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.

Minfong Ho was born in Myanmar of ethnic Chinese parents, raised in Thailand, and educated in Taiwan and the United States. She has written several books for young adults and children, mostly set in Southeast Asia. These include The Clay Marble and Hush! She worked as a journalist in Singapore, taught at Chiang Mai University in Thailand, and ran a food program on the Thai-Khmer border for Cambodian refugees. Although she has remained a U.S. Permanent Alien for over 35 years, Ithaca has come to feel like home.

Kenneth McClane is Cornell’s W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of Literature Emeritus and the author of eight books of poems, including A Tree Beyond Telling and Take Five: Collected Poems, 1971-1986. He has also written two collections of personal essays: Walls (1992) and Color: Essays on Race, Family and History (2009). He has served on the board of trustees of Adelphi University, and on the board of directors of the Tompkins County Library Foundation, the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, the New York Council for the Humanities, and the Tompkins County Community Foundation.

Moderated by Edward Hower, novelist 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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