of the poetry collections Factory of Tears (Copper Canyon Press 2008), Collected Body (Copper Canyon Press 2011) and, mostly recently, Music for the Dead and Resurrected (FSG, 2020). Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, New Yorker, Poetry, Poetry Review, Poetry International, Prairie Schooner, Granta, Gulf Coast, White Review, and many more publications. She has been honored with the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry and the Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award. Mort teaches at Cornell and writes in English and Belarusian.

Raul Palma is a novelist, short story writer, and assistant professor of writing at Ithaca College, where he serves as the faculty advisor to Stillwater Magazine. His fiction has been included in Best Small Fictions 2018 and distinguished/notable in Best American Short Stories 2016. His work has been supported with fellowships and scholarships from the CubaOne Foundation, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, the Santa Fe Writer’s Conference, the Sewanee Writer’s Conference, and the Sundress Academy for the Arts. Presently, he is at work on a novel titled A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens.

Moderated by Kate Blackwood, writer, actor, and board member of Ithaca City of Asylum. Cosponsored by Buffalo Street Books, Global Cornell, Cornell Migrations, Ithaca College Department of Writing, Odyssey Bookstore, Story House Ithaca, and Tompkins County Public Library.


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