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


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.

Voices from the Front, An Evening of Stories with Stanford Veterans returning home from War

Dust Storm

Sunday, November 11, 2012
5:00 – 6:30 pm
A3C Ballroom, Old Union
Stanford University
Free and open to the public.
Please RSVP to storytelling@stanford.edu

The Stanford Storytelling Project invites you to share an evening of personal stories, music, letters and conversation with Stanford student veterans recently returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While we hear almost daily about the large-scale effects of these wars in the news, we rarely hear about their profound effects on the lives of thousands of veterans and their families.

This Veterans Day, the Stanford community will have the chance to hear those stories. Stanford veterans and some of their family members will come together for a single special event, to share what they have experienced and learned both about war and about the journey home.

The evening will feature excerpts from the Storytelling Project’s audio documentary of these soldiers, “Returning Home,” produced by Xandra Clark and Natacha Ruck, which will be aired on KZSU 90.1FM at 6pm on November 12 and 14. Stream live at kzsulive.stanford.edu; download at storytelling.stanford.edu or on iTunes.

The event will be hosted by Xandra Clark, producer for the Stanford Storytelling and the discussion will be moderated by Joel Brinkley, Pulitzer Prize winner and former foreign correspondent for The New York Times. A reception will follow the program.

Join us for a rare perspective on war and help build a bridge between the civilian and military experiences.

This program is co-sponsored by The Stanford Storytelling Project, The Haas Center for Public Service and the Stanford Military Service Network.

An Afternoon with Ira Glass, host of This American Life

Ira Glass

Sunday, November 4, 2012
2:00 pm
CEMEX Auditorium, Knight Management Center
Event sold out but check our Facebook Page to win tickets

In his first appearance at Stanford, This American Life creator and host Ira Glass will talk about what makes a compelling story and how he and his staff are trying to push broadcast journalism to do things it doesn’t usually do. On stage, Glass creates a kind of live version of the radio program, combining live commentary and narration with music and taped interviews. Sharing funny and memorable moments from the show, Glass will describe what was behind their creation, how he and his staff find and produce stories for the show, and what goes into great storytelling.

This American Life premiered on Chicago’s public radio station WBEZ in 1995, and is now heard on more than 500 public radio stations each week by over 1.7 million listeners. Most weeks, the podcast of the program is the most popular in America. The show also airs each week on the CBC in Canada and on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio network. Under Glass’s editorial direction, the program has won the highest honors for broadcasting and journalistic excellence, including several Peabody and DuPont-Columbia awards. The American Journalism Review declared that the show is “at the vanguard of a journalistic revolution.”

This program is co-sponsored by The Stanford Storytelling Project and the ASSU Speaker’s Bureau.

An Evening with David Whyte: Life at the Frontier: Human Identity and the Conversational Nature of Reality

David Whyte
David Whyte book

Thursday, May 10, 2012
7:30 p
CEMEX Auditorium, Knight Management Center
FREE; no registration is required

The truth is not the truth until it can be heard and recognized, no matter how well it is said, and one of the difficult truths is that human beings arrive at newness, revelation, and understanding through recognition of something already established within them. To tell the truth, therefore, is not to fire off the right ammunition at an established target, but rather to create a live frontier, a field of communion, between a deep internal core and something that, to begin with, looks like the otherness of the world. Living and breathing at this frontier is what most of our religious and contemplative traditions have called enlightenment. Join poet and philosopher David Whyte for what is sure to be an enlightening experience of this frontier through poetry, the imagination at play, and storytelling.

David Whyte
 is the author of six books of poetry and three books of prose. He also holds a degree in marine zoology and has traveled extensively, including living and working as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands and leading anthropological and natural history expeditions in the Andes, the Amazon, and the Himalaya. He brings this wealth of experience to his poetry, lectures, and workshops. His most recent books are The Three Marriages, River Flow, and Crossing the Unknown Sea.

This program is co-sponsored by The Stanford Storytelling Project and Stanford Continuing Studies.

“Making up the Truth” with Jack Hitt

Jack Hitt
Jack Hitt Poster

Friday, May 4, 2012
Cubberley Auditorium
FREE; no registration is required

In his new solo show, Jack Hitt tells extravagant, almost unbelievable, true stories that take him from his early childhood in South Carolina (where his flamboyant neighbor, a British novelist, became global news as one of the world’s first transsexuals) through his trek to New York (where his apartment super kept a deadly secret identity). “Making Up the Truth” weaves these and other stories together with the latest experiments in cognitive research. Scientists of the mind are now studying the mechanics of how we all narrate our own stories in our brains, and Jack searches them out to answer the question everyone always asks him, “Why do these things always happen to you?” They don’t, the experiments show. We are all making up the truth, often to shield ourselves from what Jack discovers: the uncanny wonders that lie just beyond our brain’s notice. And that tale, it turns out, is another extravagant, almost unbelievable, true story.

Jack Hitt is a contributing writer for Harper’s and GQ. He also writes for The New York Times Magazine, Outside, and Mother Jones, and contributes frequently to public radio’s This American Life.

An Evening with Peter Guber


Tuesday, April 17, 2012
CEMEX Auditorium, Knight Management Center
FREE; no registration is required

Today, all of us—whether we know it or not—are in the emotional transportation business. More and more, success is achieved by using compelling stories that move audiences—media, donors, consumers, and employees—to action. In this special event, executive, entrepreneur, and bestselling author Peter Guber will share what he has learned over decades in the entertainment and communications industries about finding and telling authentic stories that make deep emotional connections with audiences. Through his own entertaining and enlightening stories, Guber will share how to capture the attention of your audience, connect your story to the audience’s self interest, and especially how to turn passive listeners into active advocates for your cause. Join us for an evening that will demonstrate how to transform information into compelling narrative and will empower you to employ purposeful storytelling as your “secret sauce” to propel greater good and social change.

Peter Guber is Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment
 and has been a producer or the executive producer of five films that have received Best Picture Academy Award nominations. His box office hits include The Color Purple, Midnight Express, Batman, Flashdance, and The Kids Are All Right. He is a professor at UCLA, and is the owner and co-executive chairman of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. His newest book, Tell to Win, became an instant #1 New York Times bestseller.

This program is co-sponsored by The Stanford Storytelling Project, Stephanie and Fred Harman, and Stanford Continuing Studies.