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October 2017

TLC#59: Food for Thought: Dinner with Virginia Willis at Hancock Shaker Village

Shaker Meets Southern with Virginia Willis

Gardens with Round Stone Barn and Dairy Ell, Hancock Shaker Village; Photo by Bestbudbrian; [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Gardens with Round Stone Barn and Dairy Ell, Hancock Shaker Village; photo by Bestbudbrian; [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Top Left Tunes

2014's Prospect Hill, Dom Flemons' first release after leaving the Carolina Chocolate Drops, is an intense whirlwind of a tour through eclectic folk styles and textures.This episode features “Hot Chicken,” off Dom Flemons‘ release, Prospect Hill. We interviewed this Grammy Award winning artist on a recent episode of the Cornbread Cafe, our American Roots music show. Check out the artist’s website, find out more about him, and maybe even pick up a CD or download while you’re there. Tell him Jay sent you.

🎶

 

Text from submitted release

HANCOCK, Mass.—The Chicago Tribune praised Georgia-born, French-trained, chef Virginia Willis as “one of the seven food writers you need to know,” and on Saturday, November 4, 2017, you’ll get the chance over dinner at Hancock Shaker Village when Shaker meets Southern. Willis, Editor-at-Large for Southern Living, is considered a leading authority on southern cuisine, its origins, and evolutionary future, and she’ll talk about Kentucky and Ohio Shaker foodways. There’s much more to southern cooking than we’ve been lead to believe, and she’ll show us the way. The perception may be BBQ and bacon, but in fact, thanks to a 12-month growing season, produce plays a large role in their regional foodways.

Virginia Willis; submitted photo.
Virginia Willis; submitted photo.

As a child, making biscuits – the same recipe she uses today – with her grandmother was the beginning of a culinary adventure which includes articles in national publications like Southern Living, Eating Well, and Fine Cooking, a food blog (named a favorite by Saveur), five books, and a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence. Willis has been featured in the Washington Post, USA Today, Serious Eats, and Tasting Table and quoted in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She has worked behind the camera for Martha Stewart and in front of the camera with Bobby Flay.

Currently, Willis is developing with WGBH a series called Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South to air nationally on public television in 2018.

“Food is central to Hancock Shaker Village,” said president & CEO Jennifer Trainer Thompson. “We have 5 acres of heirloom gardens that we tend – just as the Shakers did two hundred years ago. When we say field-to-table, we’re talking maybe a hundred feet from the onion being pulled to the kitchen door. Virginia is an authority on Southern foods, and teaming up with Brian in the kitchen promises to be a culinary souffle. We can’t think of a better way to wrap up our series for the season than to return to our roots: nourishment.”

Willis, who champions social justice and sustainable sourcing, teams up with Hancock Shaker Village regional farm-to-table chef Brian Alberg to reimagine Southern cuisine on a New England farm and create a memorable neighborhood sourced meal highlighting heirloom produce from the Hancock Shaker Village gardens. The communal dinner will be served by candlelight in the beautiful historic 1830s Brick Dwelling dining room and includes wine and a copy of her latest cookbook, Lighten Up Y’all.

 

Food for Thought: Dinner with Virginia Willis
Saturday, November 4, 2017; 6:00 p.m.
Hancock Shaker Village
1843 W Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, Mass.
Tickets: $100—Available via Hancock Shaker Village website

 

The Menu

Appetizer
Butternut Squash Soup. Thyme Sautéed Apples. Country Ham.

Main Course
Herb Crusted Fresh Ham with Onion Gravy
Slow Roast Carrots and Parsnips with Dill
Stone Ground Herb Grits and Greens
Chive Biscuits
Pickles and Preserves

Dessert
Chocolate Chess Pie. Black Walnut Brittle. Buttermilk Creme Fraiche.

Shaker Meets Southern

Food for Thought: Dinner with Virginia Willis is the final 2017 dinner in a series at Hancock Shaker Village of today’s most compelling authors talking about wide-ranging subjects of relevance today. Far ahead of their time, the Shakers addressed gender equality, sustainability, land renewal, racial equality, pacifism, and shared economies decades before fashionable, let alone there being a vocabulary to address such subjects. Hancock Shaker Village’s Food for Thought invites today’s best thinkers to address topics of importance to our community and world.

About Virginia Willis

Chef Virginia Willis is the author of Lighten Up, Y’all, Bon Appétit, Y’all, and Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, as well as Okra: A Savor the South Cookbook and Grits by Short Stack Editions. Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome received a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health category and was a finalist for Best American cookbook by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She is currently in development with WGBH for a series called Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South to air nationally on public television stations.

She is an Editor-at-Large for Southern Living writes a popular on seasonal ingredients called “Cooking with Virginia.” The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” A popular Southern chef, her legion of fans love her knack for giving classic French cooking a down-home feel and reimagining Southern recipes en Français. Her eponymous food blog, tagged as a favorite blog by Saveur magazine, receives rave reviews for her recipes and stories celebrating her Southern heritage and classic French training. Her articles have appeared nationally including Southern Living, Food52, CNN, All Recipes, Country Living, Eating Well, Family Fun, and Fine Cooking. As a nationally recognized Southern food and beverage authority she has been featured in the Washington Post and USA Today, Serious Eats, and Tasting Table and quoted in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Virginia is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree. She was the producer of Epicurious on the Discover Channel and Home Plate for Turner Studios. In front of the camera, Virginia has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, Paula Deen’s Best Dishes, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in recipe development, content creation, culinary editorial services, culinary video production, spokesperson representation, and media training.

She is a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Les Dames d’Escoffier, Georgia Organics, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and the Southern Foodways Alliance. She participates in Chef’s Move to Schools and is also part of the No Kid Hungry Blogger Program for Share our Strength. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force. As an Atlanta chef, she is proud to be on the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board as well as the Atlanta Community Farmer’s Market Advisory Board.

About Hancock Village

Home to the Shakers for more than 220 years, Hancock Shaker Village is now an outdoor history museum dedicated to preserving the Shaker legacy and making that story relevant and illuminating for today’s visitors. Situated on 750 acres of picturesque farm, field, and woodland in the bucolic Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Village consists of 20 historic buildings, a working farm and heirloom gardens, and a premier collection of 22,000 authentic Shaker artifacts.

 

Mentioned in the show:

Chef’s Collaborative

Calhoun’s Restaurant

New England Culinary Institute

The Guardian; Article: “Insectageddon: farming is more catastrophic than climate breakdown,” by George Monbiot

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TLC #58: MCLA creates Chief Diversity Officer position; PROFILE—Print Shop Williamstown

Recent friction between students of color and MCLA administration not the main reason for creation of execution position of Chief Diversity Officer says college president

By Phil Roeder [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons and By Magicpiano (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons; Chief Diversity Officer
Graphic composed of photo of Murdock Hall, by Magicpiano; CC BY-SA 3.0 and Iowa City protests by By Phil Roeder; CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Hey Greylock Nation—

Today is Sunday, October 15, 2017, and you’re listening to episode 58 of the Top Left Corner. I’m your host, Jay Velazquez, and, as always, I thank you for tuning in.

We spoke this week with Dr. James Birge, President of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. The posting of the newly created executive level position of Chief Diversity Officer caught our eye, so we thought finding out a little bit about what went into the decision to create the position would be illuminating.

We also caught up with Elinor Goodwin, owner of the Print Shop, Williamstown, who is now comfortably settled into her new digs on Spring Street. The Print Shop has long been the go-to source for all the printed items that this digital media startup, The Greylock Glass, needs on a regular basis. And there’s a reason for that, which we’ll hear about on this first edition of the resurrected segment, the Berkshire Business Files here on the Top Left Corner.

Elinor Goodwin; from http://printshopwilliamstown.com/about/
Elinor Goodwin; from web site of the Print Shop, Williamstown

Berkshire Business Files: The Print Shop

The Print Shop Williamstown, a full-service print shop and marketing agency, is located in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. We work with organizations of all sizes: service professionals, banks, schools, teams, administration, parents, booster organizations and coaches to provide attractive materials within what are often limited budgets. We enjoy working with our clients from developing marketing concepts, to design, through to the printed publication. We also assist organizations with advertising campaigns—soliciting, designing, and placement of advertising.

 

Chief Diversity Officer

Locations: North Adams, MA
Posted: Sep 27, ’17
Type: Full-time

About Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts:

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is a dynamic and vibrant four-year public college located in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts. Founded in 1894, MCLA is the Commonwealth’s public liberal arts college of the Massachusetts State University System. MCLA was named a Top Ten Public Liberal Arts College by U.S. News and World Report. MCLA is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), a national consortium positioned at the forefront of the conversation on the value of a liberal arts education. MCLA also earned a place on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of 100 Best Values in Public Colleges. The ranking cites colleges that combine outstanding academics with affordable cost, and the College was again named to the President’s Honor Roll for Service by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Job Description:

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) invites applications for Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). We are the designated public, liberal arts college among the nine State Universities of Massachusetts and one of 29 Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) in the country. We seek to be an exemplar of diversity, equity, and inclusion by creating an environment where anyone can excel in their learning, teaching, and work.

The CDO will be a thought leader and action driver in extending and deepening our diverse and inclusive MCLA community. The CDO will work with academic, administrative, and student leadership to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are valued and reflected in all areas of the college, and will help build and maintain bridges to our community and region in regard to shared commitments to inclusion and equity for all. The CDO will be a member of the College’s Executive Staff and report directly to the President.

General Duties and Responsibilities:

Work with faculty, executive and administrative staff, and students to direct, implement, and oversee institutional planning on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives that positively impact student and employee experiences at MCLA.

Translate and implement best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in higher education at MCLA.

Work with President to develop departmental budget that enhances the size and function of the Chief Diversity Officer’s office and provides resources for programming, meetings, professional development, and travel.

Identify and help to ameliorate the conditions/policies/practices at all levels of institutional life that impede the development of an inclusive climate in order to achieve the college’s mission.

Work with academic and faculty leadership to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into the curriculum and faculty teaching methods.

In collaboration with others, develop comprehensive diversity and inclusion training and education programs for faculty, staff, administration, and students that improve how we interact with one another, that value diversity and inclusion in decision-making, and that create a welcome environment for students and employees regardless of background.

Collaborate with Human Resources Office, faculty, staff, administration, and students to review, revise, and work toward the goals of the College’s Diversity Statement, including, but not limited to, hiring a diverse workforce that is reflective of the student population.

Support and contribute to the efforts of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force to implement new and/or revised policies and programming that contribute to a healthy campus climate and to cultivate a broader institutional dialogue on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Work with existing staff and policies at the College to help respond to matters regarding incidents of bias and/or to establish a system that provides just approaches and remedies to bias at MCLA.

Effectively communicate with internal and external populations on matters regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion and advise others on strategies to improve communications.
Represent MCLA at public meetings and serve on external Boards that enhance campus/community partnerships.
Work with other campus offices to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in their function (i.e. human resources, admissions, institutional advancement).
Collaborate with designated faculty members on diversity initiative matters.
Supervise student workers/interns and ad hoc project staff.

Requirements:

Earned doctorate or other terminal degree strongly preferred
Six to ten years of diversity and inclusion-related work in higher education
College teaching experience highly desired
Significant experience facilitating group dialogue in a higher education environment or other setting
Demonstrated experience with analyzing a complex environment for strategic intervention
Strong interpersonal skills to establish effective relationships with campus colleagues, students, diverse constituents, and local community members
Excellent writing, communications, and organizational skills
Demonstrated experience working with and training students and colleagues on matters related to race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, and other identities
Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality

Additionally, the MCLA community has identified the following desired characteristics in a Chief Diversity Officer: Someone who is action-oriented while rooted in theory and reflection; one who values collaboration and communication; one who respects diverse thoughts, solutions, and opinions; a thought leader capable of hearing others’ ideas and capable of sharing her/his/their own ideas and thoughts; a leader who values transparency; a leader committed to the ideals of social justice.

Additional Information:

This is a full-time, benefits-eligible, position.

The deadline for applications is October 16, 2017.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and affirmative action in its educational programs, activities and employment practices. The college complies with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations advancing equal employment. Applicants who will enrich the diversity of the campus community are strongly encouraged to apply. Visit www.mcla.edu.

Application Instructions:

Interested candidates must apply electronically and should submit a letter of interest and resume by clicking the “Apply Now” button at the bottom of the job description page found HERE (Submission period ends 10/16/17).

 

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Greylock Giveaways!

Thanks to Olympic Pizza for making this week’s giveaway possible!

FREE LARGE PIZZA with up to THREE toppings!

[RF_CONTEST contest=’7261′]

 

 

 

 

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TLC #54: 10/10 Democratic Primary, 1st Berkshire District candidate John Barrett

Election 2017: A conversation with John Barrett, III.

Find him online here.

Hello, Greylock Nation—

Today is Saturday, October 07, 2017, and this is a special election series episode of the Top Left Corner, presented by the Greylock Glass. We don’t have the resources yet to cover all races, but due to the enormous popularity of our coverage of the 2016 State Senate election, we decided to provide you, our audience, with a similar opportunity to hear unhurried, unscripted conversations with the candidates for the position of State Representative, 1st Berkshire District, a seat left empty by the untimely death of Gail Cariddi in June.

John Barrett, III; photo by Jason Velázquez.
John Barrett, III; photo by Jason Velázquez.

 

The four candidates in this series of interviews are facing off in the Democratic primary election on October 10 to determine who will face off against Republican challenger Christine M. Canning in the November 7 general election. The four interviewees are John Barrett, Lisa Blackmer, Stephanie Bosley and Kevin Towle.

Each candidate was given an opportunity to describe their backgrounds and experience, to discuss the the political legacy left by Cariddi, and to offer a vision of how they would address the priorities of the district at the statehouse level. They also responded to similar questions about the issues of poverty, and employment, healthcare, transportation, education, climate change, and race relations. While every effort was made to ensure fairness to all candidates, conversations between different individuals will, of course, vary in content in unpredictable ways. These organic differences are, we hope, the reason that you appreciate extended discussions between people rather than soundbites or pre-recorded position statements.

I enjoyed my talks with each of these contenders, and have decided to extend the Greylock Glass’ policy against the endorsement of one candidate over another for this election season. I hope that by providing this election series of episodes, the Greylock Glass will assist its voting audience in deciding for whom to cast their ballot on Tuesday.

This episode, number 54, features my conversation with John Barrett.

We hope you enjoyed the chance to hear the views of this candidate for State Representative of the 1st Berkshire District. We put a lot of time and effort into it. If you found this service helpful, please consider making a contribution by going to greylockglass.com/support.

Remember this is the Democratic primary, so if you want a say in who will face off against Christine Canning in November, don’t forget to get out and vote on Tuesday, October 10th. That’s our show for today, I’ve been your host, writer, editor, engineer, and web administrator, Jason Velazquez, and I hope you join me again on the Top Left Corner.

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TLC #55: 10/10 Democratic Primary, 1st Berkshire District candidate Lisa Blackmer

Election 2017: A conversation with Lisa Blackmer.

Find him online here.

Hello, Greylock Nation—

Today is Saturday, October 07, 2017, and this is a special election series episode of the Top Left Corner, presented by the Greylock Glass. We don’t have the resources yet to cover all races, but due to the enormous popularity of our coverage of the 2016 State Senate election, we decided to provide you, our audience, with a similar opportunity to hear unhurried, unscripted conversations with the candidates for the position of State Representative, 1st Berkshire District, a seat left empty by the untimely death of Gail Cariddi in June.

Lisa Blackmer; photo by Jason Velázquez.
Lisa Blackmer; photo by Jason Velázquez.

 

The four candidates in this series of interviews are facing off in the Democratic primary election on October 10 to determine who will face off against Republican challenger Christine M. Canning in the November 7 general election. The four interviewees are John Barrett, Lisa Blackmer, Stephanie Bosley and Kevin Towle.

Each candidate was given an opportunity to describe their backgrounds and experience, to discuss the the political legacy left by Cariddi, and to offer a vision of how they would address the priorities of the district at the statehouse level. They also responded to similar questions about the issues of poverty, and employment, healthcare, transportation, education, climate change, and race relations. While every effort was made to ensure fairness to all candidates, conversations between different individuals will, of course, vary in content in unpredictable ways. These organic differences are, we hope, the reason that you appreciate extended discussions between people rather than soundbites or pre-recorded position statements.

I enjoyed my talks with each of these contenders, and have decided to extend the Greylock Glass’ policy against the endorsement of one candidate over another for this election season. I hope that by providing this election series of episodes, the Greylock Glass will assist its voting audience in deciding for whom to cast their ballot on Tuesday.

This episode, number 55, features my conversation with Lisa Blackmer.

We hope you enjoyed the chance to hear the views of this candidate for State Representative of the 1st Berkshire District. We put a lot of time and effort into it. If you found this service helpful, please consider making a contribution by going to greylockglass.com/support.

Remember this is the Democratic primary, so if you want a say in who will face off against Christine Canning in November, don’t forget to get out and vote on Tuesday, October 10th. That’s our show for today, I’ve been your host, writer, editor, engineer, and web administrator, Jason Velazquez, and I hope you join me again on the Top Left Corner.

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TLC #56: 10/10 Democratic Primary, 1st Berkshire District candidate Stephanie Bosley

Election 2017: A conversation with Stephanie Bosley.

Find her online here.

Hello, Greylock Nation—

Today is Saturday, October 07, 2017, and this is a special election series episode of the Top Left Corner, presented by the Greylock Glass. We don’t have the resources yet to cover all races, but due to the enormous popularity of our coverage of the 2016 State Senate election, we decided to provide you, our audience, with a similar opportunity to hear unhurried, unscripted conversations with the candidates for the position of State Representative, 1st Berkshire District, a seat left empty by the untimely death of Gail Cariddi in June.

Stephanie Bosley; photo by Jason Velázquez.
Stephanie Bosley; photo by Jason Velázquez.

 

The four candidates in this series of interviews are facing off in the Democratic primary election on October 10 to determine who will face off against Republican challenger Christine M. Canning in the November 7 general election. The four interviewees are John Barrett, Lisa Blackmer, Stephanie Bosley and Kevin Towle.

Each candidate was given an opportunity to describe their backgrounds and experience, to discuss the the political legacy left by Cariddi, and to offer a vision of how they would address the priorities of the district at the statehouse level. They also responded to similar questions about the issues of poverty, and employment, healthcare, transportation, education, climate change, and race relations. While every effort was made to ensure fairness to all candidates, conversations between different individuals will, of course, vary in content in unpredictable ways. These organic differences are, we hope, the reason that you appreciate extended discussions between people rather than soundbites or pre-recorded position statements.

I enjoyed my talks with each of these contenders, and have decided to extend the Greylock Glass’ policy against the endorsement of one candidate over another for this election season. I hope that by providing this election series of episodes, the Greylock Glass will assist its voting audience in deciding for whom to cast their ballot on Tuesday.

This episode, number 56, features my conversation with Stephanie Bosley.

We hope you enjoyed the chance to hear the views of this candidate for State Representative of the 1st Berkshire District. We put a lot of time and effort into it. If you found this service helpful, please consider making a contribution by going to greylockglass.com/support.

Remember this is the Democratic primary, so if you want a say in who will face off against Christine Canning in November, don’t forget to get out and vote on Tuesday, October 10th. That’s our show for today, I’ve been your host, writer, editor, engineer, and web administrator, Jason Velazquez, and I hope you join me again on the Top Left Corner.

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TLC #57: 10/10 Democratic Primary, 1st Berkshire District candidate Kevin Towle

Election 2017: A conversation with Kevin Towle.

Find him online here.

Hello, Greylock Nation—

Today is Saturday, October 07, 2017, and this is a special election series episode of the Top Left Corner, presented by the Greylock Glass. We don’t have the resources yet to cover all races, but due to the enormous popularity of our coverage of the 2016 State Senate election, we decided to provide you, our audience, with a similar opportunity to hear unhurried, unscripted conversations with the candidates for the position of State Representative, 1st Berkshire District, a seat left empty by the untimely death of Gail Cariddi in June.

Kevin Towle; photo by Jason Velázquez.
Kevin Towle; photo by Jason Velázquez.

 

The four candidates in this series of interviews are facing off in the Democratic primary election on October 10 to determine who will face off against Republican challenger Christine M. Canning in the November 7 general election. The four interviewees are John Barrett, Lisa Blackmer, Stephanie Bosley and Kevin Towle.

Each candidate was given an opportunity to describe their backgrounds and experience, to discuss the the political legacy left by Cariddi, and to offer a vision of how they would address the priorities of the district at the statehouse level. They also responded to similar questions about the issues of poverty, and employment, healthcare, transportation, education, climate change, and race relations. While every effort was made to ensure fairness to all candidates, conversations between different individuals will, of course, vary in content in unpredictable ways. These organic differences are, we hope, the reason that you appreciate extended discussions between people rather than soundbites or pre-recorded position statements.

I enjoyed my talks with each of these contenders, and have decided to extend the Greylock Glass’ policy against the endorsement of one candidate over another for this election season. I hope that by providing this election series of episodes, the Greylock Glass will assist its voting audience in deciding for whom to cast their ballot on Tuesday.

This episode, number 57, features my conversation with Kevin Towle.

We hope you enjoyed the chance to hear the views of this candidate for State Representative of the 1st Berkshire District. We put a lot of time and effort into it. If you found this service helpful, please consider making a contribution by going to greylockglass.com/support.

Remember this is the Democratic primary, so if you want a say in who will face off against Christine Canning in November, don’t forget to get out and vote on Tuesday, October 10th. That’s our show for today, I’ve been your host, writer, editor, engineer, and web administrator, Jason Velazquez, and I hope you join me again on the Top Left Corner.

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TLC #53: Word × Word and Fiction Of Now

Fiction Of Now

Poetry in the age of post-truth

"Fiction Of Now" takes place at the Berkshire Museum October 6 at 8:00 p.m.; graphic courtesy WordXWord.
“Fiction Of Now” takes place at the Berkshire Museum October 6 at 8:00 p.m.; graphic courtesy WordXWord.

Pittsfield, Mass.—WordXWord presents Fiction of Now, a program of work by poets spanning a wide range of ages and styles, October 6, 8P at the Berkshire Museum 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. The performance will take place in the physical context of Berkshire Museum’s Morgan Bulkeley: Nature Culture Clash, a career retrospective of the artist’s work. Admission is free.

Fiction of Now

Poetry in the Age of Post-Truth

 

Friday, October 6, 8:00 p.m.
Berkshire Museum
39 South Street, Pittsfield
Free

For Fiction of Now, WordXWord has challenged poets to create and present original work that in some way resonates with the questions raised by Mr Bulkeley’s work, or more broadly, work that addresses the absurdity of life in a post truth age. Poets are free to address this challenge as they see fit or from whatever direction they choose. The result is likely to be a wild ride.

"Politics of Identity / Poetry of Inclusion & Exclusion" happens November 12 at Gallery 51 in North Adams; graphic courtesy WordXWord.
“Politics of Identity / Poetry of Inclusion & Exclusion” happens November 12 at Gallery 51 in North Adams; graphic courtesy WordXWord.

 

 

 

 

Given the range of poetic styles represented, and the challenge presented, the audience is advised to expect the unexpected! Parents are cautioned that this program may contain explicit material.

 

For more information about WordXWord, visit wXw365.org. For more information about Morgan Bulkeley: Nature Culture Clash, BerkshireMuseum.org.

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TLC #52: Author Jana Laiz discusses “Weeping under This Same Moon”

Weeping Under This Same Moon, by Jana Laiz is based on the true story of two teenage girls from different cultures, whose paths intertwine, dramatically altering the course of their lives.
Weeping Under This Same Moon, by Jana Laiz is based on the true story of two teenage girls from different cultures, whose paths intertwine, dramatically altering the course of their lives.

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will welcome award-winning author Jana Laiz, who will discuss her book, “Weeping under This Same Moon,” at the College’s First Year Experience (FYE) Community Reading event, to be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5, in the MCLA Church Street Center’s Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium.

MCLA’s annual fall lectures are free and open to the public. Seating for this FYE Community Reading event will be limited. After the lecture, Laiz will sign copies of her book.

“Weeping under This Same Moon” explores the true story of what happens when two young women from very different cultures connect across difference. Written from the perspectives of both Mei, a Vietnamese refugee, and Hannah, an American high school student, this year’s community reading addresses themes central to MCLA’s liberal arts mission and broader democracy.

Jana Laiz; photo courtesy janalaiz.com.
Jana Laiz; photo courtesy janalaiz.com.

A believer in the power of individuals to make a difference, Laiz is a combination of storyteller, teacher and activist. She was a caseworker at The International Rescue Committee, working in refugee resettlement, and the co-author of “A Free Woman on God’s Earth” The True Story of Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, The Slave Who Won Her Freedom, which recently was named a New York Reads 365 Reading List Selection and has been optioned for the screen.

Laiz lives in the Berkshires, and is a Writer-In-Residence at Herman Melville’s Berkshire home, Arrowhead.

Weeping Under This Same Moon

 

Weeping Under This Same Moon, by Jana Laiz is based on the true story of two teenage girls from different cultures, whose paths intertwine, dramatically altering the course of their lives. Mei is an artist whose life has been disrupted by the Vietnam War. Her anguished parents send her away on a perilous escape during the exodus of thousands of Vietnamese refugees known as “Boat People.” In Mei’s words we learn of the dangers she faces caring for her two younger siblings on a sea journey fraught with hunger, thirst and deprivation, leaving behind everything she loves, to find refuge for her family.

Hannah is an angry seventeen-year-old American high school student. Friendless, neurotic, a social misfit – her passion for writing and the environment only intensify her outcast state. Through Hannah’s voice, we get inside her head, there to discover a gentle soul beneath all the anger and turmoil. When Hannah learns of the plight of the “Boat People,” she is moved to action.

Destiny brings Mei and Hannah together in a celebration of cultures and language, food and friendship, and the ultimate rescue of both young women from their own despair. Weeping Under This Same Moon is a testament to the power of love and the spirit of volunteerism; affirming that doing for others does so much for one’s self…

 

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth’s public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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