Living Well: Joy, Suffering, and the Pursuit of Wholeness

Wednesday, May 15 

7:00 pm

Crown 290

Stanford Law School

Free and open to the public.

When faced with illness and suffering, can we retain a sense of meaning and flourishing? Or is our wholeness dependent on our health, our bodies, our fragile and fallible physiologies? On May 15, 2019, Veritas @ Stanford will explore these questions with Drs. Ray Barfield and BJ Miller, two physicians shaping our understanding of wholeness and meaning in the face of profound suffering. Ray Barfield is a pediatric oncologist at Duke University, director of Duke’s pediatric palliative care program, and professor of Christian philosophy at Duke Divinity School. BJ Miller is a palliative care physician at UCSF, senior director and former executive director of Zen Hospice Project, a triple-amputee, and a leading figure on death, dying, and end-of-life care. Lucy Kalanithi — Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford; widow of Paul Kalanithi, author of When Breath Becomes Air — will moderate the discussion. Together, these three will guide the Stanford community through complex questions of human brokenness, and in doing so, help us better understand what it means to be whole.


Salt in My Soul

Thursday, May 16

5 PM – 7 PM

Stanford Bookstore

Free and open to the public

Join us on Thursday, May 16, for an event with Diane Shader Smith featuring the book “Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life” by Mallory Smith.

Mallory Smith, who grew up in Los Angeles, was a freelance writer and editor specializing in environmental issues, social justice, and healthcare-related communications. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University and worked as a senior producer at Green Grid Radio, an environmental storytelling radio show and podcast. She was a fierce advocate for those who suffered from cystic fibrosis, launching the viral social media campaign Lunges4Lungs with friends and raising over $5 million with her parents for CF research through the annual Mallory’s Garden event.

For more than ten years, Mallory recorded her thoughts and observations about struggles and feelings too personal to share during her life, leaving instructions for her mother to publish her work posthumously. After her death at age 25, Mallory’s mother Diane Shader Smith, honored her daughter’s wish with the completion of Mallory’s memoir, “Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life.”


Story Exchange

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 
6:00 – 8:30 pm
Roble Dorm
RSVP at bit.ly/stanfordstoryexchange

Story Exchange is an interactive and immersive storytelling workshop to empower students and staff looking to deepen their relationships and contribute to more empathetic community in and around campus. We’ll acquire storytelling tools to engage more authentically and feel more centered in our lives. Learn how to bring these perspectives back to your campus communities to nurture deep human capacities like empathy. Free dinner will be provided.

These workshops are hosted by the Stanford Storytelling Project, the Lifeworks Program for Integrative Learning, and Narrative 4.


Words and Silences: An Evening with Naomi Shihab Nye and Ryushin Paul Haller

Friday, March 8, 2019
7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Cubberly Auditorium

How can we stay true to what we care about through the words and silences of our everyday lives? Join award-winning poet Naomi Shihab Nye and Ryushin Paul Haller, former abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center, for an evening that will bring together poetic and contemplative traditions to explore how simple engagements with language and stillness can help us find not only our place and path and but also draw us close to blessings beyond knowing. Discover with these two renowned teachers how to belong to your own lexicon, engage intimately with silence, and listen to yourself and all that is given.

Naomi Shihab Nye describes herself as a “wandering poet”, having spent 40 years traveling the country and the world to lead writing workshops and inspiring students of all ages. Drawing on her Palestinian-American heritage, the cultural diversity of her home in Texas, and her travels, Nye uses her writing to attest to our shared humanity. She is the author or editor of more than thirty volumes of poetry, essays, and stories and has received many awards, including a Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, and four Pushcart Prizes. Her collection 19 Varieties of Gazelle was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Ryushin Paul Haller is a senior teacher and former abbot at the San Francisco Zen Center. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he teaches throughout the U.S. and Europe and has led mindfulness programs to assist with mental illness and recovery. He has also helped bring contemplative practices into many communities, including prisons and schools, and has had a long involvement with the Zen Hospice Project.


Neil Gaiman in Conversation

Thu, November 15, 2018 | 8:00pm
Dinkelspiel Auditorium

One of the most celebrated writers of our time, Neil Gaiman’s popular and critically acclaimed books bend genres while reaching audiences of all ages. Gaiman’s best-selling works range from the groundbreaking Sandman graphic novels, to  fantasy novel-turned-television-series American Gods, to beloved children’s literature such as Coraline and The Graveyard Book. At this reading and conversation event, Gaiman will share some of his latest work, explore the cultural role of  ancient and modern myths, and discuss his own ranging literary imagination, where childhood’s loss of innocence plays out on a mythic scale.


StoryNight: Spring 2018

Wednesday, June 6 2018             
7 pm to 9 pm
Elliott Program Center
Free and open to the public.

Ever wondered what incredible stories your peers might have?
Or what lead them to where they are at now?

Join us for an unforgettable evening of live storytelling on Wednesday, June 6 at the Elliott Program Center! Students will perform stories they’ve developed throughout the quarter in the course StoryCraft, taught by TAPS faculty and improv guru Dan Klein and director Michelle Darby.

There are two shows, one at 7 pm and another at 9 pm (each one hour long), featuring different students. Come to both if you can!

StoryNight is free and open to the public. Come early: chai and desserts will be served before the performance!


What The Future Holds: A Conversation with Author Walter Mosley

May 15, 2018 | 7 – 8:30 pm
CEMEX Auditorium
Free and open to the public. General admission, no reservations required.

Novelist and social commentator Walter Mosley is one of the most powerful and prolific writers working in any genre today. He is the author of more than 40 books, ranging from the crime novel to literary fiction, nonfiction, political essay, young adult, and science fiction.

After a short reading by Mosley, he will be in conversation with Scott Hutchins, lecturer in Creative Writing. Topics will include Mosley’s views on writing, the state of the union, and his approaches for imagining the future. A Q&A will follow the conversation. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Novelist and social commentator WALTER MOSLEY is one of the most powerful and prolific writers working in any genre today. He is the author of more than 40 books, ranging from the crime novel to literary fiction, nonfiction, political essay, young adult, and science fiction. The New York Review of Books called him “a literary master as well as a master of mystery,” and The Boston Globe declared him “one of the nation’s finest writers.”

Mosley’s fiction tracks the African American experience from the migration from the Deep South to post-Obama election-era New York City. His characters are the sorts of “fully formed, complex black men who have been absent from much of contemporary literature,” he says.

Several of Mosley’s books have been adapted for film and television, with new projects in development at FX, Cinemax, and HBO. To adapt his works for television and feature films, Mosley teamed up with producer Diane Houslin to create his own production house, Best of Brooklyn Filmhouse.  With over a dozen entries, his Easy Rawlins detective series began with Devil in a Blue Dress, which was made into a feature film starring Denzel Washington. His latest Rawlins mystery, Charcoal Joe, was released in June 2016.

His upcoming novel, Down the River Unto the Sea, centers on a former New York City police detective turned Brooklyn PI, and is slated for a February 2018 release.

The first African-American to serve on the board of directors of the National Book Awards, Mosley has received an O’Henry Award, The Sundance Risktaker Award, a Grammy, and two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Literary Work. In 2016, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual Edgar Awards and was named the first African-American “Grand Master” by the Mystery Writers of America.


An Evening with Brandon Stanton

Wed, April 4, 2018 | 7:00 – 8:30 pm PDT
CEMEX Auditorium

Brandon Stanton shares his journey of personal growth and discovery, and uncovers the stories behind the stories featured on Humans of New York, powerfully illustrating the value of sharing your experiences.

As the founder of the street portrait blog, Humans of New York, Brandon has emerged as a worldwide Internet phenomenon and one of today’s most influential storytellers. With millions of social media followers, his individual story, like those on HONY, illustrates the power of the Internet, the value of storytelling, and our desire to remain connected with real people in a tech-driven world.

Brandon’s gift for storytelling has since spawned two best-selling books, “Humans of New York,” which spent 45 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, and “Humans of New York: Stories,” released in 2015. On stage, he candidly shares his own personal story, and the perspective he has gained since embarking on his journey to help others tell theirs. Listeners take away a renewed appreciation for the power of one person and one idea to inspire millions, and encouragement to be a force for good and contribute something meaningful to the world.