Altoona professor’s book selected as one of 100 notable African books of 2023

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley is a professor of English at Penn State Altoona.

Credit: Penn State

ALTOONA, Pa. — An anthology edited by Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, professor of English at Penn State Altoona, was recognized as a 100 Notable African Book of 2023. Her book, “Breaking the Silence: Anthology of Liberian Poetry,” published in January 2023 by University of Nebraska Press in collaboration with the African Poetry Series, was selected as one of Brittle Paper's 100 Notable African Books of 2023.

The 302-page anthology of poetry, which includes the poetry of Liberian poets from the 1832 to the present, is the most comprehensive body of literature from Liberia since the nation’s founding. Wesley researched and edited the anthology during her last sabbatical, and with the support of a Faculty Fellowship from the Humanities Institute at Penn State, she put the book together. In the collection are also dozens of young and emerging Liberian poets who studied with Wesley during years of summer research trips, partly sponsored by Penn State Altoona’s faculty grants.

The anthology was one of the accomplishments of years of research and support by the University. The editor of Brittle Paper, in recognizing Wesley’s efforts, wrote the following: “Your work stood out as a brilliant contribution to African literature this year, and we are thrilled to celebrate your achievement. This list, which we have curated for five years, is a testament to the diverse and vibrant ideas that enrich African literary culture today, of which your book is a prime example.”

More information about the 100 Notable African Books of 2023 is available on the Brittle Paper website.