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Truth At Center Of This Year’s Gathering

July 11, 2018

The Gathering returns to Keystone College, La Plume, for a weekend-long symposium aimed at exploring the nature of truth through the lenses of science, math, philosophy, art, politics and storytelling.

“The Myth of Truth: Can We Prove Anything?” brings together voice leaders from a variety of disciplines to present workshops, discussions, lectures and more from Friday, July 13, through Sunday, July 15. Registration rates vary based on the number of events guests plan to attend and whether they stay overnight on campus.

Suzanne Fisher Staples, scholar in residence at Keystone and program director for the Gathering, said the theme this year felt appropriate for a number of reasons.

“What’s happening in the country, people claiming to have their own handle of truth and wanting to negate truth according to other people,” she listed. “I think it’s confused a lot of people. When you think in terms of truth, it’s a pretty slippery commodity.

“Each of the speakers approach truth from a different direction.”


A poetry reading with Tracy K. Smith

Smith, a Poet Laureate of the United States, is the director of Princeton University’s creative writing program and released her newest book, “Wade in the Water,” in April. Her awards and honors include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, an Essence Literary Award, a grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, a Whiting Award, the James Laughlin Award from Academy of American Poets and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Smith will present Friday, July 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Evans Hall in Hibbard Campus Center.

“Her poetry, on the surface, it has a truth that seems evident, but when you look down, she’s always plumbing the depth of what’s below the surface, and I think that’s an interesting quality for a poet’s work to have,” Staples said. “I’m just very interested in hearing what she has to say.”


‘Theorems as Masterpieces,’ by William Dunham

Dunham, a retired professor from Muhlenberg College, also held visiting positions with Harvard, Princeton, Penn and Cornell universities. A historian of mathematics, he is a research associate in mathematics at Bryn Mawr College and will present Saturday, July 14, at 9:30 a.m. in Evans Hall.


‘Data Humanism,’ by Giorgia Lupi

Lupi, an information designer, is creative director and partner of Accurat, a data-driven firm in New York with an additional office in Milan, where she earned a doctorate from Politecnico di Milano. She is co-author of “Dear Data,” an aspirational, hand-drawn data visualization book based on postcards that are part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.

Lupi’s workshop, set for Sunday, July 15, at 9:30 a.m. in Evans Hall, will guide participants in how to present facts and figures with greater empathy.


‘Truth Is Truth to the End of Reckoning,’ by Scranton Shakespeare Festival

SSF, a not-for-profit organization, creates and produces free, professional theater for the public using local and visiting talent. The festival’s performance on Saturday, July 14, at 1:30 p.m. in Evans Hall will explore Shakespeare’s many references to “truth” in scenes from the company’s repertoire.

Contact the writer: pwilding@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5369; @pwildingTT on Twitter

If you go

What: The Gathering, featuring guest speakers, workshops and panels

When: Friday, July 13, through Sunday, July 15

Where: Keystone College campus, La Plume

Details: For a complete list of speakers and schedule of events, or to register, visit thegatheringatkeystone.org or call 570-945-8510.

Other workshops

“Finding Truth in Punchlines” with Daniel Klein and Thomas Cathcart

Klein, a Harvard grad, enjoyed a brief career in television comedy writing for the likes of Lily Tomlin and Flip Wilson. He has penned novels that range from thrillers and mysteries to humorous studies on philosophy, including his New York Times bestseller, “Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes,” which he co-authored with Cathcart. Cathcart also graduated from Harvard followed by University of Chicago, where he studied theology, and has had a varied career that includes stints as a college teacher and working in hospice management.


“Making Hyperbolic Space” with Margaret Wertheim

Wertheim, a writer, artist and curator whose work focuses on relations between science and the wider cultural landscape, is author of six books, including “The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace” and “Physics on the Fringe.” She also has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post, and co-created the Institute for Figuring, a Los Angeles-based practice devoted to the aesthetic dimensions of science and mathematics, as well as Crochet Coral Reef, a participatory art-and-science project, with her twin sister. Her hands-on workshop will teach hyperbolic geometry by making paper models of shapes previously thought to be impossible to make.


Poetry with Gail Carson Levine

Levine, author of 23 children’s books, wrote “Ella Enchanted,” a Newbery Honor-winner that was later made into a movie starring Anne Hathaway. She also released “Writing Magic” and “Writer to Writer,” nonfiction pieces about writing stories, and her first book for adults, “Transient,” a poetry collection, was published by Nightshade Press, an imprint of Keystone College Press.


“The Truth of Myth” with Trebbe Johnson

Johnson is the founder of Radical Joy for Hard Times, a “global network devoted to finding and making beauty in wounded places,” and wrote the forthcoming book by the same name, as well as “The World Is a Waiting Lover,” “101 Ways to Make Guerrilla Beauty.” Her workshop will explore “how some of the patterns, allies, monsters and pathways of universal myths can guide us through complex personal and even cultural dilemmas.” Participants will construct a myth for a particular challenge in their own life and have an opportunity to share it orally with another person.


“Finding the Song” with Tim Grimm

Grimm earned a master’s degree in theater from the University of Michigan and is an actor, musician and songwriter. Together with his family, he tours the United States and Europe as Tim Grimm and the Family Band. His songwriting workshop will explore the sources of inspiration and the roles music-makers play as they try to pen tunes that emote the human experience.


Morning Yoga with Donna Fetzko

Fetzko is a Yoga Alliance-certified instructor trained in Yogafit style as well as chair yoga. She has shared the benefits of yoga throughout the area for 10 years and will promote overall health through breath, movement and inner awareness with classes suitable for all levels. Come prepared with comfortable clothes, a mat, towel or blanket and water.


Emirhan Tunca, Musician in Residence

Tunca was born into a family of musicians in Turkey and began studying cello at 8 at Istanbul University State Conservatory. He earned a master’s degree and artist’s diploma in cello performance from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development and a doctorate from Manhattan School of Music, where he is now part of the faculty. An internationally acclaimed performer, he has played in Carnegie Hall and concert venues throughout Europe and the United States.