Helping the homeless
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Works from the Community Stories Writing Workshop at the Iowa City Shelter House will be read at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 31, in Prairie Lights Books and live on the University of Iowa's www.writinguniversity.org website.
Shelter House is a nonprofit organization that has provided housing and supportive services to the homeless of Southeast Iowa since 1983. The Community Stories Writing Workshop (CSWW) at Shelter House is a literacy initiative that offers writers of diverse voices the creative time and space to read, express, craft, and share personal narratives of strength.
Rossina Zamora Liu, a 2007 graduate of the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program, explains, "CSWW is one of several 'specialized' groups at Shelter House serving community members. Our writing group, in particular, focuses on 'folk literacy,' or the cultural ways of knowing, performances, and practices of the community, by the community, for the community.
"This year, five writers from CSWW will read stories they've worked and reworked for the past year, ranging from mythical visits from the JC Penney's guy in 1960s Montana to Martha Washington and self-storage units to a seven-minute ride on the UI Cambus to woodcarvings of wood spirits and morel mushrooms.
"Just as the narratives touch on social and personal trauma, they also ask important questions about our strengths to overcome both inherited and 'made' tragedies, about our differences and likenesses in community, and about our responses to one another and to ourselves. What is unique and especially rad about this year's reading is that, for the first time, the writers will be published in the CSWW's spring 2012 anthology, Of the Folk."
Prairie Lights will donate 10 percent of all sales from May 31st to The Shelter House. Even if people are unable to attend the reading, they can support The Shelter House by shopping at Prairie Lights on May 31st.
For more information or special accommodations to attend this reading, call Jan Weissmiller at Prairie Lights, 319-337-2681.