Penn State Altoona professor invited to read her poetry for Colorado Mountain College

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

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.

Credit: Penn State

ALTOONA, Pa. — Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, professor of English at Penn State Altoona, was invited to share her work and engage in a Q&A during a virtual reading for Colorado Mountain College on April 9.

The reading brought together faculty, staff and students from the college as well as audiences from Africa and other parts of the world. During a Q&A session, Wesley discussed her literary influences, the importance of African literary motifs in her poetics, and her Diaspora experience. She also addressed questions about war, survival, and the impact of current wars in the Middle East and Africa. The audience also engaged in conversation about the impact of Wesley’s voice in the audible edition of her book, “Praise Song for My Children: New and Selected Poems” and the impact of an author’s voice in understanding their work.

Throughout 2024 so far, Wesley has also been featured in several other virtual and in-person readings, including the Verse Virtual Reading Series alongside poet Marilyn Nelson. The virtual reading was broadcast from Monrovia Libera, where Wesley served as the poet laureate at the country’s presidential inauguration. Wesley also offered readings at the Association of Writers and Writing Program conference in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Kansas City, Missouri, Riverfront Reading Series, where she discussed the African literary motifs in her works and the influence of African oral tradition and African and American literature on her poetics.