Person smiling as they lean on post and look into the distance

July 31 Learning Hour – Reading a Poem: Finding Your Own Way (Together) Between the Lines

Sun., July 31, 11:45 am
Loper Chapel

Do you love poetry, or wish you loved or liked poetry, but don’t quite feel at home reading it? A poem can be a catalyst of deepening spiritual deepening with integrity, a key to the mattering of your own experience. An hour spent with a crafted poem sometimes repays itself for years. In this Learning Hour we will read a single poem together, taking our time to discuss it, line by line, bringing our own life experiences to meet the poet’s creation. Guided by Poet, Process Theologian, and UCC Minister Christina Hutchins, we will spend the entire time engaging a poem by Adrienne Rich. In the process, you may experience the magic of recognizing parts of your own life already there, we may gently open empathy to experiences beyond our own, and we may discover the pleasures of language the poet has carefully tucked into the poem. So much waits there in the dark to meet us.

Christina Hutchins, an ordained UCC minister, is former professor of Theology & Literary Arts at Pacific School of Religion and was the first poet laureate of First Church Berkeley. She now teaches process thought and poetry at the Cobb Institute. Her books include “Tender the Maker” (2015 May Swenson Award) and “The Stranger Dissolves,” finalist for the 2011 Lambda Award and the Audre Lorde Prize for lesbian poetry. Her poems appear in Antioch Review, The New Republic, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, Women’s Review of Books, etc., and scholarly essays are in volumes from Ashgate, Columbia UP, and SUNY. She has received The Missouri Review Editors’ Prize, two Barbara Deming Awards, and was named the Dartmouth Poet in Residence at the Frost Place in NH and first poet laureate of Albany, CA.