Joe Belmont Group Pays Tribute to Wes Montgomery at Amherst College Feb. 11

January 25, 2007
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Amherst College jazz guitar instructor Joe Belmont will bring together the Amherst jazz faculty to perform “A Tribute to Wes Montgomery” at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11, in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Building at Amherst College. Sponsored by the music department at Amherst, the performance is free and open to the public.

Belmont spent a year extensively learning and playing along with recordings of legendary jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, and this show is the result. The tribute had its debut at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton in November. The concert will feature Belmont on guitars, Paul Arslanian on piano, Dave Shapiro on bass, Claire Arenius on drums and special guest Bruce Diehl, director of jazz studies at Amherst, on saxophones.

###

Amherst College Professor Martha Sandweiss is Selected for Bellagio Residency

January 24, 2007
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Martha Sandweiss, a professor of American studies and history at Amherst College, has been selected by the Rockefeller Foundation as a scholarly resident in the social sciences at its Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy. Sandweiss will use the residency to work on her forthcoming book, “Passing Strange: The Secret Life of Clarence King,” about a pioneering 19th-century American geologist and explorer.

A member of the Amherst College faculty since 1989, Sandweiss was also the director of the Mead Art Museum from 1989 until 1997, and was formerly the curator of photographs at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. She received her Ph.D., M.Phil. and M.A. degrees in history from Yale University, and a B.A. from Radcliffe College. She is the author of Laura Gilpin: An Enduring Grace (1986) and Print the Legend: Photography and the American West (2002), co-author of Eyewitness to War: Prints and Daguerreotypes of the Mexican War, 1846-1848 (1989), editor of Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (1991), co-editor of The Oxford History of the American West (1994) and a contributor to numerous volumes on the art and photography of the American West.

A Bellagio residency provides four weeks for critical thinking, disciplined work, individual reflection and collegial engagement, uninterrupted by the usual professional and personal demands. Sandweiss will be one of 47 residents this year, chosen from among 431 applicants, who come from 15 different countries and work in a variety of disciplines in the social sciences, physical sciences, humanities, creative arts and the non-profit sector. Detailed information about the Bellagio residency program can be found on the center’s Website.

###

Poet Michael Collier to Read at Amherst College Feb. 15

January 24, 2007
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Michael Collier, the poet laureate of Maryland from 2001 through 2004, will read at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. The reading is sponsored by the Creative Writing Center, and is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

A native of Phoenix, Ariz., Collier has been praised by the Washington Post for his “elegant, accessible and closely observed poems.” He has written five books of poetry: The Clasp (1986), The Folded Heart (1989), The Neighbor (1995), The Ledge (2000) and Dark Wild Realm (2006). The Ledge was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

The recipient of Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts, and Thomas Watson fellowships, Collier is currently a professor of English at the University of Maryland, where he serves as co-director of the creative writing program. He also served as the director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College. He received a B.A. degree from Connecticut College and an M.F.A. from the University of Arizona.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center sponsors a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. For more information, please call 413/542-8200.

###

Amherst College Football Team Huddles for Habitat for Humanity

January 22, 2007
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Members of the Amherst College football team are putting their shoulders into a different kind of workout this week: building a Habitat for Humanity home. The student athletes and their coaches will be spending their days, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., working at the Stanley Street site this week.

“These guys do lot of community service all year,” says E.J. Mills, the head football coach at Amherst. “Taylor Brown [’09, Boulder, Colo.,] has been working with Habitat and suggested that this might be a good job for the team.” The student athletes have returned early to campus to tackle the job, before spring semester classes begin next week.

Amherst College has provided the land for the construction of four new homes for low-income residents of the town of Amherst. Three acres of college land in Amherst were donated to the local chapter of the internationally active group that has brought capital, rather than charity, to the poor since 1976. Construction of the first home in Amherst began in the fall of 2006.

Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity, the local chapter of the national group, serves the Hampshire and Franklin County area. Pioneer Valley Habitat is an ecumenical housing ministry dedicated to building homes in partnership with families in need. By the end of 2006, Pioneer Valley Habitat will have built 22 homes in the Pioneer Valley, working with homeowner families who live in the homes that they helped build. Homeowner families buy their homes through no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. More information is available at Pioneer Valley Habitat's website.

###

Jeremiah A. Wright To Celebrate the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King at Amherst College Feb. 9

January 19, 2007
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, the pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, will lead the annual interfaith service in celebration of the life of civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. The service will include music performed by Amherst College students, readings from King’s writings and an address by Wright, known as a stirring speaker. The public is invited to arrive early to listen to recorded speeches of King at 7:00 p.m. in Johnson Chapel.

Wright holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary, M.A. degrees from Howard University and the University of Chicago Divinity School, and seven honorary doctorate degrees. He has lectured at seminaries and universities and has represented Trinity and The United Church of Christ around the world.

Under Wright’s leadership, Trinity United Church of Christ adopted the motto “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian” and has set out since 1972 to make activism within and on behalf of the African-American community its mission. An outspoken community leader, Wright has been vocal in making once-taboo issues, such as AIDS, priorities in the African-American church. He combines political activism with dedication to the tradition of African-American sermonizing.

Wright has received many awards, including three presidential commendations. An accomplished musician and author, Wright has written three books: What Makes You So Strong? (1993), Africans Who Shaped Our Faith (1995) and What Can Happen When We Pray (2002). He is a co-author of When Black Men Stand Up for God: Reflections on the Million Man March (1996). He was once named one of Ebony’s top 15 preachers. In addition to national and international ministry, Wright serves on several boards of directors and committees. Married to the Rev. Ramah Reed Wright, Wright has five children and three grandchildren.

###

Richard Rodriguez and Victor Davis Hanson To Discuss American Immigration at Amherst College Jan. 23

January 19, 2007
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Two leading public intellectuals will discuss issues related to immigration in a public forum to be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, in the Cole Assembly Room at Amherst College. The panel, on “The Public Discourse of Immigration in the United States,” will feature renowned Mexican-American memoirist Richard Rodriguez and classicist and historian Victor Davis Hanson, a fellow at the Hoover Institution. The event is open to the public at no charge.

This panel is the second in a series of three free public discussions of timely issues being held at Amherst in January. The discussions, part of the Interterm Colloquia, are designed to connect intellectual theories and ideas to real-world issues. The third discussion, on public education, will take place Jan. 27.

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. A well-known scholar of ancient warfare and a commentator on modern warfare, he is a military historian, columnist, essayist and former classics professor. Educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the American School of Classical Studies and Stanford University, he lives and works on a farm near Selma, Calif., where he was born in 1953. He has served as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, Calif., a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University, an Alexander Onassis Fellow and the visiting Shifrin Chair of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Hanson is a recipient of the Eric Breindel Award for opinion journalism.

Hanson has written widely on Greek, agrarian and military history, as well as contemporary culture. He is perhaps best known for 2001 book, Carnage and Culture. His other books include Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (2003) and Ripples of Battle (2003).

Hanson has contributed essays to The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune and other publications. He has been interviewed often on National Public Radio, PBS and C-Span. He is a columnist for the National Review Online and serves on the editorial board of Arion, the Military History Quarterly and City Journal, as well as the board of the Claremont Institute.

The child of Mexican immigrants to San Francisco, Richard Rodriguez is perhaps best known as the author of Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1982). His other books include Mexico’s Children (1990), Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father (1992) and Brown: The Last Discovery of America (2002). An editor at Pacific News Service, Rodriguez has published articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the American Scholar, Time and other publications. He is a contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine, U.S. News & World Report and the Sunday Opinion section of the Los Angeles Times.

Rodriguez received a 1997 George Foster Peabody Award for his PBS NewsHour essays on American life. Other awards include the Frankel Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the International Journalism Award from the World Affairs Council of California.

Rodriguez spoke Spanish until he enrolled in a Catholic school at age 6. As a youth in Sacramento, he delivered newspapers and worked as a gardener. Rodriguez received a B.A. degree from Stanford University, an M.A. degree from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in English Renaissance literature from the University of California, Berkeley, He attended the Warburg Institute in London on a Fulbright fellowship.

The talk by Davis and Rodriguez is part of a new program of Interterm Colloquia at Amherst College. New at the college this January, the Interterm Colloquia provide students with an opportunity to engage more deeply in interdisciplinary work while connecting intellectual theories and ideas to complex, real-world problems, and to explore pressing societal concerns in depth. Interterm at Amherst College is a three-week period during the January break when students are given the opportunity to take informal non-credit courses, work on a senior thesis, take part in an internship, participate in community service or take a course at one of the other Five College campuses.

###

"Should 'No Child' be Left Behind?"; Wendy Puriefoy and William Howell Joined by Amherst Superintendent, Teacher for Open Forum

January 19, 2007
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—A panel of national school-reform advocates and Amherst school teachers and administrators will discuss “Should No Child be Left Behind?”at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27, in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. The panel will feature Wendy Puriefoy, founding president of the Public Education Network; public policy theorist William Howell of the University of Chicago; Jere Hochman, superintendent of the Amherst Regional Public Schools; and Michael Morris, a 2000 Amherst College graduate who now teaches 5th and 6th grade at Fort River School in Amherst. The discussion, which will focus on issues of school choice and educational access, is open to the public at no charge.

Wendy Puriefoy is a nationally recognized expert on issues of school reform and civil society. Her activism in this area began in the 1970s, when she served as a special monitor of the court-ordered desegregation plan for Boston’s public schools. In 1991, she became the founding president of the Public Education Network. Under her leadership, PEN has grown into the nation’s largest network of community-based school reform organizations and a leading force behind systemic reform initiatives in school finance, governance, curriculum, parent involvement, libraries and student health. A frequent author and speaker on topics related to education, she also serves on a number of national committees and boards.

William Howell is an associate professor in the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Before coming to the Harris School, Howell taught in the government department at Harvard University. He also served as deputy director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance and has written on a variety of education policy initiatives, including school vouchers, charter schools and the No Child Left Behind Act. He is the co-author of The Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools (2002) and the editor of Besieged: School Boards and the Future of Education Politics (2005). He has also written widely on the U.S. presidency. A frequent contributor to academic journals, Howell was named Harvard’s 2004-05 Distinguished Research Faculty Associate and C. Douglas Dillon Scholar.

Jere Hochman is the superintendent of the Amherst Regional Public School system and the author of Thinking About Middle Schools. Before coming to Amherst, he spent 31 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent in the St. Louis area, where he was closely involved with the city’s lauded desegregation plan.

This panel on public education is part of a new program of Interterm Colloquia at Amherst College. New at the college this January, the Interterm Colloquia provide students with an opportunity to engage more deeply in interdisciplinary work while connecting intellectual theories and ideas to complex, real-world problems, and to explore pressing societal concerns in depth. Interterm at Amherst College is a three-week period during the January break when students are given the opportunity to take informal non-credit courses, work on a senior thesis, take part in an internship, participate in community service or take a course at one of the other Five College campuses.

###

“Stray Dog Cabaret” Poetry at Amherst Center for Russian Culture Feb. 5

January 19, 2007
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst Center for Russian Culture will host a reading of poems by Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Marina Tsvetaeva and other Russian modernists at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 5, at the Center for Russian Culture (second floor, Webster Hall) at Amherst College. The event will celebrate the publication of Paul Schmidt’s The Stray Dog Cabaret: A Book of Russian Poems (2006), co-edited by Catherine Ciepiela, professor of Russian at Amherst, and Honor Moore. Contemporary American poets April Bernard, Alexander Chee, Edwin Frank, Daniel Hall, James Maraniss, Honor Moore and Lloyd Schwartz will perform the parts of the Russian poets. Accompanied by cabaret-style music and refreshments, the performance is sponsored by the Center for Russian Culture and the Creative Writing Program at Amherst College.

Paul Schmidt (1934-1999) was a professor of Russian at the University of Texas at Austin. His translations included the plays of Anton Chekhov and the avant-garde writings of Velimir Khlebnikov. Schmidt also had a distinguished theater career, providing translations and performing in collaborations with the Wooster Group, Robert Wilson and Peter Sellars. He also worked with the director and composer Elizabeth Swados on a musical play using famous lyric poems and sequences from the great era of Russian modernism, set in a café – The Stray Dog—where artists and poets gathered. The translations he did for that production are the basis of the anthology The Stray Dog Cabaret. The book is a memorial to the time—beginning around 1906, and concluding after Stalin’s rise to power—when Alexander Blok and Anna Akhmatova created pellucid elegiac stanzas, Osip Mandelstam meditated on existential dilemmas, Vladimir Mayakosky exploded into radical free verse and Khlebnikov obliterated the line between prophecy and nonsense.

April Bernard is a poet, novelist and essayist. She has three collections of poems: Blackbird Bye Bye (which won the 1989 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets), Psalms (1993) and Swan Electric (2002). Her novel Pirate Jenny appeared in 1990. She has been on the faculty of the MFA Writing Seminars at Bennington since 1996.

Alexander Chee has received numerous prizes for his short fiction and the Lambda Literary Award for his first novel, Edinburgh(2001). He is completing a second novel, Queen of the Night, about a 19th-century opera singer. He is currently a visiting writer at Amherst College.

Edwin Frank is a poet and the editor of the New York Review of Books series. Among other books, he has edited Writers Rediscover Literature’s Hidden Classics (2003), with contributions by John Updike, Arthur C. Danto, Toni Morrison, Francine Prose and others.

Daniel Hall is writer-in-residence at Amherst College and author of two books of poems, Hermit with Landscape, which was selected for the 1990 Yale Series of Younger Poets, and Strange Relation (1996). His new book of poems, Under Sleep, will be published this year by the University of Chicago Press.

James Maraniss is a professor of Spanish at Amherst College and the distinguished translator of the novels and essays of Cuban writer Antonio Benitez-Rojo. An authority on Pedro Calderón de la Barca, he wrote the libretto for Lew Spratlan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning opera, Life is a Dream (2000).

Honor Moore is the author of three collections of poems, Memoir (1988), Darling (2001) and Red Shoes (2005). She is also the author of The White Blackbird, a life of her grandmother, the painter Margaret Sargent, a New York Times Notable Book in 1996. Her play Mourning Pictures was produced on Broadway. She is currently completing The Bishop’s Daughter, a memoir of her father, Bishop Paul Moore. She teaches creative writing at the New School and Columbia University.

Lloyd Schwartz is Frederick S. Troy Professor of English at The University of Massachusetts Boston, classical music editor of The Boston Phoenix and a regular commentator for NPR’s Fresh Air. His most recent book of poems is Cairo Traffic (2000), and he is currently co-editing the collected works of Elizabeth Bishop for the Library of America. He is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for his music criticism.

###

Broadway Bombshell City of Angels at Amherst College Feb. 1, 2 and 3

January 12, 2007
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College Department of Music will present the 1990 Broadway hit City of Angels at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1, Friday, Feb. 2 and Saturday, Feb. 3, in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. General admission tickets are $12, $7 and $4, but the show is free to Amherst College students. Reservations are recommended, and are available online at cityofangels@amherst.edu.

Written by Broadway legends Cy Coleman and Larry Gelbart, City of Angels, a musical comedy in the film noir style, features a stunning, jazz-inspired score. The plot follows Stone, a hard-boiled detective in the Sam Spade style, hot on the trail of an absent heiress. But the story turns on its head when we enter the world of Stine, a frazzled novelist trying to adapt his creation of Stone into a screenplay. The show is a visual feast that bounces between two glitzy worlds of intrigue: the black-and-white, 1940s detective-novel universe of Stone and the glamorous, colorized contemporary Hollywood of Stine, who struggles to maintain his artistic vision in the face of a conniving producer. Angels won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 1990, and continues to receive critical praise as what The New York Times calls a “tough period satire with stylistic perfection.”

The Interterm musical has become an annual tradition at Amherst College, with past performances of Candide (2006), La Cage aux Folles (2005) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (2004). Mark Lane Swanson, director of instrumental music at Amherst, endorses the program’s commitment to putting on shows with artistic depth and a strong ethical message. “I want to choose shows that are an education,” Swanson says, and he hopes that City of Angels, with its focus on preserving one’s self respect and creative integrity, will hit a strong chord with college students.

The Five College student cast is directed by A. Scott Parry, with musical direction by Swanson. As in past years the Amherst College Orchestra will be in the “pit.” This production is funded by the Amherst College Department of Music and the Association of Amherst Students.

###

Artist Richard Yarde To Speak on “Visionary Anatomies” at Amherst College Feb. 8

January 12, 2007
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Northampton artist Richard Yarde will speak at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, in Stirn Auditorium at Amherst College, with a reception to follow in the Mead Art Museum. Yarde is one of the artists featured in “Visionary Anatomies,” an exhibition at the Mead created by the National Academy of Sciences and organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The exhibit continues at the museum through Sunday, March 18.

A professor of fine art at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Yarde creates intensely personal, large scale works in watercolor, a notoriously unforgiving medium that does not easily lend itself to his scale or subject matter. The New York Times praises Yarde for his “expressive concentration and restraint and his virtuosic control of a difficult medium.” His work has been exhibited in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. and is part of the permanent collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and the Museums of Fine Art in Boston and Houston.

“Visionary Anatomies” showcases the work of 11 contemporary artists inspired by human anatomical imagery to express aesthetic, social and cultural ideas. The exhibition of 18 works represents a wide range of media, artistic styles and schools of thought that actively exist in the art world today. The artists featured in the exhibition include Yarde, Stefanie Bürkle, Katherine Du Tiel, Tatiana Garmendia, Joy Garnett, Connie Imboden, Predrag Pajdic, Katherine Sherwood, Frederick Sommer, Mike and Doug Starn and the group (art)n. The talk is free and open to the public.

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. Additional information is available on the museum’s Website or by calling the museum at 413/542-2335. Admission and all events are free and open to the public.

###

Pages

 

Contact

Office Communications
(413) 542-2321
comm@amherst.edu


eNews

eNewsSubscribe to the biweekly eNews by emailing alumni@amherst.edu.