A Program on Resistance at Next Stage

Elayne Clift

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PUTNEY — On Friday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m., Next Stage Speaks presents, A Program on Resistance featuring writer and activist Mary Fillmore, scholar Rai d'Honore, author and columnist Elayne Clift and Vermont Poet Laureate Chard deNiord.

Next Stage Arts presents a panel on Resistance as part of its ongoing literary series, Next Stage Speaks, on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m., featuring Mary Fillmore, Rai d'Honore, and Chard deNiord, hosted by Author Elayne Clift. There is a suggested donation at the door of $10.

The Hubble will be present to register people to vote.

"May you live in interesting times." That well-known expression has perhaps never been more relevant - and worrying - than it is today, given the local and global challenges we face in light of current sociopolitical events. We are living in a time, and political climate, when raising our voices in artistic expression seems increasingly urgent, and when understanding the lessons of history is necessary. Whatever our worldview, this is a time for meaningful action so that, as Hannah Ahrendt put it, we are not simply "a leaf blowing in the whirlwind."

The panel and discussion we are proposing for a Next Stage Spoken Word Event in 2019 is comprised of three people. We are all writers, scholars and activists. Here is how our work compliments each other's, and what we would like to share.

Mary Fillmore, author of the award-winning historical novel An Address in Amsterdam, tells the story of a young Jewish woman who joins the resistance movement in her city during World War II. She also lectures on "Resistance Then and Now: Learning From the Dutch." What are the actual parallels between Nazi times and ours, and the warnings we should be heeding," she asks. "Then as now, most people colluded," she points out. "What did the path of resistance look like then? How does it speak to us now?"

Rai d'Honore is a scholar, writer, composer, and performer. Taking her cue from the origins of ancient Greek drama, the dithyramb--a choral ode song to the gods -- she explores how the spoken word of resistance returns to this genre. An original composition, her CDs Pretz e Paratge tells of resistance to the little-known Albigenisan Crusade. Her course on Resistance to Tyranny, demonstrates how, in the words of Paolo Freire, "men and women deal critically with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world."

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Chard deNiord is the Vermont Poet Laureate. He is the author of numerous books of poems, and a book of interviews with seven senior American poets. A co-founder of the New England College MFA Program in Poetry, he works as a Professor of English at Providence College and lives in Westminster West.

Elayne Clift is a writer, lecturer and workshop leader whose columns address social, cultural political issues. She is also a published writer in a variety of genre, including poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. In her novel, Hester's Daughters, a contemporary, feminist retelling of The Scarlet Letter, and in her award-winning short story collection, Children of the Chalet, she includes scenes and stories that bring into focus women's experiences in a patriarchal world in which women lack agency and must resist disempowerment. These scenes and stories provide a way for readers to grasp the reality of women's lives and to understand the importance of their acts of resistance.

For more information contact nextstagearts@gmail.com or call (802) 387-0102.

Next Stage Arts Project, winner of a National Endowment for the Arts and ArtPlace America grants, is a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing Putney's cultural and economic village center through the programming, development and operation of Next Stage. The newly renovated performance space at 15 Kimball Hill is now accessible, comfortable and air-conditioned.