Courtesy Jane Hilberry
Converge Lecture Series: Local Thinkers: April 29, 6:30 p.m., Axe and the Oak Whiskey House, 1604 S. Cascade Ave.; Richard Blanco: May 6, 6 p.m., The Pinery at the Hill, 775 W. Bijou St., convergelectureseries.org.
n these divisive times, it’s nice to see community events that really encourage us to come together — to converge. So far, the ambitious new Converge Lecture Series
has brought poet Marie Howe and author George Saunders to Colorado Springs to address the topic of “moral beauty,” and to start community conversations about morality, literature, art and life. But in addition to hosting these and more great national minds, Converge also opens doors for great local minds
, encouraging community discussion around the same theme.
One such local thinker, Colorado College professor Jane Hilberry, will be speaking on Sunday about the concept of creative gifts; how art operates on a gift (rather than market) economy; and how the circulation of artistic gifts can create community. Hilberry, an award-winning poet, helps her students tap into their own creative energies, whether through writing or through community projects.
The Local Thinkers series is a less formal alternative to Converge’s main events, and offers the opportunity for discussion to anyone in the community, encouraging thoughtful, respectful engagement.
Also on the way from Converge, poet Richard Blanco will be here on May 6 to deliver his own lecture. Blanco, the first Latino, first gay person and youngest person to hold the title of inaugural poet (selected by President Obama), addresses concepts of “the negotiation of cultural identity” in his extensive body of work — a useful topic in this day and age, when cultural lines seem drawn in permanent marker, and those who straddle lines may find it harder to come to terms with their own identity.
Both lectures promise to generate a spark and inspire discussion, and hopefully help us dismantle some of the cultural divides that have taken hold of us — or at least cross over them for an evening.