Jennifer Diskin Memorial Fund

Anyone who has been around the NEPA literary scene for a while knows who Jennifer Diskin was. For a number of years, she participated in local writing workshops and hosted poetry readings or shared her own work. I first met her when I was in high school and attended a workshop by the Mulberry Poets and Writers Association at the Scranton Public Library. Like most teenangers, I was in the nascent stages of writing, but Jennifer’s comments were supportive and encouraging, pointed without being harsh enough to ruin a teenanger’s fragile ego.

In Dec. 2011, Jennifer passed away at the age of 38 from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. During the last few months of her life, I had the pleasure of reading with her twice, once at Prose in Pubs at Jack’s Draft House in Scranton, and a second time at Wilkes University for an M.F.A. alumni reading. Despite her frail condition and the fact she was bound to a wheelchair, Jennifer still got on stage and read her poems.

To honor her memory, Wilkes University, specifically the Graduate Creative Writing Program, started a scholarship in her name. There will be a fundraiser this Sunday, Nov. 10 at Sidel’s Restaurant, located at 1202 N. Main St. in Scranton. The event will be held from 6-10, and if you knew Jennifer or just want to support this scholarship, please consider attending.

Here is a link to a story The Abington Journal just pubished about the event.


About Brian Fanelli

I'm a poet, teacher, music junkie and much more. My first chapbook of poems, Front Man, was published in 2010 by Big Table Publishing. My full-length book of poems, All That Remains, was published in 2013 by Unbound Content. My latest book, Waiting for the Dead to Speak, was published in the fall of 2016 by NYQ Books. My work has also been published by The Los Angeles Times, World Literature Today, Harpur Palate, Boston Literary Magazine, Kentucky Review, Verse Daily, Spillway, Portland Review, and several other publications. My poetry has also been featured on "The Writer's Almanac" with Garrison Keillor. Currently, I teach English full-time at Lackawanna College.
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