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For Immediate Release
February 4, 2010

For more information, contact
Virginia Campbell

The Big Read Comes to The College at Brockport

National Program Invites the Community to Celebrate Literacy

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Press Release Photo Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories editor Jorge Hernández will kick-off the College’s Big Read during a visit to the campus on Wednesday, February 17, 7 pm, in New York Room, Cooper Hall.

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Press Release Photo Ellsworth, the College's mascot, joins in celebrating literacy and the Big Read.

Brockport, NY—The Big Read, a nationwide program designed to promote reading and literacy involvement on the community level, has come to The College at Brockport, State University of New York.

Mary Jo Orzech, program co-director and the College’s director of Drake Memorial Library, secured a National Endowment for the Arts grant to support the initiative at Brockport, which encompasses numerous events throughout the spring semester. Drake Memorial Library also is partnering with Seymour Public Library in the Village of Brockport and the Brockport Central School District on The Big Read project, which will focus on the book Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories, edited by Jorge Hernández.

Hernández will kick-off the College’s Big Read during a visit to the campus on Wednesday, February 17, 7 pm, in New York Room, Cooper Hall, New Campus Drive, during which he will lead a discussion on Sun, Stone, and Shadows, and be available for a book signing. Books will be available for purchase.

Hernández, a novelist, short story writer, and editor, was born in 1962 in Mexico City. He grew up in Washington DC and lived there until 1976. He is currently a creative writing tutor at Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas, A.C. Other titles by Hernández include “La Soledad del Silencio” and “Requiem para un Angel.”

Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories, is a collection of Mexican short stories from authors born in the first half of the 20th century. It was created as part of the Big Read literacy initiative sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The Big Read is similar to ‘If Everyone Read the Same Book’ projects, in which a community participates in the experience of reading and discussing one book,” said Orzech. “We selected Sun, Stone, and Shadows because of the potential to not only support literacy but to expand and enhance an appreciation for and awareness of cultural diversity. The College already offers many opportunities for the campus and greater Brockport community to experience diversity through art, dance, music, literature, our Diversity Conference, as well as other events, and we thought this project would be a complement to these activities. We are designing our Big Read project to incorporate ongoing events and to create new opportunities to delve deeper,” said Orzech.

Other events include: February 15—A viewing of the film Frida,College’s Women’s Center, Seymour College Union, Room B124, 8 pm.

February 26—Collaborative work with Juanita Suarez, associate professor in the Department of Dance, 7:30 pm, Strasser Performance Studio, Hartwell Hall.

March 2— Presentations by Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures students and faculty throughout the day. March 3— An all-day ceramic demonstration/participatory event in Drake Memorial Library presented by Lori Mills, associate professor in the Department of Art, and her students.

March 3—A Mexican/Latin themed Music at Noon concert at noon in Drake Memorial Library.

April 7—Discussions and presentations during the College’s Scholars Day, including events related to Sun, Stone and Shadows by Juanita Suarez (Dance), a panel discussion of Librarians and Foreign Language faculty and students, and radio dramatizations of four of the short stories by Richard St. George, professor in the Department of Theatre, and students.

April 22-The Citizen Theater Troup presents dramatic readings of short stories 6:30 – 9:30 pm, Drake Memorial Library Lobby.

Five lunchtime discussions, facilitated by a librarian and a member of the faculty in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, will also take place in the Drake Memorial Library Queen Room, noon to 1 pm, except the March 30 discussion, which will take place 1 to 2 pm. See dates and topics listed below:

February 9 The Fantastic Unreal February 16 Scenes from Mexican Reality March 2 The Tangible Past March 9 The Unexpected in Everyday Urban Life March 30 Intimate Imagination

Also planned are radio dramatizations; performances by the Citizen’s Theater Troupe; and a visit from Chad W. Post from Open Letter Books who will discuss translated international literature.

Visit the Big Read Web site at for a complete list of events and ongoing updates.

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literature is planning a Mexican film series in March/April. Of special note, Josefino Paz, Foreign Language instructor will be a discussant at a screening of ‘Sin Nombre’ at the Little Theater, Monday, February 8, at 6:30 pm, as part of the Harvesting Justice Film Festival, a collaboration between Rural and Migrant Ministry and The Little Theatre Film Society.

Posters of the work of Mexican painter Diego Rivera are on display in the Quiet Study Room on the ground floor of the Drake Memorial Library. The Seymour Public Library is hosting a reading of a children’s adaptation of one of the stories, and two other book discussion events as well. The Brockport Central School library, Brockport Childcare Center, and Migrant Education are also partnering in program events.

Books are available in both English and Spanish from the College’s Barnes & Noble Bookstore and LiftBridge Book Store in the Village of Brockport. A limited number of copies are also available for checkout from Drake and Seymour libraries. To learn more about The Big Read and upcoming events, visit, or contact Orzech at (585) 395-2141.


The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 *

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