Reading by Ana Maria Spagna, author of Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus
River Teeth book prize winner, Ana Maria Spagna, will be visiting Ashland University on Tuesday, October 26. She will meet with students at 4 p.m. in the Schar College of Education Building, Room 138 for a question and answer time, followed by a reading from her book, Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus: A Daughter’s Civil Rights Journey at 7 p.m. in the same location.
Ana Maria Spagna will chronicle the story of an American family, more specifically, HER family, against the backdrop of a lesser-known story of the civil rights movement.
Spagna’s father, Joseph Spagna and five other young men took it upon themselves to board a bus together in 1957. Could what seemed like a simple plan turn into one of danger? These young men, three black and three white, got arrested and their case ended up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Fifty years later, Ana Maria Spagna set off on a journey to understand what happened and WHY? Why would her father risk his safety to become a Freedom Rider? Why would he jump bail and leave the country rather than face trial? Was he a hero of the Civil Rights movement or a coward? The spellbinding narrative of her search for her father's true story earned this book the 2009 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize and publication by the University of Nebraska Press.
Ana Maria Spagna is also the author of Now Go Home: Wilderness, Belonging, and the Crosscut Saw, named a Seattle Times Best Book of 2004. Her writing on nature, work, and life in a small community appears regularly in High Country News, Mountain Gazette, Oregon Quarterly, and elsewhere. She currently resides in Stehekin, Washington. For more information about Ana Maria Spagna, visit www.anamariaspagna.com.
This program is sponsored by the Ashland University MFA Program, River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative, The Ashland Center for Nonviolence, Rinehart Center for Religious Studies, The Office of Diversity and The Office of Multicultural Affairs. For more information, please contact Sarah Wells, MFA Administrative Director at 419-289-5957 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Ashland University at www.ashland.edu.