The goal is to celebrate the power of storytelling, says John Rossi, Leyden's English department chairman. And the way to do that is to combine two events -- Writers Week and One Book, One Leyden.
The second annual Writers Week will be held Feb. 12-14. The program includes professional writers, faculty, staff, and students relating their stories, plus a visit from Warren St. John, author of "Outcasts United," the district's One Book, One Leyden 2018 selection. St. John will be visiting both campuses to meet and speak with students on Thursday, Feb. 15.
In an email he sent to Leyden employees, Rossi said he was hoping people would "think about sharing all those old stories you'll tell or the new memories you'll make at our district's Second Annual Writers Week. I encourage you to participate so we can meet the event's goal of building community through sharing experiences."
To date several students, staff and faculty, including administrators, have signed up to tell their stories to an auditorium audience. Last year the stories ranged from poignant to serious to comedic, and beyond.
"This is where the magic of Writers Week came to life," Rossi recalls. "We heard from and connected with those who make up our Leyden family. Participants talked about their own progress as writers, and read selections of their work."
Given the success of the One Book, One Leyden program launched in 2016, this year's agenda returns with Warren St. John's book, "Outcasts United." This is the account of an immigrant Jordanian woman and a group of young refugees joining forces to form a soccer team. At its core it is a story about the power of building community, and the impact one person can have on the lives of others. The author will appear at both campuses on Feb. 15.
The One Book, One Leyden committee unanimously selected this book, says Janine Asmus, program organizer and media center specialist at the West campus.
"The chance for all of us in the Leyden family to connect and communicate using Warren St. John's book as a platform is a unique opportunity, and an absolute gift," Asmus adds. "Learning how to build community and find commonality is truly what this book is all about. We are looking forward to Warren St. John's visit and are excited to discuss and learn more from one another."
In addition, Triton College has partnered with Leyden to open the experience to community members. The college's library and the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies are sponsoring "Community and Belonging: The Plight of Modern Refugees," a faculty panel discussion from 1-2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13, in the library silent room, #A-321. There also will be a screening and discussion on the documentary "The Other Side of Immigration" at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 14, in the Cernan Center lecture hall, #1-109.
For more information on the Triton College events call (708) 456-0300, ext. 3591.