Poet to hold workshop, open mic in Northfield

NORTHFIELD — Plans to renovate a former Northfield Mount Hermon School building for use as a study and retreat center are moving along, and the C.S. Lewis College Foundation is continuing its “soft opening” with a free poetry workshop.

Brad Davis, a published poet and foundation supporter, will lead the workshop from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, and host an open mic reading at 7:30 p.m.

Both take place in “Green Pastures,” the former home of NMH founder D.L. Moody’s descendents.

Mary Key, director of programming for the foundation, said Davis will give some instruction and inspiration before challenging participants to go out and pen some poetry. Afterward, they can share with the class for feedback if they choose.

All are also invited to share those pieces or their previous work at the open mic night. Other poets may also read at the open mic, even if they didn’t attend the workshop.

The workshop and reading are the second events the foundation has held since moving into Northfield, and Key said there will likely be a fall event as well, though nothing has been planned yet.

The foundation has been working to bring Green Pastures back to its former glory. The building was once used by NMH to host scholars and artists-in-residence, as well as gatherings and social functions.

The foundation also plans to host scholars, artists and musicians-in-residence, hold musical events, “great books” discussions and other events.

Key said the foundation is still working on renovations, and will bring a more full slate of programming after the building is ready for the center’s directors to move in.

The study and retreat center also serves as a showcase to possible benefactors, as the foundation continues to pursue its dream of opening the first C.S. Lewis College.

The foundation first came to Northfield in 2009, intent on starting its school on the 217-acre former NMH campus, which had been bought by the Christian philanthropist owners of Hobby Lobby Stores.

The foundation fell short on fundraising, and the campus’ owners decided to continue their search. Last year, the owners gave the property to the National Christian Foundation, which has been quietly looking for an organization to which to give or sell the school. The campus remains vacant.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279 On Twitter, follow @RecorderRain

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