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Saturday, May 1, 1999
9:30-5:00
Society for Art, Religion and Contemporary Culture. Spring 1999 Meeting.
The House of the Redeemer
7 East 95th Street
New York, New York

THE SPEAKERS

ARC Fellow, MARGARET GIBSON, has written six books of poetry: EARTH ELEGY: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS, winner of the James Boatright Poetry Prize, 1996; THE VIGIL, a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry; OUT IN THE OPEN, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; MEMORIES OF THE FUTURE: THE DAYBOOKS OF TINA MODOTTI, co-winner of the Melville Kane Award given by the Poetry Society of America; LONG WALKS IN THE AFTERNOON, a Lamont Selection, given by the Academy of American Poets; and SIGNS. Poetry Editor of New Virginia Review1992-98 and winner of numerous grants and awards, she is a Visiting Professor at The University of Connecticut.

DIANA HUME GEORGE is Professor of English and Women’s Studies at The Pennsylvania State University, The Behrend College. Her books include BLAKE AND FREUD, nominated by Cornell University Press for the Pulitzer Prize; two books of poetry, THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY and KOYAANISQATSI, with a third forthcoming--A GENESIS; THE FAMILY TRACK: KEEPING YOUR FACULTIES WHILE YOU MENTOR, NURTURE, TEACH AND SERVE, edited with Constance Coiner; and a memoir, THE LONELY OTHER: A WOMAN WATCHING AMERICA. In progress are WHITE GIRL: LIVING WITH NATIVE AMERICANS and MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS IN WRITING co- edited with Sonya Jones. With John Edwards, she writes movie reviews for SHOWCASE MAGAZINE.

MARY CATHERINE BATESON is a cultural anthropologist and author who has lived in Israel, the Philippines and Iran. She is Clarence J. Robinson Professor in Anthropology and English at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and when she is not teaching, she spends her time in New Hampshire. Her many books include: WITH A DAUGHTER’S EYE: A MEMOIR OF MARGARET MEAD AND GREGORY BATESON; COMPOSING A LIFE; and PERIPHERAL VISIONS: LEARNING ALONG THE WAY. Her next book, FULL CIRCLES/OVER-LAPPING LIVES will be issued in 2000 by Random House.

THE PROGRAM CO-ORDINATOR

ARC Fellow MARY JEAN IRION is the founder/director (1987-97) of The Writers’ Center at Chautauqua. Formerly a columnist and teacher at Lancaster Country Day Upper School , she now teaches poetry in adult education classes in Pennsylvania and New York. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Yankee, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Southwest Review, Western Humanities Review, Poet Lore, The Christian Century and other journals. Her books are FROM THE ASHES OF CHRISTIANITY (nonfiction); YES, WORLD (essays); HOLDING ON, (poems); and SHE-FIRE: A SAFARI INTO THE HUMAN ANIMAL (nonfiction), now in search of a publisher.

THE PANEL OF RESPONDENTS

Visiting Poets: Marjorie Agosin and David Weiss
ARC Fellows/Poets: Tim Nuveen and Samuel Menashe

THE READERS IN “ARC POETRY SAMPLER”

Pat Gilbert-Read, Samuel Menashe, Francis O’Connor, Mary Jean Irion

The Program

WRITERS’ WAYS WITH LOVING AND DYING


9:30 COFFEE

10:OO INTRODUCTION OF THE PROGRAM Mary Jean Irion

10:15 “AN EQUIVALENT CRY: A MEDITATION ON FIRE, FREEDOM AND
FLIGHT” Margaret Gibson

11:00 PANEL RESPONSE

11:15 “DEAD TO RIGHTS: ETHICAL ISSUES IN WRITING ON SEXUALITY
AND DEATH” Dr. Diana Hume George

12:00 PANEL RESPONSE
12:15 REMARKS FROM THE FLOOR


***** 12:30 LUNCH *****


1:30 ARC POETRY SAMPLER: Readings by Fellows

2:15 “CROSSROADS OF CARING” Dr. Mary Catherine Bateson

3:15 PANEL RESPONSE
3:30 PANEL MEMBERS’ REFLECTIONS ON THE WHOLE DAY
4:00 OPEN DISCUSSION WITH SPEAKERS AND PANELISTS

4:30-5:00 WINE AND CHEESE RECEPTION




A PEN FOR YOUR THOUGHTS--


I Remember Galileo

I remember Galileo describing the mind
as a piece of paper blown around by the wind,
and I loved the sight of it sticking to a tree
or jumping into the back seat of a car,
and for years I watched paper leap through my cities;
but yesterday I saw the mind was a squirrel caught crossing
Route 80 between the wheels of a giant truck,
dancing back and forth like a thin leaf,
or a frightened string, for only two seconds living
on the white concrete before he got away,
his life shortened by all that terror, his head
jerking, his yellow teeth ground down to dust.

It was the speed of the squirrel and his lowness to the ground,
his great purpose and the alertness of his dancing,
that showed me the difference between him and paper.
Paper will do in theory, when there is time
to sit back in a metal chair and study shadows;
but for this life I need a squirrel,
his clawed feet spread, his whole soul quivering,
the hot wind rushing through his hair,
the loud noise shaking him from head to tail.
O philosophical mind, O mind of paper, I need a squirrel
finishing his wild dash across the highway,
rushing up his green ungoverned hillside.

-- Gerald Stern


Death destroys a man, but the idea of death saves him.

--E.M. Forster,
Howards End



Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human
existence; any society which excludes, relatively, the development of love
must in the long run perish of its own contradiction with the basic
necessities of human nature. . .To analyze the nature of love is to discover
its general absence today and to criticize the social conditions which are
responsible for this absence. To have faith in the possibility of love as a
social and not only exceptional-individual phenomenon is a rational faith
based on the insight into the very nature of man.

--Erich Fromm

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