Visiting author stresses the importance of art

Christine Lincoln, a fiction author who has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” visited Shippensburg University Wednesday to present two examples of her work.

Lincoln’s presentation in Old Main Chapel was a free and public event at which she read a chapter titled “More Like Us” from her book “Sap Rising.” Lincoln also read “How to Build a Bomb” from a novel in progress and attended a question-and-answer session in Dauphin Humanities Center prior to the event.

The English department, the College of Arts and Sciences, “The Reflector,” the Black Heritage Committee, the Women’s Center and Women’s and Gender Studies sponsored Lincoln’s reading.

Lincoln was the first African-American to win Washington College’s Sophie Kerr Prize.

The Washington Post and The New York Times covered Lincoln’s receipt of the award, according to a Shippensburg University news release.

An assistant professor of English invited Lincoln in the hopes that her talk would have a positive effect on the campus community.

Fiction is a good way for people to relate to each other, according to Neil Connelly, who invited Lincoln to campus.

Connelly said, “One of the lessons fiction teaches me is that human beings have an awful lot more in common than what keeps them different.”

Lincoln, too, elaborated on this theory. Although “Sap Rising” discusses African-Americans in a small town, she believes her novel transcends demographic boundaries and unifies a variety of people, including a 60-year-old white man who related to her story.

“This guy was crying” Lincoln said at her question -and-answer session, “I will never forget him.

He said these stories about African -American kids growing up in this small town in Maryland healed his heart.”

She then stressed the importance of fiction and art.

“I see art as activism,” she said.

Lincoln attended Baltimore City Community College, later transferring to Washington College where she majored in English with a minor in creative writing.

Recently she earned her master’s degree in fine arts in creative writing at the University of Baltimore, according to a SU news release.

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