Join me for an evening of conversation with dear friend Abdi Nor Iftin, author of the memoir Call Me American. Somali tea and sweets will be offered, please bring your own mug for the tea. If you would like to ask Abdi a question, please send them to me in advance. It is likely that we will not have time for every question, and this could help us pick the most popular ones. Abdi will have some books for sale, and there will be time for him to sign them.
The incredible true story of a boy living in war-torn Somalia who escapes to America–first by way of the movies; years later, through a miraculous green card.
Abdi Nor Iftin first fell in love with America from afar. As a child, he learned English by listening to American pop artists like Michael Jackson and watching films starring action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger. When U.S. marines landed in Mogadishu to take on the warlords, Abdi cheered the arrival of these real Americans, who seemed as heroic as those of the movies.
Sporting American clothes and dance moves, he became known around Mogadishu as Abdi American, but when the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab rose to power in 2006, it suddenly became dangerous to celebrate Western culture. Desperate to make a living, Abdi used his language skills to post secret dispatches to NPR and the Internet, which found an audience of worldwide listeners. But as life in Somalia grew more dangerous, Abdi was left with no choice but to flee to Kenya as a refugee.
In an amazing stroke of luck, Abdi won entrance to the U.S. in the annual visa lottery, though his route to America–filled with twists and turns and a harrowing sequence of events that nearly stranded him in Nairobi–did not come easily. Parts of his story were first heard on the BBC World Service and This American Life. Now a proud resident of Maine, on the path to citizenship, Abdi Nor Iftin’s dramatic, deeply stirring memoir is truly a story for our time: a vivid reminder of why western democracies still beckon to those looking to make a better life.
AUGUSTA — The 17th annual Plunkett Maine Poetry Festival at the University of Maine at Augusta will feature Martín Espada as its keynote poet. The daylong festival offers a variety of events in addition to the keynote address, including a writing workshop, panel discussion, and community dinner, culminating with an evening program of poetry readings by Espada and student poets. The festival is free and open to the public.
The Plunkett Maine Poetry Festival traditionally offers a poetry workshop for high school teachers, UMS students and the community. This year’s workshop leader is Dawn Potter, who directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, held each summer at Robert Frost’s home in Franconia, N.H. She is an instructor for 24PearlStreet, the online writing program of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass. In Maine, she teaches regularly for the Telling Room and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and co-directs the Kauffman Summer Writing Seminar, a free environmental writing program open to all Maine high school students. Seating is limited for the workshop; contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat.
A reading and discussion with Abdi Nor Iftin, the author of Call Me American.
In CALL ME AMERICAN (Knopf, June 19), Iftin recounts his harrowing, extraordinary, and uplifting story.
“When life in Somalia became untenable, [Abdi] fled to Kenya, but life as a refugee was not much better until something miraculous happened: he won a place in the American Green Card Lottery… How this ultimately led him to America is a story in itself, one distinguished by strength, wits, perseverance, and great good luck. His story is absolutely remarkable… as compelling as a novel or one of the Hollywood movies that he says saved his life… an essential immigrant story, one that is enlightening and immediate. Abdi is an inspiration.” —Booklist (Starred Review)
(The book is available at Toadstool Books in Keene)
The incredible true story of a boy living in war-torn Somalia who escapes to America–first by way of the movies; years later, through a miraculous green card. Parts of his story were first heard on the BBC World Service and This American Life. Now a proud resident of Portland, on the path to citizenship, Abdi Nor Iftin’s dramatic, deeply stirring memoir is truly a story for our time: a vivid reminder of why western democracies still beckon to those looking to make a better life. The Mustard Seed Bookstore will handle sales.
Author Abdi Nor Iftin will join Dirigo Speaks to share his journey of becoming American. After the discussion, Iftin will be signing his newly released book, "Call Me American," also available for purchase.
This event is now SOLD OUT. If you would like to be added to the wait list please email email@example.com.
CONTACT: 207-990-8021 firstname.lastname@example.org