Wandering storyteller finds his way to the local bookstore
May 19, 2016 | 2379 views | 1 1 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rick Taylor’s alter ego Abner Serd.
Rick Taylor’s alter ego Abner Serd.
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WILMINGTON- Join Bartleby’s Books for an event with Abner Serd, New England’s walking storyteller, on Saturday, May 21, at 3 pm.

Serd is a narrator of the “Tall Tales & Shaggy Dogs” podcast. Serd’s tales often find him walking through far-away landscapes in search of some rare bloom or mythical beast. So, when Serd decided to take the show on the road with a storytelling tour through central New England, naturally he opted to cover the entire 300-mile route on foot. His work is suitable for all ages, kids love it, and so do 80-year-olds, because of his intellectual humour - no politics, religion, racism or sexual anything. Everyone enjoys a little dry humor!

Serd is also the alter ego of author, humorist, and podcaster Rick Taylor, of Quincy, MA. According to Taylor, “Serd allows me to see the world through a slightly different lens. He thinks it’s his job to supervise the sunrise, and to make sure all the trees have the right leaves on them. Serd has an unusual point of view, but in his world it all makes perfect sense.”

On May 1, Taylor (and Serd) set out on a pedestrian journey beginning at Taylor’s home 12 miles south of Boston. The journey is taking the singular duo north through Boston to Portsmouth, NH, then west through Manchester, Milford, Wilmington, and Bennington, before turning south again. The plan is to cover roughly 300 miles, reaching Pittsfield, MA, by Thursday, May 26.

Join in for an evening with Jo Page, author of “Preaching in My Yes Dress: Confessions of a Reluctant Pastor,” on Thursday, May 26, at 6 pm.

Page has published fiction and nonfiction in numerous journals including “The MacGuffin,” “Prick of the Spindle,” “New Millennium Writings,” “Quarterly West” and others. She was a finalist in the 2009 Hunger Mountain Creative nonfiction contest. She has been a columnist for over 20 years, first for Albany’s Metroland magazine and currently for the Albany Times Union. An ordained Lutheran pastor, Page received an MFA from the University of Virginia and an MDiv from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. She is working on a novel about a woman with an erotic fixation on Ludwig van Beethoven. She lives in upstate New York with her dog Jack. They listen to the romantic composers a lot.

“Preaching in My Yes Dress” is her first book: The frank and funny story of a church-geek girl who spent 20 years in the ecclesiastical trenches as a Lutheran pastor, preaching weekly words of hope she wasn’t sure she even believed.

After a series of childhood misfortunes - her father’s death, her mother’s ill-advised love affair, her disabled sister wrecking the family GTO, self-avowed church-geek Page decided it was her job to figure out how to stay on God’s good side and maybe spare the family any more tragedy. But she was a girl. And a Lutheran. That ruled out the Roman Catholic sisterhood as so quasi-erotically portrayed by Audrey Hepburn in Page’s favorite movie “The Nun’s Story.” Though women were ordained in the larger branch of the Lutheran church, when Page’s own pastor handed her a brochure enumerating all the ways in which she, as a female, was to be silent and submissive, she gave up on the church and went off in search of sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll like any rejected adolescent Lutheran girl would. Eventually Page found her way back into the church and ultimately into ordained ministry.

Comical, provocative, and heartbreaking “Preaching in My Yes Dress” tells several stories: of a child’s need to cleave to the very God who instills mortal terror; of the shape-shifting that a public “pastoral identity” entails; of the power of ritual and the weight involved in presiding over it; and of the rise of the religious right and the patriarchy endemic to both Scripture and faith traditions. Page also raises the question of whether or not faith can heal the wounds the life of faith has itself inflicted.

Bartleby’s Books is located at 17 West Main Street. For more information call (802) 464-5425 or visit the website at www.myvermontbookstore.com.
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Kirsten Chambers
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May 20, 2016
Ive seen him perform in Andover MA and Milford NH - he is hilarious. Really intellectual and clever with a terrific storytelling voice!


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