August 11, 2021

Arts Council and Labyrinth Hosting Launch Party for “Call Me Athena”

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) will partner with Labyrinth Books to present a launch party for Colby Cedar Smith’s Call Me Athena: Girl from Detroit (Andrews McMeel Publishing), the novel in verse debut from the Hopewell-based author and ACP creative writing instructor, on Thursday, August 12 at 6 p.m. The launch party will take place in the Taplin Gallery at the Arts Council. Labyrinth Books will be on site at the event with copies of the book available for sale.

Call Me Athena is a novel in verse loosely based on Smith’s paternal grandmother. The story follows Mary as the American-born daughter of Greek and French immigrants living in Detroit in the 1930s, creating a historically accurate portrayal of life as an immigrant during the Great Depression, hunger strikes, and violent riots. Mary lives in a tiny apartment with her immigrant parents, her brothers, and her twin sister, and she questions why her parents ever came to America. She yearns for true love, to own her own business, and to be an independent, modern American woman — much to the chagrin of her parents, who want her to be a “good Greek girl.”

Referring to the Arts Council and Labyrinth, Smith said, “Both organizations have fueled my creative life in Princeton, and helped me to develop as a writer. I’m so proud to be able to finally share this story with my students, friends, and the larger community.”

Colby Cedar Smith grew up in the Midwest, and she still “dreams of the cold northern woods and the smell of lake water.” She holds degrees from Colorado College and Harvard University. She is the recipient of a 2020 New Jersey Council on the Arts Fellowship in Poetry; and a 2021 New Jersey Arts in Education Residency Grant for her work with the Nature Harmony Project, which focuses on introducing children to the natural world, using poetry, sounds, reflection, and connection. Her poems have been published in Bellevue Literary Review, Harpur Palate, Mid-American Review, Pleiades, Potomac Review, Saranac Review, and The Iowa Review. She lives with her husband and two children in Hopewell and teaches creative writing at the Arts Council of
Princeton. You can follow her on Twitter @colbycedar and Instagram @colby_cedar_smith.

Free registration is available at

For more information, visit or call (609) 924-8777.