Events around Windham County

Poetry reading in Guilford on Thursday

Preachers and Poets, the third collaborative poetry reading by Tom Ragle and Don McLean, will be presented on Thursday, April 21 at Guilford Community Church at 7 p.m. 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.

Vermont's Underground Railroad

In the period before the Civil War, slaves seeking freedom often traveled northward in this quest. Many traveled through Vermont on their way to Canada on the "Underground Railroad." On Sunday, April 17, the Guilford Historical Society will present an illustrated lecture on this by Jane Williamson , Director of the Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburg. The Museum is located in what was one of the "safe houses" which sheltered the slaves overnight. The lecture will start at 2:00 PM in the Broad Brook Grange building at 2890 Guilford Center Road in Guilford.

Ms. Williamson will discuss the movement to help these people seeking freedom and the roles that Vermonters played in helping them. There was no one organization proving shelter, food, and sometimes transportation so the help was rendered by individual households and individuals. There was no real "railroad" but this name came to represent the movement. It was a risky venture for both the slaves and for the Vermonters who sheltered, fed, and aided them on their road to freedom.

Admission is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For information call Nancy Evans at 802-254-8082.

'Picking Up the Flute' reading at Next Stage

Green Writers Press announces that "Picking Up the Flute" by John Elder will be published April 22. The author will debut the memoir (with a bit of live music on the flute)on on Sunday, April 24 at Next Stage Arts in Putney , from 5 to 8 p.m. during a special Earth Day celebration and reading with other authors from Green Writers Press, including Vermont poet, Leland Kinsey, and hosted by celebrated Vermont author Howard Frank Mosher.

"Picking Up the Flute" sets music to a former professor's musings on retirement, marriage, literature and the natural world. From his home in Bristol, Vermont to Ireland's Connemara coast, travel through John Elder's exquisite topography and relish his explorations of nature, poetry, and geology. John Elder's memoir through music is permeated by his unique combination of prose and learning how to play the Irish flute. Elder revisits his time teaching at Middlebury College and explores the next phase of retirement, utilizing texts and memories from his past whose meanings echo with a new sound now. Picking Up the Flute is an interactive, multimedia memoir that lets you read Elder's provocative prose and listen along to his spirited playing.

From 1973 to 2010, John Elder taught at Middlebury College, where he was the Stewart Professor of English and Environmental Studies and was known for his wonderful teaching and for his critical work on nature writing. He is the author most recently of Reading the Mountains of Home and has edited an encyclopedia, American Nature Writers, and (with Robert Finch) The Norton Anthology of Nature Writing. He lives with his family in Bristol.

The Gleanery and Next Stage continue dinner and movie special

Continuing by popular demand, Next Stage Arts Project and The Gleanery continue a special combination Dinner and A Movie on the fourth Sunday of the month. At 5:30 p.m., the chefs at the Gleanery will serve a special menu in time for diners to make it to the hosted 7 p.m. film screening of "Barton fink" (1991) with guest host Tim Metcalfe around the corner at the newly-renovated Next Stage. Prices for the dinner and movie combination are $23. For reservations call 802-387-3052. Limited seating available.

All are welcome to attend the film only, for which there is $5 to $10 suggested donation, available at the doo.

Set in 1941, an intellectual New York playwright Barton Fink (John Turturro) accepts an offer to write movie scripts in L.A. He finds himself with writer's block when required to do a B-movie script. His neighbor tries to help, but he continues to struggle as a bizarre sequence of events distracts him. Directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen.

Tim Metcalfe is a Hollywood screenwriter and story editor (Revenge of the Nerds, The Haunting in Connecticut) and Putney resident. Mr. Metcalfe will introduce the film and conduct a Q & A after the screening.

Annual Brewers Festival coming soon

It just keeps getting better. Don't miss out on this year's Brattleboro Brewers Festival!

The fifth Annual Brattleboro Brewers Festival is guaranteed to be a blast, featuring live music, great food, and over 85 phenomenal Craft and Microbrews for your tasting pleasure! The Blues for Breakfast Band will provide the entertainment, and you can catch a free shuttle from the free parking at the Brattleboro Union High School parking lot. For a list of participating brewers, tickets, and more, check out our website at:

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Revised)

One night left see The BUHS Players present The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised]. This comedy which reduces all of Shakespeare's plays into one performance is a tour de force. The original writers of the script revised the abridged edition to incorporate new material from over twenty years of success on stages around the world.

Featuring Jason Guerino, Derrick Harnish, and James Wood, the play is sure to delight, from the blazing speed of the comedies to the even funnier tragedies. Please join us on tonight at 7 p.m. for an evening of laughs.

For more information contact Peter Cannizzaro at 802-451-3750. The performances take place at Brattleboro Union High School's auditorium, Fairground Rd., Brattleboro.

All seats are $5


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