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Celebration of Women's Literature is Focus of Reading Event

(Posted April 6, 2011)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- A group of Juniata College students will celebrate the writings of women in "Unlock Your Voice," a coffeehouse event featuring dramatic readings from women's literature at 8 p.m., Friday, April 8 in the ballroom of Ellis Hall on the Juniata campus.

The event is free and open to the public.

"To read a poem or a passage aloud, the reader goes through a process of understanding it and even becoming it, and then embodying it for the audience. The poem or story is like a musical score, which comes to life in performance."
Judy Katz, associate professor of English

"Unlock Your Voice" is staging its annual reading event this year as part of Genocide Awareness Week. Three members of the Genocide Awareness student group will read: Alyson Lush, a freshman from Spring Mills, Pa.; Acer Van Wallendael, a senior from Phillipsburg, N.J.; and Jouman El-Alaoui, a junior from Morocco.

Among the genocide-related works to be read are three poems written by young children at the Theresienstadt/Terezin concentration camp in what is now the Czech Republic.

"To read a poem or a passage aloud, the reader goes through a process of understanding it and even becoming it, and then embodying it for the audience," says Judy Katz, associate professor of English and the organizer for "Unlock Your Voice" for almost 20 years. "The poem or story is like a musical score, which comes to life in performance."

Among the authors chosen by the students are Erica Jong, best known for her seminal book, "Fear of Flying;" Phillis Wheatley, the first published African-American poet; Nazek Al-Malaika, an Iraqi poet; Ayn Rand, author of "The Fountainhead;" Maggie Estep, an American poet and writer; Jodie Orton, Juniata student; and Nicole Simpson.

Other Juniata students scheduled to read excerpts are: Megan Illig, a junior from Homer City, Pa.; Briahanna Hoover, a sophomore from Needmore, Pa.; Jodie Orton, an international student from Great Britain; Zalina Smith, a sophomore from Baltimore, Pa.; Monae Dewitt, a sophomore from Baltimore, Md.; Salih Eba, a senior from New York, N.Y.; Sarah Davis, a senior from Chevy Chase, Md.; Sarah Sexton, a junior from Coraoplolis, Pa.; Crystal Bittinger, a junior from Marion, Pa.; Jessica Kaplan-Bie, a sophomore from Lexington, Mass.; Mary Munion, a junior from Boynton, Pa.; Erika Brown, a junior from Hollidaysburg, Pa.; and Olivia Moody, a sophomore from Covington, Va.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.