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Brandon events key on poetry, literature

BRANDON — September is Poetry and Literature Month at the Compass Music and Arts Center (CMAC) in Brandon. As part of an ongoing series of monthly programs that celebrate different art forms, the Compass Music and Arts Foundation (CMAF), a nonprofit organization supporting CMAC, is offering events focusing on poetry and literature during the month of September. Visitors have already enjoyed hearing the Otter Creek Poetry Society and local author Paul Christensen. Coming up next, the CMAF welcomes authors Jerry Johnson and Marilyn Taylor McDowell.
Award-winning poetJerry Johnson will speak on Sunday, Sept. 22, from 3-4:30 p.m. about his creative process and read from his recent book, “Up the Creek Without a Saddle,” a universal memoir of life experiences in poetry. Animals, the natural world around us, people, first loves, loss, joy and so much more occur in his poetry. Johnson will also play some of the songs from the CD that accompanies his book. In it, many of his poems were set to music by legendary Vermont musicians Jon Gailmor and Pete Sutherland. Johnson is a retired professor from Fitchburg State University who has always had a keen interest in nature and a love for writing poetry.Tickets are $3.
Well-known and much loved local author Marilyn Taylor McDowell will give two presentations on Sunday, Sept. 29. McDowell has been bringing children and books together for more than 25 years volunteering as a school librarian, a cultural arts chairperson and a storyteller. Once the proprietor of a children’s bookshop, she took on the role of teacher, creating and teaching writing workshops for elementary school age children, visiting classrooms from elementary school to the college level and connecting with community-based initiatives to help parents learn to read with their children.
The first presentation will be from 1:30-2:15 p.m. and is intended for young children. McDowell will share some simple stories from Appalachia, best known as jack tales, and will use a flannel board and encourage the children to participate. Tickets are $3.50.
The second presentation, from 3-3:45 p.m., is for young people 10 years and older, as well as parents and adults. McDowell will focus on her highly acclaimed debut novel, “Carolina Harmony,” helping the audience to step into the Blue Ridge Mountains, revealing the inspiration that resulted in the characters. This will be followed by a brief reading and question-and-answer session. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door. Refreshments, including cat biscuits and jelly, as featured in “Carolina Harmony,” will be served at the close of both sessions.
October’s theme will be photography, with an amateur photography exhibit and photo workshops by local artists Caleb Kenna and Robert Black. To submit photographs for the exhibit, visit www.cmacvt.org.
For more information and to see updates on upcoming events as they become available, visit CMAC’s website at www.cmacvt.org. CMAC is located at 333 Jones Drive in Brandon.

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