Saturday August 3, 2013

GUILFORD -- As part of the Humanities Council’s Vermont Reads Program the Guilford Community Church and Guilford Library are celebrating local poets and prophets this summer. Earlier this summer Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jody Williams offered her prophetic thoughts at a book reading. On Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m. the church will again collaborate with the Guilford Library to host four local poets for an evening of original poetry. The poets include Lee Bramble, Megan Buchanan Cherry, Ken Hebson and Verandah Porche. The public is welcome.

Lee Bramble is the pen name of Tom Ragle. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Harvard University in Ancient Greek History and Literature and master’s degree in English Language and Literature from Oxford University. He served as a teacher of English Literature, with a focus on classical British and American poetry, and as an academic administrator in the United States, Austria, and China before retiring in 1993. He was president of Marlboro College from 1958 to 1981 and serves on the board of Write Action, a nonprofit organization formed to nurture, encourage and promote the literary arts in the larger Brattleboro community. Occasionally he can be heard on Brattleboro’s community radio station, WVEW-LP, reading poetry during the Write Action Radio Hour on Sundays. He lives in Guilford in the 1780 farmhouse in which his wife and their children were raised.

Megan Buchanan Cherry earned a bachelor of arts degree in Urban and Environmental Policy from Occidental College and a master’s degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing/Poetry from Northern Arizona University. She has taught English, bilingual literacy, creative writing, learning skills and dance in independent and public school classrooms for over 15 years. She has also taught writing at Prescott College in Arizona. She believes in the equation "reading plus writing equals freedom!" Her poems and essays have been published in national magazines, including The Sun and make/shift. She has also worked as a professional modern dancer and choreographer for almost 20 years. Born in Newport Beach, Calif., Cherry has lived in the mountains of northern Arizona, in Ireland and France, and now lives in southern Vermont with her husband, teenager and toddler. In her free time, she loves to go for long walks on dirt roads, read, cook, sew baby quilts by hand, and grow vegetables.

Ken Hebson has lived in the area for over 20 years. Before moving to Vermont he lived and worked in Japan, Mexico, Venezuela, and Spain. While living in Japan he traveled in Asia and saw Europe and North Africa by motorcycle and Volkswagen bus in the 1960s. In the early 1970s he and his wife became subsistence farmers for four years in the mountains of southern Spain. Both the travel and the farming experience are subjects of a memoir in progress. His new book is "South from Istanbul."

Verandah Porche works as a poet-in-residence, performer and writing partner. Based in rural Vermont since 1968, she has published "Sudden Eden" (Verdant Books), "The Body’s Symmetry" (Harper and Row) and "Glancing Off" (See Through Books), and has pursued an alternative literary career, creating collaborative writing projects in nontraditional settings: literacy and crisis centers, hospitals, factories, nursing homes, senior centers, a 200 year-old Vermont tavern and an urban working class neighborhood. Broad Brook Anthology, a play for voices, honors the lives of elders in Guilford. "Listening Out Loud" documents her residency with Real Art Ways in Hartford, Conn. "Come Over," is a CD of songs written with Patty Carpenter, performed by the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band. She has read her work on NPR stations, in the Vermont State House and at the John Simon Guggenheim Museum. The Vermont Arts Council presented her with its Award of Merit in 1998 and Marlboro College, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2012.

The theme Sunday, Aug. 4, at Guilford Community Church at 10 a.m. worship will be "Sing a New Song" and will include music based on poetry from scripture. Nursery and childcare are provided.

Guilford Community Church is an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ and is fully handicapped accessible and committed to providing ASL interpreter and hearing assistance if given notice of interest ahead. The church is located one mile south of exit 1 of Interstate 91 on Route 5 just in back of the Guilford Country Store. For more information call 802-257-2776 or visit www.guilfordchurch.org.