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2017 Community Read

The 2017 Centre County Reads/CALS Community Read of Stacey Lee's young adult novel Under a Painted Sky featured a wide array of events, including writing contest and a round-table event sponsored by CALS, and an evening discussion with Stacey Lee. Please find details for these events below, and be sure to check out the Centre County Reads website as well for additional info. All events were free and open to the public.

Read 2016-2017 CALS undergraduate intern Bailey Young's review of Lee's book in the Centre Daily Times, or listen to her read it on WPSU. You can also read a news recap of this year's Community Read.


Kickoff Event
February 19, 2017

Centre County Library and Historical Museum, and the Bellefonte Art Museum, 1pm-4pm.

This event included trail food, Underground Railroad Gallery tours, poker (no money), puzzles, wanted posters, dress up trunks, and souvenirs.



"Wanted" Writing Contest
Deadline: March 13, 2017

What does it mean to be “wanted”? The word may have either positive or negative connotations: to be wanted is to belong, but the word may also signify pursuit, escape, and a sense of danger. This year’s writing contest asked writers to submit their best writing—7,500 words or less—on what they think it means to be “wanted,” in one of the following categories:

-  Best Short Fiction
-  Best Nonfiction
-  Best Poetry
-  Best Entry for a writer under 18

Congratulations to this years winning entries, which you can read here.



"Rethinking the American West" Roundtable
April 3, 2017 | 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. 
Mann Assembly Room, Paterno Library

In Under a Painted Sky, Stacey Lee reenvisions life on the Oregon Trail in 1849 from the point of view of two female outcasts: a second-generation Chinese-American violinist and a runaway slave. Using Lee’s text as a touchstone for this roundtable discussion, panelists discussed contemporary ideas about the American West as it has been reimagined and recreated in literature, film, and television. Featured Presenters included Susan Kollin, College of Letters and Science Distinguished Professor at Montana State University and editor of A History of Western American Literature; Richard Aquila, Professor Emeritus of History and American Studies at Penn State Behrend and author of Wanted Dead or Alive: The American West in Popular Culture (1996); and Charity Fox, Assistant Professor of American Studies and Gender Studies at Penn State Harrisburg, who focuses on intersections of gender, class, race, and everyday cultures in 20th and 21st century American popular culture. Following their opening statements, the panelists welcomed questions and discussion from the audience.

An Evening with Stacey Lee
April 6, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. 
Nittany Lion Inn, Ballroom C

Thank you to all who joined us for the culmination of the annual one book, one community read. Stacey Lee visited the Centre Region to discuss her novel and her work with A book signing followed the event.

View winners of the 2017 "Wanted" Writing Contest