Archive for the ‘Arts and Culture’ Category

Michael Stock

People are likely to discuss local sports or bands, however local writers are often left out of the conversation.

Three staff and faculty members at Edgewood are involved in the burgeoning Madison writing scene.

Derek Johnson, admissions counselor, writer, and performer, has organized a slam poetry event for the past few years with high school students from Madison and Dane County.  “We worked with a variety of students on enhancing their skills and confidence to get on stage.  It’s been very successful, and with a lot of young students–even new freshmen here in Madison–the response has been overwhelming,” he said.

“It’s amazing that 80 people in a city as small as Madison will sit at a poetry reading on a Friday night.” -Adam Fell

The workshops help develop the students’ writing grammatically and creatively, but they also work on performance.  “A big part of it is getting on stage and being animated,” Johnson said.  The next workshop and slam series will be in February. (more…)

Lisa Kaminski

With his new book Living the Questions, philosophy professor Vince Kavaloski asks readers to contemplate the mysteries of peace, love, and life.

Kavaloski, who has been compiling the collection of brief memoirs, articles, poems, and parables for the past five years stresses that this isn’t a typical philosophy text.  “A lot of professors write for professors and their professions, but I prefer to write for students, the general public,” he said.  He prefers to use straightforward prose to communicate his vision.  “You can think philosophical thoughts without wading through philosophical prose,” he said.

With this in mind, Kavaloski reflects on a topic he’s studied for years: peace.  In Living the Questions, he discusses the teachings of the Dalai Lama and the ideas of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  A Gandhian of sorts, Kavaloski admires these men for their quest for peace through nonviolence.

Vince Kavaloski: “Learning to live the questions and find joy in the journey.”

Kavaloski also stresses the important role of the United Nations.  Acting as a sort of global parliament, the UN provides a neutral forum for countries to solve international problems.  Kavaloski also points out that one of the organization’s greatest accomplishments, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that sets a standard for global human rights and dignities, and also a subject covered in many of Kavaloski’s classes.

However, through his multi-genre book, Kavaloski always returns to questions: how to find the meaning of life, how to achieve peace, and what it means to love.  He admits in Living the Questions that he first engaged in philosophy “with a hunger for definite, comprehensive answers.”  Yet as he studied, questions kept resurfacing, and after years is now “learning to live the questions themselves and find joy in the journey.”

Now on sale in the Edgewood bookstore, all proceeds from Living the Questions go towards the World Peace Travel Fund, which allows Edgewood students to visit the United Nations in New York City and the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.


Lisa Kaminski

More than 10,000 negatives later, Edgewood art professor Alan Luft is showing 25 years worth of photographs during the European Month of Photography in Berlin, Germany.

Luft’s show at the Photoplatz Gallery in the Hotel Bogota opened October 17,and he as among the hundreds of artists showing in cities across Europe, including Paris, Rome, Moscow, and Vienna during the monthlong celebration of the arts.  His exhibition consists of 40 black and white portraits taken in Berlin.

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Receiving positive feedback from the nearly 300 individuals that attended the show’s opening, Luft said, “I was very moved by the interaction with all these individuals.”  He attributes much of this support to the Hotel Bogota’s extensive network of artists, but especially to the Rissmann family, owners of the hotel and generous supporters of the arts. (more…)

Emily Pokorny

Dave Isay had his audience in tears during his presentation October 20.

Isay, the author of this year’s common reading book, Listening is an Act of Love, visited campus to share his experiences with the project he founded, StoryCorps.  Members of the Edgewood College community gathered to listen to Isay and ask him questions, as well as hear real recordings from the StoryCorps project.  One story in particular, the story of Danny and Annie Perasa, which is published in Listening is an Act of Love, touched the audience so much that many were moved to tears.

The StoryCorps project is the gathering of the stories of everyday individuals.  Two people go into a StoryCorps booth and participate in an interview with one another, which is then recorded on two CDs.  One goes home with the speakers, while the other goes to the American Folklore Center at the Library of Congress to become a part of the oral history of America.

On the Edge reporter Emily Pokorny sits down with author David Isay


Back Porch Reading

Posted: October 22, 2010 in Arts and Culture

Brianna Fiene

“Back Porch Reading” featured local poets and short story writers for a series of enthralling readings.

As promised the performances were on a spacious back porch where eager listeners gathered on chairs and blankets to hear the authors recite their own words. The yellow glow of a back alley light shone on each reader like a spotlight. It was a treat to have a plethora of works from published authors all in one venue.

Christine Holm started out the night with a series of poems that had spot-on quirky imagery easily accessible to the mind and had the audience laughing in recognition. Edgewood’s own Meg Johnson continued with humorous and enthusiastic readings of her poems.

Nineteen-year-old, Zozie Beatrice shared some of her published poems. She cites her favorite poets as Ezra Pound and Sylvia Plath. Beatrice read a poem she wrote during an inspirational  “morality kick”.

“I write when something hits me. Like people in the grocery store check-out line, I just pull something out and jot it all down,” she said.

Amanda Hemer-Viviani was the one short story reader. Both of her stories were highly observational pieces that seemed to be inspired by childhood relationships. Charlie Campbell, local M.C performed slam poetry. His delivery was intense, and he mixed it up with a funny song about a crush.

The night was interesting and provided an atmosphere where writers of all levels could comfortably converse after the featured readings. Complete with some very cozy and necessary baked goods, snacks and beer.

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Check out images like this and more in the upcoming issue.

Pop Secret #2 by Ruthie Rolfsmeyer