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The Arts

Literary icon Toni Morrison to be celebrated with words and dancing at 118 Elliot

BRATTLEBORO—“Celebrating Toni: A Memorial in Her Own Words,” an event celebrating the life of Toni Morrison through words and music, will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, at 118 Elliot, across from the fire station.

The event was hatched spontaneously after the announcement of Morrison’s death Aug. 6, which was met with an outpouring of tributes and responses, especially on social media.

Amid many tributes, Desmond Peeples, writer and founder/editor of Mount Island, shared a post mourning the loss of Toni Morrison. Robin MacArthur, writer and founder of Word House, saw Peeples’ post and suggested organizing an event. MacArthur and Peeples, along with Jessica Dolan and Shanta Lee Gander, then discussed and planned this local memorial and celebration.

In a news release, MacArthur said, “The loss of Toni Morrison in this world means no more Toni Morrison novels, yes, but it also is the loss of one of our greatest public voices on the vital matters of racism in America, injustice, love, hope, and the power of the literary imagination.”

At the event, community members will read selected pieces by Morrison and discuss the influence she has had on their work. The floor will then open up to the audience; the organizers invite attendees to bring their favorite Morrison paragraphs, quotes, and/or thoughts to share.

The reading portion of the event will be followed by a dance party.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #527 (Wednesday, September 11, 2019). This story appeared on page B2.

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