Stillpoint: A Center for the Humanities & Community

Stillpoint: A Center for the Humanities & Community is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting a sense of community through the humanities. We work toward this through a small number of events each year, including poetry readings, writers workshops, author talks, music programs and other forums for experiencing and understanding the meaning of community in our lives.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Under the Spell of Chuck Squier

November 24, 1864. Visualize a quiet morning on southeastern Colorado’s high plains. See in your mind’s eye lodges housing Indians who thought they were safe, at peace with the White people. Then think of the terror, the horror that ensued as hundreds of heavily armed soldiers of the First and Third Colorado Volunteer Regiments attacked, killing young men and old, but mostly women and children.

Consider the biases, the hate, fear, self-righteousness, the complexity of terrible acts and blame that led to this event and its aftermath.

Under the White Wing: Events at Sand Creek does all this and more. And on a Sunday afternoon in March, the full house listening to author Chuck Squier masterfully read his gripping narrative verse experienced again the distress, the melancholy that time and place holds. Spellbound by Chuck’s stunning portrayal of those involved, listeners could well heed these words by Gary Holthaus:

If we do not know this story and others like it in our history, we cannot acknowledge who we are as Americans and what we have done as a nation.

A memorable afternoon. If you haven’t heard Chuck Squier read from Under the White Wing, you have missed something extraordinary.

Attendees settle in for a singular experience.

Laura Goodman welcomes the group and thanks Chuck.

Reg Saner, Boulder's first poet laureate, introduces friend and colleague Chuck Squier.

Chuck captivates the audience with his resonate voice, 
portraying multiple facets of humankind. 

Photos courtesy of John Zola

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Under the White Wing - An Extraordinary Reading

Save the date and join us for an extraordinary reading!

Charles Squier

Sunday, March 18th, 3:00 p.m.
3021 Jefferson St., Boulder, CO 80304
R.S.V.P.    or 303.443.8059

Charles Squier's masterfully lean and fast-moving verse narrative vividly evokes the characters and motives convergent in one of the nation's most unforgivable chapters, the Sand Creek massacre. Rarely, if ever, has any episode in that slow holocaust called "the winning of the West" been revealed with such movingly understated irony. The verse line of Under the White Wing is clean, muscular, and mercifully free of the falsely "poetikal." Its illumination of the barbarism which in the American West once passed for civilization places Squier's poem among the best of its genre.

-Reg Saner, author of Reaching Keet Seel:
Ruin's Echo and the Anasazie

Here we have the tragic events of the Sand Creek massacre of 1864 truthfully told in a language so clear and visual that you will think you have already seen the movie. It is a story that has the power to transform us, if we listen.

-Gary Holthaus, author of Circling Back

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An Evening with Adam Kahane

Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change
The Book
An Evening with Adam 

Suspend that usual notion of power as power over, Adam tells us. Instead, consider using the word power as the drive toward self-realization, the drive “to achieve one’s purpose, to get one’s job done, to grow.” Think of this as power to.

Shelve typical ideas about love as romantic love only, he says. Think of love as “the drive to reconnect and make whole that which has become or appears fragmented.”

Understand, as Martin Luther King Jr. did, that both are necessary. “Power without love is reckless and abusive and love without power is sentimental and anemic,” Dr. King said. Building on this, Adam tells us,
Power without love is reckless and abusive, or worse, and love without power is sentimental and anemic or worse. We can see both of these degenerative forms in our world, in our work, and in our selves. Choosing either power or love is always a mistake. How then can we exercise power and love together?  (p. 53)

Thus was the basis for the captivating talk in which Adam elucidated his ten commandments for approaching social change, and for looking at ourselves.

Adam’s work in more than fifty countries has informed his compelling ideas—from scenarios in South Africa as the country transitioned from apartheid, to post-civil-war Guatemala, to India, Japan and others. Continual learning is key, and Adam often uses the phrase, “what I’ve learned,” or “what I’m learning” as he tells stories of the people he’s learned from, including those with whom he’s worked and those whose works he’s read, such as Paola Melchiori, Martin Luther King Jr., Paul Tillich, Rollo May, Robert Johnson, among many. 

Not flinching from the difficulty of putting these ideas into practice and the impossibility of thinking of love and power as easily integrated, Adam offers the analogy of walking. When we walk, we use one leg at a time. But both legs are necessary. Power and love—use one at a time. Both are necessary. With practice using both becomes more natural.

Thank you to The Leadership Project of PassageWorks Institute, co-sponsor of this event, to Naropa University for hosting it, and the the 75+ attendees who engaged so wholeheartedly. A special note of gratitude to Adam Kahane for being with us, nudging us to think beyond the conventional, and to do what we can. More good news is that Adam is finishing his next book.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change

ADAM KAHANE, international expert on dialogue and social change, will speak on his research relating to his recent book,

Friday, February 10, 2012
7:00-9:00 p.m.
Nalanda Events Center
6287 Arapahoe Road
Boulder, CO 80301

Adam is a leading organizer, designer and facilitator of processes through which business, government, and civil society leaders can work together to address their toughest challenges. He has worked in more than fifty countries with executives and politicians, generals and guerillas, civil servants and trade unionists, community activists and United National officials, clergy and artists. Adam is also the author of Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening, and Creating New Realities, about which Nelson Mandela said: “This breakthrough book addresses the central challenge of our time: finding a way to work together to solve the problems we have created.”


For more information:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Music & Stories to Enchant You!

Saturday, October 1st, 7:00 p.m. 
Dairy Center for the Arts
2590 Walnut Street, Boulder

Lauren Pelon & Gary Holthaus

Reservations (required): Call 303-444-7328, Tues.-Fri. 1:00-5:00,
or visit the DCA box office, 2590 Walnut St during the same hours. 

Award winning poet and essayist Gary Holthaus and internationally acclaimed musician Lauren Pelon team up to offer a unique new program called “The Story of Music, Stories from Home.”  Pelon sings in her lovely soprano voice and plays over twenty ancient and modern instruments ranging from lute, lyre, and concertina, to recorders, gemshorn, cornamuse, schreierpfeife, shawm,  pennywhistles, double ocarina, hurdy-gurdy, eagle bone flute, Kiowa courting flute, bowed psaltery, electric wind instrument and MIDI-pedalboard.  Holthaus tells real life stories from his boyhood in Iowa and what he has learned working as a commercial fisherman in Alaska, a wheat packer at Quaker Oats and a hoist operator at Iowa Steel and Iron Works, a retail clerk, teacher, professor and non-profit executive in Massachusetts, Alaska, Colorado, Montana, and Minnesota.  Both the music and the stories celebrate our sense of place, community, and home.

“The Story of Music, Stories from Home” will take place on Saturday, October 1, 7:00 p.m. in the Carsen Theater at the Dairy Center for the Arts.  The program is sponsored by The Stillpoint Center for the Humanities and Community and Picaresque II, a Minnesota non-profit.  It is free and open to the public, but tickets are required, and seating is limited. Reserve your tickets by calling 303-444-7328, Tues.-Fri. 1:00-5:00or visit the DCA box office, 2590 Walnut Street during the same hours.

Lauren Pelon has performed throughout the U.S. and in China, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Australia, and New Zealand.  She is noted for her versatile use of a diverse array of instruments, but Pelon has also won recognition for her singing voice, and for her compelling compositions and arrangements of music from many countries and cultures. 

Lauren has performed with symphony orchestras, The Philadelphia String Quartet, on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and at the Russian Institute for the History of the Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia.  She was the recipient of the 2001 “Artist of the Year” award from the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council, and 2010 Artist Initiative Award from the Minnesota State Arts Board. 

 Holthaus has three books of poems, three chapbooks, and three collections of essays, all of them rooted in the earth.  His prose has been cited in “Notable Essays” in 1994 and 1998, and he was a 1990 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowship for Poetry.  In 2011 Holthaus was awarded an Original Works Grant from Southeast Minnesota Arts Council to work on a new and selected collection of poems.

His book of essays titled, Learning Native Wisdom: What Traditional Cultures Teach Us about Subsistence, Sustainability, and Spirituality was published by the University Press of Kentucky in 2008.  He worked with the Southeast Minnesota Experiment in Rural Cooperation to write From the Farm to the Table, What All Americans Need To Know about Agriculture, a book on farming also published by Kentucky.  Holthaus has most recently worked on issues of community sustainability with the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska, and with the Pepperfield Project in Decorah, Iowa.

Together, Holthaus and Pelon have combined talents to create a surprising program of music from around the world and personal stories that will appeal to everyone.

Fall 2010, Charmaine Getz & Dick Kreck

Colorful Colorado Characters and Places was the final event in our 2010 Literary Series. At the beautiful Academy of Chinese Arts,  Charmaine Getz delighted participants with stories from her captivating book, Weird Colorado: Your Travel Guide to Colorado's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. If you haven't checked this out yet, you're in for a treat. And it includes a story on Stillpoint!

Dick Kreck spoke about his recent work, Smalldone: The Untold Story of an American Crime Family, providing more Colorado surprise and intrigue, brought to life by Dick's anecdotes and compelling photographs. Another engaging book for your list.

Stillpoint Center and guests appreciated the warm hospitality provided by the Academy of Chinese Arts.

                                        Charmaine Getz & Dick Kreck responding to questions

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fall Literary Event

Sunday, October 17th, 4:00 - 5:30
Academy of Chinese Martial & Cultural Arts
1750 38th St., Boulder
(between Arapahoe & Walnut on 38th)

Local Authors Read Their Work ~ Colorful Colorado Characters and Places

Charmaine Getz - Charmaine’s book, Weird Colorado, highlights unusual, wonderful and quirky spots in our state;

Dick Kreck - Sometimes referred to as Dr. Colorado, Dick will read from his most recent book, Smalldone: The Untold Story of an American Crime Family.

The event is free and open to the public. Join us!

About the Authors
• Charmaine Getz is a journalist with a zest for the strange, the unusual and the quirky. Weird Colorado gives the scoop about where to find the pleasurable odd attractions -- and the stories behind them -- that the Tourism Bureau doesn't know about and wild Colorado history you didn't learn in school.

Dick Kreck was born in San Francisco, grew up in Glendale, California, and earned his BA in Journalism from San Francisco State College. He worked as reporter and copy editor at the San Francisco Examiner and the LA Times. Dick joined The Denver Post in 1968 and held various jobs there. He wrote a city column for The Post for 18 years and covered television and radio before he retired from the paper in June 2007.

His books include Colorado's Scenic Railroads (1997); Denver in Flames (2000); Murder at the Brown Palace (2003), which was on the Denver Post best-seller list for 22 weeks; and Anton Woode: The Boy Murderer (2006); and Smalldone: The Untold Story of a Denver Crime Family (2009).