Maine Voices Live features 1:1 conversations between Portland Press Herald writers and notable Mainers. Audience members can experience a memorable night with a Q&A at the end. 

Reza Jalali and Morgan Rielly are the co-authors of “Dear Maine: The Trials and Triumphs of Maine’s 21st Century Immigrants,” a forthcoming book from Islandport Press that features 20 interviews compiled by Jalali and Rielly, as well as photos by Lilit Danielyan. Pre-order the book now.

Reza Jalali is a writer, educator, and immigrant advocate. Reza was recognized as one of the eminent ethnic Americans in Making it in America: a sourcebook on eminent ethnic Americans (©2001 by Elliott Robert Barkan.) As a member of Amnesty International USA Board of Directors, Jalali has led delegations to different refugee camps in Turkey and Bosnia. In 1992, he visited the White House as part of a national delegation to discuss the plight of Kurdish refugees fleeing Iraq. He has taught at University of Southern Maine and Bangor Theological Seminary. His books include the award-winning children’s book, Moon Watchers and Homesick Mosque and Other Stories. His play, The Poets and the Assassin, is about women in Iran and Islam. He has been featured in the National Public Radio’s nationally acclaimed storytelling program, The Moth Radio. Jalali assisted in writing New Mainers, a 2009 book about Maine’s immigrants. He is the co-author of the forthcoming book, Dear Maine, due to be published in 2021. He is the Executive Director of the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center.

Morgan Rielly is the state representative for House District 34, which includes part of his hometown of Westbrook, and is a member of the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee. A graduate of Bowdoin College where he double-majored in religion and government, Rielly is the author of “Neighborhood Heroes: Life Lessons from Maine’s Greatest Generation,” which profiles Maine World War II veterans. At Bowdoin, he received a fellowship to work alongside Syrian and Iraqi refugees at a non-governmental organization in Amman, Jordan.

They will be interviewed by Press Herald courts reporter Megan Gray.

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