Sonali Samarsinghe, ICOA’s resident writer, was the featured speaker at an event hosted by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, Wednesday, March 6. Samarasinghe gave a reading from her work and, after this presentation, she conducted a two-day residency at the Ellis School, gave further readings, and was a guest on local radio.
Samarsinghe read from her work-in-progress, an autobiographical account of politics and the tension between politicians and the media in Sri Lanka. This is the project that has engaged her since she assumed her ICOA residency in August 2012. In addition to her writing, Samarasinghe serves as Visiting Scholar in Residence in the Honors Program at Ithaca College and is a visiting scholar in Cornell University’s South Asia Program.
Ithaca City of Asylum and City of Asylum/Pittsburgh maintain an ongoing visit exchange of their resident writers. In 2011, Burmese activist, poet, and novelist Khet Mar visited Ithaca as the featured speaker for ICOA’s Voices of Freedom, cosponsored by the Tompkins County Library, and in 2007 Horacio Castellanos Moya, an exile from El Salvador whose work in translation has attracted the attention of the U.S. media, spoke to the Ithaca community and visited Ithaca College.