A Community of the Heart: An Evening with Coleman Barks and Martin Shaw

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Friday, February 15, 2013
7:30 pm
Memorial Church
Stanford University
Free; no registration is required

Join us for a special evening with poet Coleman Barks and storyteller Martin Shaw to explore the playfulness and intensity of the heart and its many secrets. Focusing particularly on Rumi, whose poetry so powerfully opens the heart, the evening will feature poetry, myth, jokes, and lively conversation about the place where language and feeling combine to make a caravanserai of longing. Two travelers tell of their dreams and invite you to join them. Bring your dancing shoes to hurl at the moon.

Coleman Barks is the author of numerous Rumi translations, including The Essential Rumi, and has been a student of Sufism since 1977. His work with Rumi was the subject of Bill Moyers’s Language of Life series on PBS, and he is a featured poet and translator in Moyers’s poetry special, Fooling with Words.

Dr. Martin Shaw is a mythologist and author of the award winning A Branch From the Lightning Tree: Ecstatic Myth and the Grace in Wildness. Director of the Westcountry School of Myth in the United Kingdom, he is also visiting lecturer in Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s leadership program at Oxford University.

This program is co-sponsored by The Stanford Storytelling Project and The Stanford Office for Religious Life.


Valentines 3

Sometimes a simple question is all it takes to get someone telling a story. We begin this show by asking people to tell the story of their first kiss. Every story is the same. Every story is different. After that, changes of hearts and a deeper understanding of one’s capacity to love. Then we have two glimpses into potential future realities, android love and a Valentinian Apocalypse. Have a great V Day.

Host: Rachel Hamburg

Producers: Aaron Thayer, Eme Akpabio, Claire Woodard, Charlie Mintz, Will Rogers, and Jonah Willihnganz

Featuring: Max McClure, Heidi Thorsen, and members of the Stanford community who told us their story in White Plaza.

Music: Daniel Steinbock, Max McClure, Fleet Street, and a spontaneous mishmash of singers who were out serenading people on the Saturday night before this story aired, in February 2009.

Release Date: 16 February 2010

Story 1: Your First Kiss

Answering our first of three questions, passersby on White Plaza tell us of their first kisses. Some kisses were awkward, some were sensational, and some were both.

image via flickr

Story 2: When did you change your mind about love?

White Plazans tell of a time when they shifted their perceptions of love–sometimes shifts for the better, and often for the worse.

image via flickr

Story 3: The Heart that Grew Three Sizes in One Day

White Plazans tell of a time they realized their capacity for love.

image via flickr

Story 4: Falling for Androids

The first winner of our winter story contest, Max McClure, reads a story about love beyond the bounds of species. Will he find love in all the wrong places?

image via flickr

Story 5: Apocalypse, February 14, 2023

Heidi Thorsen, the second winner of our story contest, posits the Valentinian Apocalypse of Love. Is this the big one?

image via flickr