Sonali Samarasinghe, Ithaca City of Asylum’s fifth writer in residence, read from her new poetry chapbook, The Land My Father Gave Me, and her upcoming nonfiction book on Sri Lankan media and politics on April 9th at 5:30 pm in the Handwerker Gallery at Ithaca College. The Land My Father Gave Me, published by Ithaca press Vista Periodista, is Samarasinghe’s first book published in the U.S. and it contains an introduction by Ithaca College Professor of Writing Katharyn Howd Machan.
The reading marks the end of Samarasinghe’s two year term as the Ithaca City of Asylum writer-in-residence and Visiting Scholar in Residence for the Ithaca College Honors Program in the School of Humanities and Sciences.
“In the short time Sonali has been with us in Ithaca, she has shown us what true courage looks like,” said Bridget Meeds, board chair for Ithaca City of Asylum. “We are thrilled to join in celebrating her work.”
Sonali Samarasinghe is an award-winning journalist and human rights activist. A native of Sri Lanka, Samarasinghe practiced law there for twenty years and worked as a journalist focusing on human rights, including government corruption and women’s issues. She was forced to flee Sri Lanka in 2009 after her husband was assassinated and her family threatened.
ICOA is part of a worldwide network of cities of asylum and is a project of the Center for Transformative Action. It supports writers whose works are suppressed, whose lives are threatened, whose cultures are vanishing, and whose languages are endangered.