Posted by: Mark Nielsen | May 24, 2011

Wild Goose Chasing in June (Two Great Cultural Events)

T-Bone Burnett

T-Bone Burnett

One’s in North Carolina, one here in my hometown, Chicago.

1) Wild Goose Festival, Shakori Hills Farm, NC (near Durham)     June 23-26, 2011

I’ve mentioned this event at the blog before, but not in detail. Event time is approx. 4pm Thursday to 1pm Sunday.

So now that it’s about a month away, all you disorganized people (like me!) are perhaps just now figuring out if you’re going to travel this summer, and if so, where to. May I suggest, take a look at this stellar lineup (not to mention opportunities to participate instead of just spectate):

Music — featuring : T-Bone Burnett, Over the Rhine, Derek (Caedmon’s Call) Webb, Michelle Shocked, David (Pedro the Lion) Bazan, Ashley Cleveland, Bill (Vigilantes of Love) Mallonee, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Denison Witmer, Ric (Monk) Hordinski

One of the event speakers, author and Celtic Spirituality expert Carl McColman, has quite nicely put together links to many of the above musicians, plus others who will be there not only to play, but also to meet and conduct workshops and worship with unwashed attendees and amateurs like me. Carl’s music links are here.

For those who put book-learnin’ on an equal plane with “entertainment” (not that this is the only role of music), here are some of the authors, storytellers and experts in other disciplines, also slated for the 3-1/2 day Wild Goose:

Speakers – featuring:   Shane Claiborne, Jim Wallis (Sojourners), Brian McLaren, Richard Rohr, Phyllis Tickle, Tony Jones, Ched Myers, Lynne Hybels (Willow Creek), Vincent Harding, Bart Campolo, Frank Schaeffer, Richard Twiss (Lakota Sioux), Mark Scandrette, Jay Bakker, Mark Yaconelli

And again, compliments of Carl McColman, here are some links to books by the above speakers, and others who will be present.

Ticket prices vary (e.g. single adult ~$150), and one-day passes are available, but the semi-remoteness and intimacy of the event means that camping will be the preferred lodging for most who attend.

And now, some of the “official” explanation/sales pitch, from the event website:


The Wild Goose is a Celtic metaphor for the Holy Spirit. We are followers of Jesus creating a festival of faith, justice, music and the arts. The festival is rooted in the Christian tradition, and therefore open to all regardless of belief, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, denomination or religious affiliation.


In adopting the image of the Wild Goose, we recognize that in the current climate of religious, social and political cynicism, embracing the open and creative nature of our faith is perhaps our greatest asset for re-building and strengthening our relationships with each other, with our enemies, with our stories, our texts, and the earth. In that spirit, in a festive setting, and in the context of meaningful, respectful, and sustained relationships, we invite you to create with us!


People who want to be part of a movement for change; people who want to connect with each other at the intersection of justice, spirituality and art; people who like to have FUN!

Bennett Place, a carefully reconstructed histo...

Bennett Place: a restored historic farm , another Durham area destination

Where: Shakori Hills Farm

1439 Henderson Tanyard Rd.

Pittsboro, NC 27312    *

*Approximately 50 minutes Southwest of Durham, NC

I myself expect to be on the bill for a 10-12 minute stint as part of the Friday night Storytelling/Spoken Word presentation, on the theme of Transformation. The tale of my poison-ivy-baptism at the Men’s Rites of Passage will be my contribution to the evening’s offerings.
See the organizers’ website for full details and ticketing. Hope to see you there. And definitely let me know somehow if you know me and are planning on coming. I’ll save you a spot ’round the campfire!

2) The Poetry Foundation (Chicago), Open House, June 25 and 26

The Poetry Foundation, publishers of Poetry magazine, is having an Open House for their brand new building (which will include a dedicated public space for poetry events) on June 25 and 26.

See: for the open house schedule and how to get free tickets. Today, 5/24, is the first day to get tickets and some of these tickets might be snapped up quickly given some of the poets who will be giving readings. The building is about a block away from Holy Name Cathedral.


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