Poetry Reading in Guilford Thursday

Preachers and Poets, the third collaborative poetry reading by Guilford residents Tom Ragle and Don McLean, will be presented on Thursday, April 21 at Guilford Community Church at 7:00 pm.  Admission is by a donation in any amount,  to benefit the work of the Church.

This program, the third in the series,  takes its title from the fact that four of the poets were also ordained ministers in three different denominations: Anglicans George Herbert and Robert Herrick, and, on very opposite poles, both strict in their particular ways, American Puritan Edward Taylor and English Jesuit, Gerard Manley Hopkins.  Another connection between the poets is that a majority of them did not see their poetry published in their lifetimes, and several were unknown to the public, including Emily Dickinson, who joins the lineup.  Completing the cast of three English and three American poets is Walt Whitman.  Numerous and interesting connections, in terms of both subject matter and technique amongst these poets, will be revealed during the evening.

Tom Ragle served as president of Marlboro College from 1958 to 1981. He holds an A.B. in ancient Greek history and literature from Harvard University and a B.A. and M.A. in English language and literature from Oxford University. He served for many years on the board of Write Action, a nonprofit organization formed to nurture, encourage and promote the literary arts in the larger Brattleboro community, and has been featured on Brattleboro’s community radio station, WVEW-LP, reading poetry during the Write Action Radio Hour on Sundays, having given over 20 hour-long readings of classical English poets from the 16th into the 20 century.  His collection of poems, Take this Song, Poems in Pursuit of Meaning, was published in 2013 under his pen name, Lee Bramble.

Don McLean holds an A.B. with Distinction in English Language and Literature from Boston University.  He has taught courses in New England Literature at Community College of Vermont, and is known for his public readings of the works of Guilford Federalist-era poet, Royall Tyler.  For four decades he has annually read works of Hardy, Dickens, Truman Capote, Dylan Thomas and other authors on Friends of Music’s Christ Church Christmas program.  Last year, he organized Guilford’s celebration of the centenary of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’s birth, with readings and a performance of Under Milkwood.  In 2013, he published the book Sparks, the collected writing of his mother, Jean Stewart McLean, on the 50th anniversary of her death.

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Theater & Library Camp in Guilford Center

Guilford Free Library and Guilford Center Stage are collaborating on Stage & Stream, a new, weeklong theater and library camp this August 15-19.  The session will be open to 5th-8th graders, and will be FREE to Guilford kids.  Those from other towns may attend for a fee of $50 for the week.

The camp day will run Monday through Friday from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm at a pair of adjacent 1890’s venues in the village of Guilford Center.

Mornings will take place at Guilford Center Stage in the Broad Brook Grange, with theater workshops, games, improv, and sketches.  Morning snacks will be provided.

Campers and teachers then take the 2 minute walk to the Library for brown-bag lunch and an afternoon of literature, writing, journaling, and outdoor time in the woods, stream, the new play-space and Weeks Trail.  Healthy snacks will be provided throughout the session.

The instructors will be New England Youth Theatre “alumni,” home from college for the summer, who will have taught similar classes at NEYT. (This program is not affiliated with NEYT.) Library staff and parent volunteers will also be part of the team.  On one or more afternoons, guest practitioners will join the group for indoor and outdoor activities.

Guilford Center Stage is a new theater project at the Grange, which had its first production — of the Vermont comedy Tourists Accommodated — last fall, and is now preparing for the premiere of one-act plays by Guilford’s Michael Nethercott in June, and a fall production by Guilford-born Charles Henry (1850-1918.)

The Town’s library is regularly open several days a week, and will be staffed on camp days. Guilford Free Library has a history of providing activities for the children of Guilford, including storytime and other workshops for older children and programs for adults.  For a number of summers it has provided two morning-session Library Camps — the summer reading program — free to Guilford children.  These camps, for younger children,  will continue this July.

Transportation will be arranged for any camper who requires it in order to attend.

For further information contact Cathi Wilken, Librarian of Guilford Free Library, 257-4603  wilken@sover.net.