Come on out for an evening of fun and camaraderie at LILA’s first 2015 author reading, featuring authors and works that speak to today’s relevant social issues.

Meet and hear from authors Matt Foley, JoAnn Simson, Dr. Penny Travis and Angela Williams!

PLUS, if you’re a LILA member and would like to read something; everyone is invited to the “open call” reading following these authors. Bring a few pages and share your words with a supportive group of fellow readers and writers!

We look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday, January 13, 7 p.m. at the Circular Church sanctuary, 150 Meeting St.
$5 donation at the door; refreshments will be served. Books will be available for sale after the readings!

Matthew Foley: We Could Be Oceans

Matthew Foley Poet PicWe Could Be Oceans PhotoMatthew Foley is a poet and English teacher at the Charleston Charter School for Math & Science.  He has performed poetry in front of open mic crowds, poetry slam audiences, and school classrooms throughout the Southeast.  Matt is the co-host of The Unspoken Word poetry series in downtown Charleston and the founder of the Holy City Youth Slam, which offers writing workshops and poetry slams for Charleston-area youth.

His first book of poetry, entitled We Could Be Oceans, in January of 2014 and will be releasing a spoken word poetry album called What You Will Need in Class Today in 2015.

Joanne Simson: Korea, Are You at Peace?


Jo Anne Valentine Simson, quirky biomedical scientist and world traveler, is the author of several scientific publications, a few published short stories and two nonfiction books. Dr. Simson is currently working on a health-related book and a collection of short stories.

Korea, Are You at Peace? is part travel memoir, part Asian history and part cultural commentary, shedding light on a seldom-visited part of East Asia—a potential political tinderbox.

“When biologist Simson was offered a contract to teach on American military bases in South Korea…she was excited to explore a culture much different than her [own]. The end result is this compelling narrative in which Simson compares her modern-day experiences in South Korea to those of Victorian travel writer Isabella Lucy Bird Bishop.   …Serious travel readers will appreciate Simson’s gentle, evenhanded presentation of a colorful, multifaceted culture.”Kirkus Review

Dr. Penny Travis: Kabul Classroom

penny-traviskabul classroom cover1Dr. Penny Travis is a retired chemistry teacher and lives at Folly Beach.

In the spring of 2009 she decided it was time to make her move to save the world. She went on line and found an opening for a science teacher at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. While she is convinced she was the only applicant – considering Afghanistan was a war zone and all that – she got the job.

Her life in Aghanistan did not involve dodging bullets on the streets of Kabul, but life in a war zone was often confining and sometimes just a bit scary. Although she did not make much progress in saving the world she did have an opportunity to live in a country and meet some people who simply want to live their lives as we do. Day to day in peace.

When she got back in 2010 she wrote her book, Kabul Classroom,  about her adventure.

Angela Williams: Hush Now Baby

Hush Now Baby - cover - finalAuthor Angela Williams has been waiting to tell this story for 50 years. In a revealing and uprooting biographical novel, Williams pulls back the curtain on the story of race, love and loyalty in the Deep South. As teacher, lecturer, community activist, consultant, author and personal/professional coach, Williams draws on her experience and literary expertise – she taught English at the Citadel for 20 years, after earning her Masters in English at Duke – to bring to light the untold story: that black women in the 60s were the unflinching heroes of our time. Williams lives in Mt. Pleasant, SC. You’ll find her playing tennis, reading to her grandsons, or sipping tea on her porch overlooking the water that brought so many African Americans to its shore. . .and thinking of Eva.

An intimate work of non-fiction, mixed with vivid storytelling, Hush, now, Baby is the story of how an African-American woman, in the segregated South, holds a white family together.

A deeply personal account, the author reveals how Eva Aiken, a strong and dynamic black woman, becomes the most stable force in her life, at a time when the author’s privileged family is unraveling.

In memoir form, the author sensitively probes the complexities of mid-20th century race relations, particularly the confusing tangle of relationships between African-American domestics and the children that they raise.

This book is brave, honest and often painful to read.  Angela’s story is straight from the heart.

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