S265. Permanent Longing: Connecting Across Borders in Writing About Lost Homelands

E145, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


Four poets, two with international ties (Liberia, Pakistan; one US born, one not) living and writing in the US heartland and two from the West Coast now living and writing elsewhere in the US will read poems illustrating how connected we are as writers despite difference: joined by themes of separation, memory, tradition, what is lost and also recovered through examining place and family. Our common language illustrates these themes and offers both insight and solace across cultural lines.



Patricia Clark is Poet-in-Residence and Professor in the Department of Writing at Grand Valley State University. Author of five volumes of poetry, Patricia’s latest book is The Canopy. Other work appears in The Atlantic, Gettysburg Review, Poetry, Slate, Michigan Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner.

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley’s five collections of poetry include When the Wanderers Come Home; Where the Road Turns; and Becoming Ebony. A survivor of the Liberian civil war, Patricia’s poems explore war and survival. She is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Penn State Altoona.

Richard Robbins's most recent poetry collection is Body Turn to Rain: New and Selected Poems. He currently directs the creative writing program at Minnesota State Mankato.

Lola Koundakjian has authored two poetry books and read in four international poetry festivals in Quebec, Peru, Colombia and West Bank. She co-curates the Zohrab Center's poetry reading series in midtown Manhattan, and runs the Armenian Poetry Project in multiple languages and audio.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center