Getting ready for Becoming Nicole

We’re all excited to talk about our December read, Becoming Nicole.

Unfortunately, while Nicole’s father was very excited to join us, work commitments will keep him away.

But here are some links that will help prepare you for the discussion:

Here is Nicole’s 13 minute TEDx talk from 2016:


What do you think about this flyer that seems to poke fun at contemporary acronyms for gender and sexuality in the name of education?

Is This ‘LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP’ Inclusiveness Training Session Flyer Real?

Here is a legitimate glossary from UC Davis:

LGBTQIA Resource Center Glossary

Transgender is a gender. But so is nonbinary:

When A Student Says, I’m Not a Boy or a Girl, New York TimesWhen A Student Says, I’m Not a Boy or a Girl, New York Times

A small-town doctor wanted to perform surgeries for transgender women. He faced an uphill battle, Washington Post


See you soon!!

Poet Stu Kestenbaum April 6!

Our guest for the April 6th meeting (the last of the year) will be Stu Kestenbaum, Poet Laureate of Maine (as well as Interim Director of the Maine College of Art and past Director of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts). 
As you know, the book for the evening will be Prayers and Run-On Sentences, a collection of Stu’s poetry. 
We will  repeat what we did when Wes McNair (the prior Poet Laureate) visited, which is for each of us to choose a poem from the book that speaks to us in some way, read it aloud, and briefly explain why it was chosen.
In addition:  Stu has agreed to write one of his [remarkable] poems using words suggested by the group.  So from each of you planning on attending on April 6th, I need. . .one word.  Any word at all.  Don’t worry about its being “poetic” or “appropriate.”  Either hand it in Thursday or send it to Margery Irvine at

Preparing for Antigone!


I’m so excited for our read of Antigone in February! March!

You might want to check out the 1986 multi-part series from the BBC, with Juliet Stevenson in the lead (divided into 11 parts on YouTube, total running time about 2 hours). The BBC did all three Theban plays.

An 8-part documentary on Antigone from the UK’s National Theatre.  It begins with a nice 8 minute introduction to Aristotle’s theory of tragedy from Edith Hall, before introducing the play Antigone by Sophocles. Polly Findlay speaks about her interpretation of Don Taylor’s translation of Antigone for the National Theatre’s Olivier theatre in 2012.

And from Marge Irvine, this  video about the Greek chorus.

Happy reading!

Literature and Medicine 2016-7

We have a fantastic lineup this year, our 20th anniversary of the EMMC Literature and Medicine Book Club! EMMC Employees, family and friends can sign up here. 

  1. October 6: The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid.


The narrator of this novel is a young Princeton grad from Pakistan in a post-9/11 world. As the protagonist, Changez, finds moderate business success and romantic love in New York City, his heritage and identity will be lost in a sea of subtle and blatant bigotry as well as international politics.


  1. November 3: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, Elisabeth Tova Bailey.


At age 34, Bailey was stricken with a mysterious virus while on a trip to Europe. After her caregiver brings her a snail and establishes it in a terrarium, Bailey begins to read about snails, learning from scientists, early naturalists, poets, and writers. As she begins to understand a snail’s world, she finds the means to transcend her own circumstances. Bailey will attend the session via teleconference and will show the brief film she has made of the book.

  1. January 5: Plainsong, Kent Haruf.


Holt, Colo., a tiny prairie community near Denver, is both the setting for and the psychological matrix of this beautiful novel. Alternating chapters focus on eight compassionately imagined characters whose lives undergo radical change during the course of one year. In depicting the stalwart courage of decent, troubled people going on with their lives, Haruf’s quietly account illuminates the possibilities of grace.

  1. February 9: Antigone, Sophocles.


The curse placed on Oedipus lingers and haunts a younger generation in Sophocles’ classic drama. The daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, Antigone is an unconventional heroine who pits her beliefs against the King of Thebes, challenging him for the right to bury her own brother. Determined but doomed, Antigone shows her inner strength throughout the play.

  1. March 2: Prayers & Run-On Sentences, Stu Kestenbaum.


Maine’s new Poet Laureate, Kestenbaum will join the group for a discussion of his poems, which are witty and wise and speak to the human experience.


  1. April 6: Bone Games: Extreme Sports, Shamanism, Zen, and the Search for Transcendence, Rob Schultheis.


Climbing in the Colorado Rockies, Schultheis has a fall that triggers an altered state of consciousness, setting him off on a quest to reproduce the experience. He ranges from Shamanism to long-distance running, mountaineering in Nepal, Plains Indian vision quests, and survival at sea. Schultheis could be the poster boy for the Sensation Seeker personality, defined by Wikipedia as a “trait defined by the search for experiences and feelings, that are ‘varied, novel, complex and intense’, and by the readiness to ‘take physical, social, legal, and financial risks for the sake of such experiences.’ Risk is not an essential part of the trait, as many activities associated with it are not risky. However, risk may be ignored, tolerated, or minimized and may even be considered to add to the excitement of the activity.”

EMMC Employees, family and friends can sign up here.