~Patricia Jabbeh Wesley
Patricia Jabbeh Wesley is a survivor of the Liberian civil war. She and her family escaped Liberian and immigrated to the United States during the bloody civil war after losing many family members in the devastation of their homeland. She has published five critically acclaimed books of poetry, including When the Wanderers Come Home, Where the Road Turns, The River is Rising, Becoming Ebony, and Before the Palm Could Bloom: Poems of Africa. She is also the author of one children’s Book, In Monrovia, the River Visits the Sea. Her individual poems and writings have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies in the US, in South America, Europe and in Africa, and she has been invited as a Poet in Residence and public speaker at university campuses across the United States and in parts of the world. She teaches Creative Writing and English at Penn State Altoona.
She has won several awards and grants, including the 2011 President Barack Obama Award for her writings from Blair County NAACP, the 2010 Liberian Award for her poetry, a Penn State University AESEDA Collaborative Grant for her research on Liberian Women’s Trauma stories, a 2002 Crab Orchard Award for her second book of poems, Becoming Ebony, an Irving S. Gilmore Emerging Artist Grant from the Kalamazoo Foundation, a World Bank Fellowship, among others. Patricia has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and English from Western Michigan University, a Master of Science degree in Eng. Education from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, and a BA in English from the University of Liberia, Monrovia, Liberia. She is a regular, featured Poet/Study Abroad faculty and speaker both in the US and internationally, and her poetry has been critically acclaimed by many reviewers and scholarly publications worldwide. She has also published dozens of individual poems and memoir articles in many US and international journals and anthologies, including in the New Orleans Review, Crab Orchard Review, English Academy Review of South Africa, The Prometeo Magazine, Bedford/St. Martin’s Approaching Literature: Writing, Reading, Thinking, 2nd & 3rd editions, among others.
Patricia also owns and manages a popular blog, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley’s International Blog on Poetry for Peace. She is an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Penn State University’s Altoona campus. She is presently working on a memoir of her Liberian civil war experience.
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