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Linfield reading to feature Hungarian folklore

A collection of poetry with journal writing prompts and walking meditations along with selections from a work in progress will be shared by Edna Kovacs, author of “In A Place Called Sanctuary – Writings From A Healing Garden,” Tuesday, April 27, at noon in the Austin Reading Room of the Jereld R. Nicholson Library at Linfield College.

The reading is free and open to the public.

In her book, “In a Place Called Sanctuary ¬– Writings from a Healing Garden,” Kovacs shares the journey of finding sanctuary. She uses photos, brief prose pieces and poetry to paint a picture of her own sanctuary, a house and garden purchased fall 2000 in Portland. The house itself was built in 1949 on old Alpenrose dairy land. Sequestered within an orchard of pears, plums, cherries and blueberries, it is surrounded by large elm, spruce, dawn redwood and hemlock trees. Through the exploration and construction of her outer sanctuary, she also creates an inner sanctuary through writing.

Kovacs will also read from a work in progress, “Scenes From a Magyar Village,” showcasing Hungarian folklore. As a third-generation American Hungarian on her father’s side, Kovacs researched her ancestry by writing a collection of folk tales for all ages that interweaves throughout the book the magical Hungarian “taltos,” who is akin to the Native American shaman. Kovacs also found inspiration in researching and listening to the folk recordings of the Hungarian ethnomusicologists, Bela Bartok and Zoltan Kodaly. Her reading will include a story about a frog who is an environmentalist, “The Frog’s Galliard,” as well as a story about a bear’s first hibernation, “Bela’s Nocturne.” Children are encouraged to attend.

Born and raised in Chicago, Ill., Kovacs earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and languages from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in education with specific endorsement in learning disabilities from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Ph.D. in expressive arts with a specialization in multicultural education from the Union Institute and University. Kovacs is the author of three books on writing including “Writing Across Cultures: A Handbook for Writing Poetry and Lyrical Prose,” “Writing With Multiple Intelligences” and “In A Place Called Sanctuary.” Her haiku chapbook, “Mandalas,” won the Cicada Chapbook Award. Kovacs has taught students of all ages and currently teaches in the English Language and Culture Program at Linfield. She also leads journaling workshops to individuals and family members coping with a cancer diagnosis at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital.

The lecture is sponsored by Friends of Nicholson Library. For more information, contact Susan Barnes Whyte, college librarian, at 503-883-2517, swhyte@linfield.edu.