Author to discuss being Franco, female in U.S.

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LEWISTON – Author and teacher Rhea Cote Robbins will talk about what it means to be a Franco-American woman in the United States at the Great Falls Forum on Thursday.

Cote Robbins was brought up in a bilingual household in a Franco-American neighborhood in Waterville known as “down the Plains.”

She was the 1997 winner of the Maine Chapbook Award for her work of creative nonfiction, “Wednesday’s Child,” which is taught at several institutions.

Through her work and studies, Cote Robbins has spent much time contemplating what it means to be Franco-American and female in the United States.

She is a founder and executive director of the Franco-American Women’s Institute which promotes awareness about the contributions of Franco-American women to the culture, their families and the communities they live in.

She also has worked in the Maine prison system to create a writing group with female inmates.

She teaches creative nonfiction, literature and Franco-American women’s experiences at the University of Maine.

The forum will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Marsden Hartley Cultural Center, Lewiston Public Library, Lisbon Street, Lewiston. Lunch is $7 with preregistration, $10 at the door, if space is still available.

Please make lunch reservations by calling Jeanne Lachance at 689-2843 on or before Tuesday, April 18.

The Great Falls Forum is a monthly public platform for thought-provoking speakers and discussion. Everyone is welcome. No dues. No obligations. A question-and-answer period follows each talk.

This is the second-to-last talk in this season’s lineup. The last speaker is David Scobey, director of the Harward Center for Community Partnerships at Bates College. He will speak May 18. A planning session will be held in May and anyone with a speaker or subject ideas is encouraged to contact Lewiston Public Library Director Rick Speer at 784-0135, ext: 208, or via e-mail at rspeer@ci.lewiston.me.us.

You can also contact Sun Journal Reader Representative Mari Maxwell via phone at (207) 689-2857 or via e-mail at mmaxwell@sunjournal.com.

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