Local author to read, answer questions at Milton Public Library

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Feb. 7—MILTON — Local author and Susquehanna University professor Monica Prince will be a special guest speaker at the Milton Public Library next week.

Prince, of Selinsgrove, is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Susquehanna University, where she teaches courses in poetry, performance and activist writing, and Africana studies. She is the author of "Letters from the Other Woman," "How to Exterminate the Black Woman" and the forthcoming "Roadmap." The reading and Q&A event with Prince is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 15 at the library at 541 Broadway St., Milton.

"We are so excited to welcome Monica Prince to the Milton Public Library, and to spend an evening listening to her work and learning about her experiences and writing process," said Library Director Kris LaVanish. "We are fortunate to have Susquehanna University in our backyard and that members of the university community share their time to help us offer a wide variety of library programs."

"Letters from the Other Woman" is a collection of poems that focus on the theme of adultery and cheating. "How to Exterminate the Black Woman" and "Roadmap" are choreopoems, a live performance piece that blends poetry, dance, art, music song and other forms of media, said Prince.

Prince's choreopoems "How to Exterminate the Black Woman" and "Roadmap" have been staged at Susquehanna University. She is the managing editor of the "Santa Fe Writers Project" and the co-author of the stage play "Pageant of Agitating Women."

Prince, who has spent six years at Susquehanna University, was originally hired as a creative writing fellowship in 2017. She intended to write poems and learn academia for only a year, but she was promoted at the university. She said she often reads and performs her work.

Doing events in libraries "is one of my favorite ways of engaging with the community," said Prince. "One of my former students works at Milton, so I'm excited to see her, but I'm excited to engage with a different community of writers."

Libraries are more about communities and engaging the act of learning and reading. When compared to events in book store, it's a lot less pressure, shesaid.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," she said. "I plan to read a couple of my poems, and have a conversation about what they think poetry is. I noticed we have a strict idea of what poetry is supposed to be. If we assume poetry is Shakespeare and has to rhyme and have a complicated meter scheme, it sounds scary. I prefer to introduce audiences to a whole new world of poetry. Let's talk about emotions, let's talk about content, let's talk about how to change someone's point of view through a particular point of view. It can be about love, it can be about flowers, it can be about anything you want, as long as you're committed to the act of creating art."

"How to Exterminate the Black Woman" is about a Black woman named Angela who performs poetry focusing on her decision to stay alive in a world that doesn't understand her or want her. She shatters into six different women named Loss, Expectation, Silence, Fury, Fear and New, who all play different roles as stereotypes of Black women, said Prince.

"Roadmap," which will be performed professionally for the first time in June by Paterson Performing Arts Development Council in New Jersey, focuses on a Black man named Dorian who is navigating the most likely cause of his death— homicide. He interrogates his family tree to see if nature versus nurture led to his untimely demise. It too navigates stereotypes of Black men, said Prince.

At the Feb. 15 event, Prince will read several poems from her published work, as well as a few new poems that are not published.