OLLI at Auburn to host Jeanie Thompson for lecture series Feb. 27


Special to the
Opelika Observer

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn University (OLLI at Auburn) will host its lecture series titled “Wisdom Wednesday’s” on Feb. 27 from 2:30-4 p.m. at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art which is located at 901 S. College St. in Auburn.
OLLI members, guests and friends are all invited to learn more about OLLI at Auburn course offerings, social engagements and initiatives.
Poet Jeanie Thompson will provide a presentation to OLLI at Auburn entitled “The Journey of The Myth of Water: Poems from the Life of Helen Keller” to OLLI members.
Thompson published the work after researching Keller’s personal life, less known than her public one, and Keller’s array of interests in the arts, travel, and advocacy for the deaf-blind around the world.
In the beginning, Thompson found Keller’s personal life so compelling that she thought the book would only focus on Keller the woman who loved and gave her heart to the world.
But as she researched, she discovered that Keller’s life was truly phenomenal in its interaction with many cultures, and her impact on others was immeasurable. Ultimately The Myth of Water is a taste of Keller’s life, Thompson said.
For the Olli Wisdom Wednesday program, she will discuss how she took a journey in historical persona poetry with the book and how that journey changed her writing life.
Thompson is the founding director of the Alabama Writers’ Forum, a statewide service organization for literary arts. The Forum is a partnership program of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and works closely with the council on many initiatives. Since its inception, the Forum has shone a light on Alabama’s literary talent by creating awards for young writers, the annual Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year, and in 2015, The Alabama Writers Hall of Fame. The Forum is engaged in literary arts education for students in alternative settings as well as public schools.
Among Thompson’s literary credits are five collections of poems, an anthology of Alabama authors memoirs (“The Remembered Gate”), edited with Jay Lamar, and numerous articles and interviews.
Her awards include fellowships in literary arts from Louisiana and Alabama, and the Alumni Artist of the Year Award from The University of Alabama College of Arts and Sciences. Thompson also teaches in the Spalding University low-residency MFA Writing Program in Louisville, Kentucky.
OLLI at Auburn offers academic not for credit programs for adults aged 50 years or older through program sites at Auburn University, AUM in Montgomery and the Chambers County Public Library in Valley.
Membership includes several benefits such as participation in social engagements, our lecture series, day trips, and other programming initiatives.
OLLI at Auburn is a program of the Office of the Vice President for University Outreach at Auburn University. OLLI administrative offices and select classes are located at the historic Sunny Slope property which is located at 1031 S. College St.
For more information regarding this event or if you would like to assist the organization as a volunteer faculty member, volunteer service assistant, or sponsor, call Ileeia A. Cobb, Ph.D., OLLI Director, at 334-844-3105, email olli@auburn.edu, or visit the website at www.olliatauburn.org.


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