Guggenheim Fellow Anya Silver’s
Poetic Muse Emerged Here
Just named a Guggenheim Fellow for 2018, poet and Mercer University Professor Anya Krugovoy Silver is a true daughter of Swarthmore.
Swarthmore-raised — her mother Christel Krugovoy lives here still — the Strath Haven High School alumna has lived for 25 years in Georgia, but she says “Swarthmore is always my hometown in my heart.”
Anya’s best friend since 6th grade, Swarthmorean Oonie Lynch, tipped us off to the award — no surprise to Anya. “Oonie is always in my corner, always looking out for me. She’s one of the constants in my life.” One of 175 artists, writers, scholars and scientists to receive the fellowship this year among 3,000 applicants, Anya says, “I knew I was on the list, but still I was beyond thrilled and surprised.”
Her poetry career started in 11th grade, encouraged by Strath Haven English teacher Miss Baker. “Since 3rd grade, I knew I wanted to be a writer but it was when I read The Lady of Shalott and Dover Beach in her class that I really started to write poetry.”
When she got to Haverford College, Anya felt herself “start to become who I was.” It turned out that she was a serious student and a serious writer, who after graduating from Haverford with an English degree concentrating on poetry did “meaningless jobs” for a couple of years before entering a Ph.D. program at Emory University. Five year later, she finished her dissertation (on Victorian Literature and Anorexia Nervosa), claimed her degree, and with her husband Andrew Silver, sought teaching positions in the same place. Miraculously, both were hired at Mercer, and have been there since 2000.
“I know I’m extremely lucky,” Anya says, considering how many aspire to become poets and how few can truly make it their vocation. “Writing is not just writing – it’s difficult to switch your brain back and forth,” she says, while writing, say, literary criticism is a formal discipline, poetry uses different mental muscles.
“Poetry is more intuitive, and it has to be concise,” Anya says. “Most poetry is written from personal experience,” whether in the poet’s perspectives or narrative; images or word selection, all is influenced by personality and experience. Over the past 14 years, as Anya has confronted metastatic breast cancer, she says: “My work has dealt with my experience of cancer and illness, of considering death and the meaning of life. I write a lot in mythology, mystery and fairy tales. I’m aware of fragility and strength, too.”
The Guggenheim comes with a cash grant, and with that stipend comes freedom, Anya notes. “The fellowship brings the gift of time, which is most valuable to any writer. It enables me to take a semester off from teaching and just write.”
Following this semester, Anya will make one of her occasional returns to her hometown, stopping for a fix of coffee at Hobbs and of reminiscence at Renato’s. She has the same thought each visit: “I wish that everyone there knew how perfect a town Swarthmore is.”
I place you by my window so your skin can receive the setting sun,
so your flesh will yield to succulence, lush with juice,
so the saints of autumn will bless your flaming fruit.
Because cancer has left me tired.
Because when I visit God’s houses, I enter and leave alone.
Not even in the melting beeswax and swinging musk of incense
has God visited me, not when I’ve bowed or kneeled or sung.
Because I have found God, instead, when I’ve crouched in bathrooms,
lain back for the burning of my skin, covered my face and cursed.
Persimmon: votive candle at the icon of my kitchen window,
your four-petaled stem the eye of God in the Temple’s dome,
tabernacle of pulp and seed,
dwelling place for my wandering prayers,
I am learning from you how to praise.
Because when your body bruises and softens, you are perfected.
Because your soul, persimmon, is sugar.
Copyright Anya Krugovoy Silver
More poems of Anya’s can be found in this week’s printed issue.
Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board:
Examining the Extended School Year
By Katie Crawford
Referencing John Dewey’s quote, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself,” Megan McCullough, director of Secondary Special Education, and Gina Ross, director of Elementary Special Education, presented to the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board on the Extended School Year services available to qualifying special education students in the district.
The presentation began by defining what the Extended School Year (ESY) is not; it is not summer school or summer camp, and while credit recovery can be part of the experience, it is not the purpose of enrollment in an extended year program. There are extensive federal and state regulations pertaining to the extended school year which make clear that these programs are for students who need educational support beyond the regular school calendar and are not simply in need of summer camp activities or daycare.
A variety of factors are considered before recommending a student for ESY, such as the severity of a child’s disability, their self-sufficiency and independence, and how “successive interruptions” or time out of school affect their ability to retain information. Educators look at patterns in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), progress reports before and after breaks, teacher observations, as well as medical and parental input.
ESY takes on a variety of forms in the district including structured academic programs at the elementary and secondary level, intensive social skills workshops, as well as the coordination of related services like speech therapy or occupational therapy. Sarah Holt, who teaches life skills at Strath Haven High School, also addressed the board.
During the summer Ms. Holt works with the Summer Panthers program for students with both academic and life skills needs. She shared photos of students from this past summer participating in activities specially designed for students in need of occupational, speech, or physical therapy. Activities included arts and crafts, cooking with a focus on daily …
Clean Up Your Home Turf on Earth Day
Swarthmore Town Center, Mayor Tim Kearney, and Swarthmore Borough Council are partners in the 2018 Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania to be held on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22.
The Cleanup goes from noon to 4 p.m., and volunteers are needed for a variety of beautification tasks around the ‘Ville. To sign up for a specific task, please visit the Swarthmore Town Center website: swarthmoretowncenter.com.
Meet at noon in the Central Park Amphitheater for instructions and to break into work groups. And when the work’s over, be sure to stick around or come back to the amphitheater, because at 4 p.m., the play begins, with a music performance by the Swarthmore Ukulele Orchestra. Pack a picnic dinner and BYOB and the staff from Hobbs will also be slinging their Good Boy Burgers.
Everyone is invited to the celebration. It’s the perfect way to officially welcome Spring to the ‘Ville! And if Earth Day is a rainout, the event moves to Sunday, April 29.
Food Truck-a-Thon Next Friday
The Swarthmore Co-Op is circling the wagons for the year’s first Truck-a-Thon, next Friday, April 20, in Swarthmore’s Central Park.
From 5 to 9 p.m., at least 20 of the finest mobile food purveyors will be competing for your accolades and dining dollars. Six new vendors are among the caravan that will spread from Myers Avenue and the Co-Op to Borough Hall. For info, visit Swarthmore.coop.
Who? What? Where? When?
By Louise Coffin
Have you ever asked yourself: “Where can I find a chorus, a nursery school, a gardening club, a church?” Or “When can I attend an academic lecture, create art, play baseball, learn about my town’s history or its government? How can I find these resources all in one place?”
These and many, many other questions can now be answered online. Simply log on to swarthmorepa.org and select “Community Organizations Directory” from the menu on the left. You will have access to a listing of more than 100 nonprofit, volunteer, and community organizations based in Swarthmore and nearby towns.
Each group appears with a brief description and includes street address, phone number, and contact personnel as well as links to email and website, if applicable. Your search is made easy with an alphabetized listing, a category drop-down menu, and a name entry box.
A project of the Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association, this directory is for everyone — children and adults; new residents and longtime denizens. So, if you want to find out about art exhibits, scouting, political groups, libraries, theaters, transportation, international service organizations, recreation for kids, programs at Swarthmore College, and more, look no further. These resources are waiting for you.
Chester Children’s Chorus to Visit
and Sing at Westtown School
By Kirsten Halker-Kratz
Forty members of the Chester Children’s Chorus will meet students, faculty, alumni and parents at the Westtown School as part of the school’s Shoemaker Artist Series on Sunday, April 15, beginning at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome at this community concert, to be held at the school’s Barton Test Theater at 975 Westtown Road, West Chester.
Conducted by Dr. John Alston, the Chorus’s founder and artistic director, the concert will feature classical, gospel and popular works that the chorus is working on for their spring concert series. On Monday, Dr. Alston will spend the day working with Westtown music students.
Westtown’s Shoemaker Visiting Lecturer Series includes a lineup of distinguished visitors each year who move their students toward self-education and self-knowledge. A legacy since the 1960s of the Shoemaker and Flaccus families, the Shoemaker Series brings to campus talented men and women from a variety of fields. An important part of the Shoemaker visits includes opportunities for Westtown students to interact with these individuals. More information on the Chester Children’s Chorus can be found at www.chesterchildrenschorus.org.
Scanlon Leads, but Delco Dems Make
No Endorsement in Fifth District
By Andrea Knox
Swarthmorean Mary Gay Scanlon was the top vote-getter among 12 candidates who sought the Delaware County Democratic Party’s endorsement last Sunday (April 8) for U.S. Representative in the new 5th Congressional District. However, because no candidate received the required 55 percent of votes cast, no endorsement was agreed upon, thus the May 13 election will be an open primary, with no Democratic favorite listed on the county ballot.
Individual municipalities are free to endorse their favorites and print their own sample ballots showing those favorites. The Swarthmore Democratic Party will hold an endorsement vote this coming Wednesday (April 18) on both the Congressional race and the 26th State Senate district race. In the Pennsylvania Senate contest, Swarthmore mayor Tim Kearney is vying with Tanner Rouse of Upper Providence for the nomination to oppose incumbent Republican Tom McGarrigle …
Planning for July 4
The Swarthmore Independence Day Committee will hold its annual planning meeting on Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend the meeting in Swarthmore Borough Hall.
Town Center’s Anita Barrett at TGP
Have you attended a concert in the new Central Park amphitheater or visited the monthly art exhibits at Borough Hall? April is “Around the Ville” month at the Swarthmore Senior Citizens’ Association, so plan to attend the Wednesday, April 18, meeting of The Gathering Place to hear Anita Barrett, Town Center Coordinator, tell about the exciting events with the stores and community activities, as well as planned improvements. …
Order Plants Now from SPNDS
Swarthmore Presbyterian Nursery Day School (SPNDS) is now taking orders in its Annual Spring Plant Sale, which offers a wide variety of plants, flowers, vegetables and herbs, with all proceeds benefitting its scholarship fund. Presale orders will be accepted through April 20. Download from swarthmorepres.org/nursery-school, or request one by phone by contacting SPNDS at 610-543-2861.
Orders can be picked up at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church’s Fellowship Hall on Wednesday, May 2, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday, May 3, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
A limited amount of flowers and plants will also be on sale to the public during the pick-up windows. The church and SPNDS are at 727 Harvard Ave., Swarthmore, PA 19081.
CAC Saddles Up for Boots and Bandanas Bash
The Community Arts Center hosts its annual spring fundraiser on Saturday, April 21, a wild western party in the Duke Gallery, called the Boots and Bandanas Bash.
A posse of party planners is rounding up guests for the hoedown, where you and your pardner can dance country and western style to the roots rock & roll music of the Twangbillies.
Jeffrey Miller Catering will serve up Southwestern vittles, and if you head for the saloon, you’ll find an open bar all night long. Attendees are asked to dress the part in their most creative western attire.
The Bash starts at 7 p.m. In addition to the food, drink, music and fun with friends, you can bid on silent auction items including ceramics, paintings, sporting events, …
Shred it, Trash It — Just Get It Out of Here
Next Saturday, April 21, Wallingford Presbyterian Church sponsors a Shred and Fed event, which is an opportunity to dispose of paper files and records in a highly secure mobile shredding unit operated by Docuvault. It’s free and open to the public (individuals only, not businesses) however, you are invited to donate non-perishable foods or funds to be given to food banks in Chester. The hours are 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.; the church parking lot at 110 Brookhaven Road in Wallingford is the venue. On Monday, April 16, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nether Providence residents can take their heavy trash for drop-off at the township’s public works garage, 5 Brookhaven Road. Don’t bring hazardous waste or electronics; do bring an ID that shows you live in the township. Questions? Call 610-566-4516.
Vendors Sought, then Shoppers
Are you a crafter or artist looking for a place to sell your creations? Do you want to get rid of some of that stuff you’ve cleaned out this spring? Or are you looking to add to your collection at bargain prices. Anyway, circle May 5 on your calendar for the Strath Haven High School Craft and Flea Sale, which will be held in the SHHS gym from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is room for 40 vendors; if you want to be one, call 610-470-9035 to request an application form. The cost is $50; proceeds benefit SHHS Class of 2020 After Prom.
Vendors are also wanted for the Flea & Craft Market at Holy Myrrh-Bearers Church on April 28. Claim your place to sell your stuff (non-food) for just $20; call 610-544-1215 by April 21. The Church is at 900 Fairview Road in Swarthmorewood.
Last Call for Art! Homegrown Artworks Wanted
All artists over 18 who live in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District are invited to participate in the 2018 Celebrate Swarthmore Artists Exhibit, by submitting an entry form by Monday, April 23. Artists can enter one or two original pieces in any medium except photography. Entry forms are available at Borough Hall and at swarthmorearts.org. The show will be hung at Borough Hall from May 2 to June 3.
Meditation Classes in Faith and Life
This Sunday morning, and also the following Sunday, April 15 and 22, David Page will lead a two-part Faith and Life class on Practical Meditation at the Swarthmore United Methodist Church.
A long-time resident of Swarthmore, David has been practicing Yoga Meditation for 25 years. The classes will focus on means to deepen our personal experiences in mediation, and offer an opportunity for exploration and questions. No experience in meditation is necessary. If you attend, it may be helpful to bring a small pillow. Worship service begins at 10 a.m., and the classes will begin in the Chapel after the 11 a.m. coffee fellowship, at approximately 11:15. Everyone is welcome at these events.
A Stable Genius at MAC Gallery
In a new show opening Saturday, April 14, two artists respond to the current culture of political polarization. Alex Gingrow of New York and Philadelphian Joe Boruchow express their complex feelings and views on the presidency of Donald Trump, in an exhibition curated by Dana Crossan. The opening reception is Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the MAC Gallery, 605-B W. State Street in Media. Info: mediaartscouncil.org.
Co-Op Board and Members In Action
In a letter to many property owners in and near the Ville, the Board of the Swarthmore Co-Op recently described the steps it plans to take “to secure the legal right for the Swarthmore Co-Op to sell beer and wine at the store.” The legal action to quiet title seeks to “quiet” the deed restriction pertaining to about 150 properties which were part of the Biddle Tract.
Property owners who wish to opt out of the complaint and avoid the process of legal notice can still do so; contact the board at email@example.com to arrange completion of a release and notarization at your convenience.
Members of the Swarthmore Co-Op will hear more on the subject this Thursday, April 19, at the annual meeting, which convenes at 7 p.m. at the Co-Op. The board and general manager will provide an overview of the Co-Op’s circumstances and plans for the short and medium term. All members can vote for or against any or all of six nominated directors, and for or against a proposal to allow future notifications by email as well as postal mail. Snacks and drinks follow the meeting.
Dig in on Earth Day Eve
Spend a couple of hours communing with the earth — and your neighbors — on Saturday, April 21, at Little Crum Creek Park. Volunteers will work from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on weeding and mulching trees, cleaning out the stream, removing invasive species and rebuilding the wood chip path to the gazebo. The event is sponsored by the CRC Watersheds Association and the Swarthmore Environmental Advisory Council.
Evening Highlights at Scott
Scott Arboretum staff members will guide a group around the Arboretum grounds on Wednesday evening, April 18, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Join them at Scott offices to scope out the evening highlights among spring’s delayed offerings. Rain (or snow) will cancel.
Compass Conference This Weekend
Yes, the world is becoming increasingly multicultural. But for persons of mixed ethnic and cultural identities, adoptees, and immigrants, the relationship to the mainstream culture is more complex than ever. Understanding and celebrating the ever-growing Multi experience is the focus of Compass: Navigating Multiness at Swarthmore College this weekend (April 13-15) including workshops, panels, and a Saturday keynote conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning writer Junot Díaz.
The conference is presented by undergraduates involved with Swarthmore’s Multi club, including Compass coordinators Casey Lu Simon-Plumb ‘18 and Christopher Malafronti ‘18, who together said: “Over the past four semesters we have worked tirelessly to bring it into reality, to share this experience of navigating Multiness …
The Communities of Rose Valley at RVMHS
In the April 22 program at the Rose Valley Museum and Historical Society, Morris Potter tells stories about the organizations and institutions — and connections among them — in the historic arts and crafts community. Potter is a Rose Valley native and grandniece of RV founder William Price. The talk at 4 p.m., with a small reception to follow, will be held at the RV Museum at Thunderbird Lodge, 41 Rose Valley Road. Admission is $20 ($15 for RVMHS members).
Trinity Youth Host Coffeehouse
The Youth Group of Trinity Episcopal Church will be hosting a Community Coffeehouse on Saturday, April 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Trinity House, 307 N. Chester Rd, Swarthmore. All are welcome to listen and to perform. There are still spots available for any level of performer (adults and youth!). Musicians, spoken word artists, singers, actors… all are welcome. Contact Rosemary Fox at Rosemarycreative@gmail.com for a time slot. Admission is $5. Beverages are free, and baked goods will be on sale at the event, which benefits Save the Children. All proceeds will be used to purchase farm animals for families in need.
What Do Today’s Writers Need to Know?
On Saturday, April 14, 11 a.m., The Writers’ Guild of Delco is offering a free presentation open to all Delaware County residents 18 years of age and older. Learn about the publishing options and procedures available to writers in today’s ever-changing industry. Do you know how to find an agent? Are you familiar with the tools of the trade and how …
George Keith and the Quaker Rift
Early Quaker George Keith stirred the pot in America’s Colonial times, arguing that Quakers had strayed from true Christianity. The issues he raised in the 1690s continue to resound in Quakerism today, says Madeleine Ward, who is Henry J. Cadbury Scholar at Pendle Hill. Ward will speak on Monday, April 23, at the Barn at Pendle Hill, exploring the changes and consistencies in Quakers’ understanding of “the light within.” The talk begins at 7:30 p.m.; it is free and open to all at Pendle Hill, 338 Plush Mill Road in Wallingford.
Mt. Cuba, Almost Libre
Delightful and distinctive among local public gardens, Mt. Cuba in Hockessin, Delaware, is dedicated to native plants and sustainable horticulture. Visit this gem on Friday, May 4, with the guidance of a docent and the company of friends from the Swarthmore Public Library. SPL is arranging a bus trip, which will leave at 9:15 a.m. and return at 3 p.m. In between you’ll enjoy a 2-hour walking tour, a picnic lunch (you bring), and a bit of free time for wandering, The cost is just $10 apiece, and you must register (soon!) at the library.
What’s the Buzz?
Ed Pieters, Ph.D. knows bees, and you will too if you attend his presentation next Friday, April 20, at the Swarthmore Public Library. Beginning at 7 p.m., Dr. Pieters — a former entomology professor with his own apiary in Newtown Square — will discuss stinging insects, honey and other bee products, bee decline, bee biology, and bee-friendly plants. The program is free and open to the public. To register, please call 610-543-0436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heirloom Vegetable Gardening With Weaver
Willian Woys Weaver, a guru of the movement of heirloom vegetable gardening from the fringes to the mainstream, will hold forth at Tyler Arboretum on Saturday, April 28, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The occasion is the relaunch of Dr. Weaver’s seminal book Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: Regional Foods in a Changing Climate, which includes new photography and new plant entries. His talk will be followed by Q&A and a book signing. The cost is $20 for Tyler members and $30 for others.
Delco YMO to Perform, Free, on Sunday, April 22
The Delaware County Young Musicians Orchestra will perform its 2018 Spring Concert on Sunday, April 22, beginning at 3 p.m. at the Meagher Auditorium of Neumann University, Aston, PA. Under the direction of Maestri Nicholas Pignataro and Miku Schiota, the orchestra will present a program including Mozart, Symphony No. 36, “Linz,” first movement; Sibelius, Finlandia: Beethoven, Symphony No. 5, fourth movement; Ippolitov Ivanov, “Procession of the Sardar,” and Holst, “Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity,” from The Planets. Admission is free. For directions to the concert, visit www.DCYO.org.
Swarthmore Garden Club Horticultural Award
By Susanna Morikawa
The Swarthmore Garden Club is offering a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior residing in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District. Private school and Strath Haven seniors are eligible.
The award is made on the basis of a short essay which reflects the student’s demonstrated involvement in the broad range of horticultural and environmental activities.
To apply, please submit an essay describing your interest and experience in horticulture, gardening, or environmental issues dealing with horticulture. The essay should explain in some detail what you have done and plan on doing in the future relating to horticulture.
The essay should be no more than 500 words and must be submitted by April 25, 2018. Strath Haven students should submit the essay to Kathy Markert, Career Center Coordinator, Strath Haven High School. Private school students can submit to email@example.com with the subject line SWARTHMORE GARDEN CLUB. Deadline: April 25, 2018.