PORTLAND, Maine — Portland nonprofit The Telling Room will release a new anthology of student writing titled “Illumination: A Young People’s Encyclopedia of Wonder” at its annual Big Night event, Thursday, May 16, at USM’s Abromson Center. The book will be sold online and at Longfellow Books.
The Big Night book release event will feature many of the book’s authors during a live stage performance. Past events have attracted hundreds of community supporters and students for engaging lobby activities, music, food, multimedia presentations and readings.
Illumination features work by 45 middle and high school authors from all over Maine. A collection of essays, stories, and poems inspired by curios, cultural relics, and family heirlooms, the anthology focuses on objects that are full of memory and meaning. The collection provides a unique window into the objects that Maine’s youth value most.
This project builds on and re-envisions the traditional encyclopedia. Artfully designed by Chronicle Books designer Suzanne Lagasa and filled with compelling writing, the anthology is sure to inspire an audience as diverse as the student voices that produced it. As with all Telling Room publications, the book includes a number of stories from Maine’s immigrant and refugee population.
In the Telling Room’s nine years of cultivating a place in kids’ lives for stories, the organization has become an innovative publishing outlet for writers, ages 6-18. By 2014, they will have worked with more than 10,000 young writers and hundreds of schools and community organizations. To date, they’ve published the work of over 1,000 young authors and produced a colorful library of anthologies, chapbooks, zines, podcasts, short films, a memoir and a children’s book.
The Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center in Portland, dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers. Focused on young writers ages 6 to 18, they seek to build confidence, strengthen literacy skills, and provide real audiences for their students’ stories. They believe that the power of creative expression can change communities and prepare youth for future success. More information is available at www.tellingroom.org.