Keystone to host The Gathering for sixth consecutive year

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Posted: 06/25/2012

La Plume - For the sixth consecutive summer, a group of nationally known authors and poets will visit Keystone College for The Gathering, a unique literature  conference and workshop.

Keystone College will host the event from July 19-21 on campus. The theme of this year’s conference is: “Believing, Unbelieving, and the Moral Compass.” Keynote speakers include award-winning poet Sharon Olds, National Book Award recipient M.T. Anderson, novelist and religion professor Donna Freitas, scholar Susan Jacoby, Fordham University vice president and Scranton native Monsignor Joseph G. Quinn; author and storyteller Dr. Adwoa Badoe and international human rights advocate and author Arsalan Iftikhar.

 “Keystone College is honored to once again host The Gathering on our beautiful campus,” said Keystone President Dr. Edward G. Boehm, Jr. “While only in its sixth year, The Gathering has gained a stellar reputation as one of the nation’s premier literature conferences. We are proud to welcome several award-winning authors and poets for this extraordinary three-day event.”         

Sharon Olds is the author of eight volumes of poetry, gaining national acclaim for her work. She received the San Francisco Poetry Center Award for her first collection, “Satan Says” and the Lamont Poetry Selection and National Book Critics’ Circle Award for “The Dead and the Living.” Other accomplishments include a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Ms. Olds’ poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times. She currently teaches graduate poetry workshops at New York University, serves as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science.

M.T. Anderson is a young adult novelist whose futuristic work “Feed” was short-listed for the National Book Award in 2002. His historic novel, “The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Volume 1: The Pox Party” won the National Book Award and the Michael L. Printz Award. He serves on the board of trustees for Vermont College of Fine Arts and the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance.   

Donna Freitas is a visiting associate professor of religion at Hofstra University and writer in residence in Hofstra’s Honors College. Her most recent nonfiction book is “Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance and Religion on America's College Campuses.”  She has written three novels: “The Possibilities of Sainthood”  “This Gorgeous Game” and “The Survival Kit”. Ms. Freitas has contributed articles for numerous print and online publications including, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Boston Globe. She serves as a panelist on the Washington Post/Newsweek blog, “On Faith.”      

Susan Jacoby is an author and scholar who focuses on American cultural history.  Her 2005 work “Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism” was named a notable nonfiction book by The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times. In England, The Times Literary Supplement and The Guardian called the book one of the outstanding international books of the year. Her 1984 book, “Wild Justice: The Evolution of Revenge” was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. She is a panelist for the blog "On Faith” published by The Washington Post and Newsweek. Jacoby is also program director of the Center for Inquiry-New York City.

Monsignor Joseph G. Quinn is vice president for mission and ministry at Fordham University in New York City, where he coordinates Fordham’s ministries, community service programs, and international student missionary work. A well-known inspirational speaker, Monsignor Quinn served 25 years as pastor of several parishes in Northeastern Pennsylvania, including 16 years as rector of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton. He received a law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law and served as a U.S. federal magistrate until 1981, when he began studies in Rome to become a Roman Catholic priest. 

Dr. Adwoa Badoe is the author of 16 books, the most recent of which is the novel "Between Sisters." A trained physician and story teller, she has travelled around the world to perform, speak, and facilitate at workshops, conferences and festivals. Dr. Badoe has received numerous awards, including the YM/YWCA Woman of Distinction award in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, the Ghanaian Woman of Courage and the Ghanaian Canadian Award of Merit in Arts. She grew up in Ghana and lives in Guelph, Ontario.

Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer and contributing editor for Islamica magazine. He is the author of the book, “Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Period.” Mr. Iftikar writes the blog, “MuslimGuy” and frequently appears as a commentator on CNN and National Public Radio.  

For more information on The Gathering contact Charlotte Ravaioli at (570) 945-8510.