Susan Chast, poet, performance artist, educator, blogger, novelist and member of West Philadelphia Quaker Meeting, will speak at 9:45 a.m. April 24, 2016, to the adult class at the Newtown Quaker Meetinghouse, 219 Court Street. Everyone is invited to attend.
Susan will read samples of her published and unpublished poetry as well as read a chapter from the novel she is currently writing, with the working title of Alice in Wonder.
The protagonist is a 75-year-old female storyteller who travels back in time to her days as part of women’s theatre and her first meetings with Quakers during the development of the Women’s Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice. Chast says “This will reveal aspects of my own spiritual journey en route to joining the Society of Friends.”
Susan Chast is Poet in Residence at Pendle Hill, the Quaker Retreat, Conference and Study
Center in Wallingford, PA, and she will also discuss the ideas behind the program sponsoring her
residency – the Fellowship of Quakers in the Arts and the Minnie Jane Scholarship for Arts
Residencies at Pendle Hill.
Poet Susan Chast is originally from upstate New York. She attended High School in the Mid-
Hudson Valley before moving to Worcester, MA, to finish high school and earn her BA at Clark
University. Concerns for equality and the quality of freedom drew her into the feminist and
peace movements of the 1970s and 80s and this activist experience fueled her philosophy of
Dedicated to participatory education, Chast earned a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from
Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, a Masters in Theater from SUNY Albany and finally, a
PhD in Dramatic Art from the University of California at Berkeley. She has taught theater and
language arts in community, high school and college venues.
Now retired, Susan Chast says she is “luxuriating in time to write.” She blogs at Susan’s
Poetry and is an active member of the online community Poets United. Her poetry appears
in Tuck Magazine, Types and Shadows: Journal of the Fellowship of Quakers in the Arts, Apiary
On-line, The First Day and the 2013 edition of The dVerse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary
World Poetry. She recently published Taking a Walk with God: Poems by Susan Chast and Art
by Jennifer Elam.
Newtown Friends Meeting co-founded by “Peaceable Kingdom” painter and Quaker minister,
Edward Hicks, in 1815, is open to all who wish to attend. Regular First Day Education classes
(Sunday School) for all ages begin at 9:45 a.m. and Meeting for Worship begins at 11 a.m.
Childcare is provided.