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Community Conversation with LitNet featuring local author Jana Laiz

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For the Stockbridge Library community and intermediate English language learners who want a space to listen and speak in English in a safe community.

RSVP for the event with LitNet here.

Jana Laiz, is a writer and educator living in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. She is the author of the award-winning novels Weeping Under This Same Moon (in development for film), The Twelfth Stone, and Billy Budd in the Breadbox: The Story of Herman Melville & Eleanor. She is the co-author of A Free Woman On God’s Earth: The Story of Elizabeth Mumbet Freeman (in development for film), Blanket of Stars, and Simon Says. She and Alexis Portillo have teamed up to write Thirty-five Days to Baltimore. Jana is a writer with a purpose, believing that honoring diversity and teaching stewardship for the planet can change the world. She is Writer-In-Residence Emeritus at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead home.

Visit her at


Alexis Portillo is a Honduran immigrant with a story to tell. Coming from a hopeless and impoverished situation in Honduras, Alex relates to Jana Laiz the story of his harrowing journey through the desert to find his way to Baltimore and a better life for himself and his family. This is his first book.

Visit Alex at


35 Days to Baltimore was translated by Miguel Silva, Learner Liaison at LitNet.


November 1 (Session #1): Join us for a presentation about Alexis’ story and the writing of the book by author Jana Laiz followed by a collective reading and discussion of Chapter 1.

December 6 (Session #2): All participants will have read the book, if they wanted to. We will engage in an open discussion about the story, and the related issues, and learn about the main character’s life today. Laiz will facilitate the discussion and share more from behind the scenes.