Tuesday, September 25, 2018
5:00 – 8:00 pm

At the end of My Ántonia, Willa Cather writes of the protagonist, Ántonia:

“She had only to stand in the orchard, to put her hand on a little crab tree and look up at the apples, to make you feel the goodness of planting and tending and harvesting at last. All the strong things of her heart came out in her body that had been so tireless in serving generous emotions”

Whether you’ve read this engaging novel or not, come, learn, and participate in conversation about how it explores the resilient human, pioneer spirit. Living at the turn of century and the rise of modernization, Willa Cather was sensitive to the losses endured by land and peoples.  In her writing she lifted up the cultural jewels engendered from prairie-life and immigrant experience. One hundred years after the novel’s publication, we can reflect on how it speaks to us and our challenges today.

COST:  $25.00, includes meal

5:00 pm: Harvest in Community Garden
5:45 pm: Meal and table conversation about experiencing My Ántonia
6:30 pm: Facilitated conversation about the author, novel, and relevance of its themes


Gayle Gaskill, PhD, St. Catherine University professor emerita of English, has cherished a love for Willa Cather since she led a Cather seminar in 1990. Like Cather herself, Gayle grew up in a small rural town before she enrolled at the University of Nebraska. She has made literary pilgrimages to sites of Cather’s fiction, including Red Cloud and Santa Fe.

As a farmer, mother and teacher, Jennifer Tacheny, MA is inspired by Cather’s pioneer spirit and her reverence for the sacred nature of daily work with land. Co-Director of Celeste’s Dream: Young Adult Spirituality, she coordinates community gardens, a student food shelf and other food justice and spirituality programs.

An enthusiast for Cather who has taught My Ántonia in high school English classes, Jill Underdahl, CSJ, MA has twice visited Red Cloud and other places Cather lived. She appreciates deeply the ways landscapes inform and inspire us. Jill is Co-Director of Celeste’s Dream: Young Adult Spirituality.

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