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Books Sandwiched In Series at Colby-Sawyer College Features Poetry, Small Business Ownership and Digital Storytelling

NEW LONDON, N.H., March 15, 2012 – Colby-Sawyer College will present its spring Books Sandwiched In series in April with a poetry reading and discussion led by poet and Dartmouth College Professor Cleopatra Mathis; a presentation about owning a local business by artist Cindy Best; and a demonstration of digital storytelling by Colby-Sawyer College students and their professor, Erica Webb.

The series begins with Cleopatra Mathis, who will read from her upcoming poetry collection, Book of Dog, on Wednesday, April 4, at 4 p.m. in the Archives Reading Room of the Susan Colgate Cleveland Library. This event is co-sponsored by Word Order, a club for English majors. On Wednesday, April 11, Cindy Best will discuss small business ownership and her art work at a presentation in the Hicks Alumni Lounge at the Ware Campus Center at 12:30 p.m. On Wednesday, April 18, in Hicks Alumni Lounge at 12:30 p.m., Erica Webb will lead her Pathway class, Local Time, in presenting their final projects in digital storytelling. Admission is free and the community is invited to attend.

Cleopatra Mathis is the Frederick Sessions Beebe '35 Professor of the Art of Writing, professor of English and founder of the Creative Writing Program at Dartmouth College. Mathis has published five collections of poetry: Aerial View of Louisiana, The Bottom Land, The Center for Cold Weather, Guardian, What To Tip The Boatman? and, most recently, White Sea.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Mathis has been recognized for her poetry with two National Endowment for the Arts grants, the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poems, the Peter Lavin Award for Younger Poets from the Academy of American Poets, two Pushcart Prizes, the Robert Frost Resident Poet Award, a Fellowship in Poetry at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass., the May Sarton Award and Individual Artist Fellowships in Poetry from both the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey State Arts Council. Mathis received her B.A. from Southwest Texas State and her M.F.A. from Columbia University.

In her presentation on April 11, Cindy Best, who founded Little Bear Pottery in 2001, will discuss her artwork and ownership of a small business. Initially, she created clay beads, jewelry, commemorative plates and custom tile work, but in 2006, she started summer clay camps for pre-schoolers, home-schoolers and children with special needs.

This therapeutic work influenced Best's new book, Meet Me Where I'm At. In 2008, she also launched an Adaptive Art Camp for children with special needs that was so popular it evolved into a nonprofit business called Adaptive Art, Respite and Therapeutic Play Services (A.R.T.S.). She also collaborates with local artist Alison Vernon, owner of New London's Little Brook Gallery, on Paw Prints with a Purpose, which turns pet portraiture into pendants, sculptures and other crafts.

To close the series, a class of Colby-Sawyer students led by Erica Webb, adjunct assistant professor of Social Sciences and Education, will present their digital stories. Digital storytelling allows the author to narrate the story, while music and images simultaneously deepen the experience for the audience.

The class is diverse, with students hailing from New England to Chicago, as well as Canada, China and Haiti. Their stories explore topics such as ancestral and personal immigration, childhood role models, social issues and family legends. This project is the culmination of their studies of the ways that local, familial and personal histories are essential to a society. Each story is approximately three to five minutes in length.

-Kara Behrens '12

Kara is a student intern and writer in College Communications at Colby-Sawyer College.

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000