By Holly Loube, Bloc Reporter
Local authors shared memories and stories about past hardships at the Second Annual College Park Book Festival held at Hollywood Methodist Church March 22.
Throughout the event, groups of about 15 people could be found in the front of the room listening to a local author read a sample of their writing.
Authors rotated frequently and shared everything from book excerpts to their favorite poems.
Writer and University of Maryland alumna, Marlena Chertock, shared a piece regarding her health and the way she views herself.
“I was born with a bone condition and it causes short stature, scoliosis, some joint pain, other issues,” Chertock said. “There’s a lot of material to write about, ya know–I’m in pain some days. I’m short so I was teased and things like that.”
Chertock captivated audience members as she made herself vulnerable to her listeners, reading an excerpt from her piece “Short Curve” published in the Little Patuxent Review.
“People say write what you know, and I do know about that,” Chertock said.
Author and poet, Lalita Noronha, read a piece from her book “Her Skin Phyllo-Thin,” dedicated to her mother.
“As time went on her skin was getting thinner and thinner,” Noronha said. “Every time we met we never knew when our meeting would be the last meeting.”
Noronha said she always wanted to write about her mother’s condition and felt glad she had the opportunity to share it with an audience.
Eighteen authors including three poets and one illustrator congregated to highlight new publications and encouraged community members to read.
The festival offered crafts, vendors, face-painting, free gift bags and snacks. The event was co-sponsored by the College Park Lions Club and the College Park Community Library.
“Pre-schoolers and anyone any age who loves to read and appreciates literature would have a great time,” book festival organizer Laura Sailors said.
Children made origami with an illustrator then listened to stories read by council members. The event offered a designated area for reading with dogs.
“These books were donated to us and we just wanted to get them back out into the community,” Sailors said.