By Jacqueline Sexton - August 24, 2006

More than 75 people crowded into the meeting room at the library last week to hear John Maloney read from his new book of poems, "Progress Report." More evidence that poetry is becoming a flourishing art. Bravo!

Storytelling is an art too, and few practice it more effectively than longtime Chilmark resident Lillian Kellman. School children in Chilmark and at other Island schools have long fallen under the spell of Ms. Kellman's stories and sit rapt and silent for as long as she spins her tales. She uses no props, and she doesn't plan ahead. "I have a headful of stories I am excited to tell, about dreams and magic and tricks and bravery and feelings. I look around at the morning's audience, and then I am informed about which particular stories I shall tell to this particular group of listeners." Lillian will wind up this summer's stories this Saturday, August 26, at 10:30 am at the library. Stories are for school age and older children. Come and see which ones she will tell this time.

Ted Meinelt and his family have been entering flower arrangements and other artwork and winning prizes for their entries for years at the Fair. This year, Mr. Meinelt won a second place for an arrangement of little chrysanthemums for the theme "Best Under the Sun." We congratulate him.

It's no secret what Linda Thompson's "Island Plan" is. She paints Island vistas with feeling, achieving a serenity and harmony between the dunes, the cliffs, and the waters surrounding us. She will show new paintings at The Bank of Martha's Vineyard from Sept. 1 through 14, with an opening reception next Friday, Sept. 1 from 5 to 7 pm. The show will include photographs of Doctor's Creek by her husband, Mark London, CEO of the Martha's Vineyard Commission.

We used to listen, enthralled, to Priscilla Hancock's tales of walking to school, the West Tisbury Academy, in the early 1900s, from her house deep in the woods via what is now called the Blue Barque Road. She claimed she carried two hot baked potatoes to keep her hands warm during the two-mile walk, and, later, ate the potatoes for lunch. Clarissa Allen, a 10th generation Chilmarker and owner of the Allen Sheep and Wool Farm will take it from there and talk about her growing up in Chilmark in the 1950s and 1960s. The talk, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, is on Wednesday, August 30, 5:30 to 6:30 pm at the library. Everyone is welcome. There is no admission charge.

The "walking women" will explore and hike through the Middle Road Sanctuary, which is off Middle Road, next Thursday, August 31, starting at 9 am. All women are welcome. For more details or directions, call Julie Coleman at 508-645-2261, or Judy Maynes at 508-645-3460.