Imagination is more important than knowledge. – Albert Einstein
What is The Gathering?
The Gathering at Keystone College is an annual symposium featuring lectures, workshops, performances, and discussions. People from diverse backgrounds meet to explore the creative spirit through the sciences and arts of cultures from around the world.
During the three days on Keystone’s beautiful rural campus, yoga clears the mind and feeds the soul, music and dance create connections between African villagers and American farmers, writers meet philosophers, lamas commune with inner city teachers, students share breakfast and ideas with masters, and religion and politics become reacquainted with spirituality.
We challenge you to think outside boundaries and to embrace creative solutions in your private and community life. We aim to send you home with a new sense of urgency, optimism, and energy.
Each year The Gathering is structured around a theme that relates everyday experiences to broader issues. The purpose of The Gathering is to promote understanding and empathy to bridge cultural, social, and economic gaps. Lecturers include authors, poets, scientists, philosophers, musicians, performers, and artists who help shape contemporary thought in their field. A reading list gets us thinking ahead of time about the issues we’ll be immersed in at The Gathering. Our presenters have included Salman Rushdie, Gregory Maguire, Billy Collins, Ted Kooser, Diane Ackerman, Chris Abani, Susan Jacoby, Katherine Paterson, Peter Bohlin, Nancy Willard, Victor Navasky, Sandy Tolan, and many others. Their availability for conversation during meals and breaks and at social gatherings offers important opportunities for participants to gain new insights into the speakers’ work.
Previous themes and presenters include
2007 – STARRY NIGHT – Katherine Paterson, Molly Peacock, Christopher Cokinos, Jennifer Armstrong, Martha Glowacki
2008 – SETTING THE TABLE: THE PHYSICAL AND LITERAL PROPERTIES OF FOOD – Michael Abelman, Elise Blackwell, Greg Pape, Cathleen Medwick
2009 – THERE AND BACK AGAIN: TIME, PLACE, AND STORY – Salman Rushdie, Gregory Maguire, Nancy Willard, Loung Ung
2010 – CHAOS AND CREATIVITY – Billy Collins, Dava Sobel, Chris Abani, Gail Carson Levine
2011 – PHYSICAL AND METAPHYSICAL HOME: MEMORY, GRACE, AND STRUCTURE – Witold Rybczynski, Craig Nova, Ted Kooser, Peter Bohlin, Susan Cooper
2012 – BELIEVING, UNBELIEVING, AND THE MORAL COMPASS – Sharon Olds, M.T. Anderson, Donna Freitas, Susan Jacoby, Adwoa Badoe
2013 – THE ART OF THE LIVING MOMENT – Diane Ackerman, Ilya Kaminsky, Lamas from the Drepung Loseling Tibetan Monastery, Ioannis Glykokokalos, Trebbe Johnson, Whitney Stewart, Judi Keats, Philip Mosley
2014 – ON EDGE – Sonia Sanchez, Sandy Tolan, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Victor Navasky, Ibtisam Barakat, Ian Saginor, Judine Somerville, David Porter and Jean Luc “Djaloki” Dessables
2015 – THE STORY – Anita Hill, Katherine Boo, Gina Nahai, Constance Garcia-Barrio, Adwoa Badoe, Philip Mosley, Phyllis Cox, Denver Butston, Kerry Roe
2016 – INNOVATION – Martine Rothblatt, Pamela Muñoz Ryan, Christopher Impey, James Becket, Jason P. Vest, Gail Carson Levine, Emirhan Tunca, Nadia Naismith Dailey and Robert Naismith
SUSAN BELIN is delighted to be at that stage in life when she can enjoy the arts and educational projects that give her the greatest pleasure.
AMANDA BRADLEY is a poet, essayist, and a professor of English and Creative Writing at Keystone College.
SUZANNE FISHER STAPLES is an author, journalist, screenwriter, lecturer, traveler, window washer, kayaker, dog-lover, and Keystone alumna.
RAYMOND P. HAMMOND is an adjunct instructor of English at Keystone College and the Editor-in-Chief of both the New York Quarterly magazine and NYQ Books. He is the author of a book of literary criticism, Poetic Amusement.
GRETCHEN LUDDERS was a Keystone College student who returned from Arizona and Oregon in 1982 to make northeastern Pennsylvania her home. The Gathering is the highlight of her summer: exciting, challenging, and fun.
DONALD MATTESON is a former financial executive, owner of an award-winning Brooklyn B&B, and bon vivant.
JANE OPPENHEIM cares deeply about children, education, literature, cultural and educational causes, and is an active community leader.
CHARLOTTE RAVAIOLI has spent the last thirty-five years of her life at Keystone College, most recently as Vice President for Institutional Advancement, and Professor in the division of Communication Arts and Humanities.
MARY RHODES is a retired math teacher whose mission is to remediate innumeracy wherever she finds it.