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.