At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

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  from Burnt Norton, Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot  


In May of 2006 technology and talent collided at the Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia and our podcast, The Still Point: Writing from the Collegiate School, was born.

We are a community of readers and writers in search of ways to perfect our craft, to stretch our creative thinking, and to share our devotion to language in all its overt and subversive uses.

The podcasts will feature writing in many forms: poetry, essays, fiction, creative non-fiction, whatever comes from the rich well of Collegiate Upper School students and teachers. We’ll discuss inspiration, form, revision, and publication—what it means to live the writing life.
Please let us hear from you. Send any comments or questions to Allen Chamberlain

A Reading by Ryan Nelson
In the spring of 2005 Ryan attended a reading on the Collegiate School campus by writers in the Poetry Workshop, a senior elective taught by Pete Follansbee. Poets were reading ghazals, villanelles and other formal poetry, and the idea of trying to write a pantoum intrigued Ryan. In this show he reads his pantoum, Home, inspired by T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. What is a pantoum? Read more at the Academy of American Poets website, To read Four Quartets, see the online text.


A Reading by Hannah Jones
Hannah reads two untitled poems written while she was a student in Poem, Page and Pattern, a senior English elective taught by Mil Norman-Risch and Pam Anderson. This interdisciplinary class is for students who want to think about poetic and visual structures and pattern; it involves a study of compositional aspects of formal poetry and the formal properties of Twentieth Century abstract paintings and sculpture. One of Hannah’s poems was inspired by Lari Pittman’s work This Wholesomeness, Beloved and Despised, Continues Regardless. To read about Lari Pittman and see the painting: go to ArtScene.


A Reading by Chris Parthemos
Chris reads his poem The Horror, a work intriguing in its structure and references. Opening with an epigraph from Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, continuing with an homage to Heart of Darkness and First Corinthians in the poem, and closing with Anne Frank’s diary, the poem is one of what Carolyn Forche calls “poetic memorials to those who suffered.” For more poetry of witness, read: Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness edited by Carolyn Forche and Holocaust Poetry compiled and introduced by Hilda Schiff.


A Reading by Troy Shapiro
Troy reads two poems, Then and Shedding Skin, and talks about the connection between poetry and acting. He is an accomplished actor, starring as Jud Fry in Oklahoma, the Adjutant in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In a wide-ranging conversation, Troy sweeps the listener into his imagination and influences including the Zen practice of the beginner’s mind and a favorite poem, Kubla Khan or, A Vision in a Dream by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.




Directors Allen Chamberlain and Ted Shaffner
Audio engineer R. Jonathan Shelley
Technologist Oscar Brinson
Music Wanting by Shiril Jae Atwell
Concerto Grosso in G Minor op. 6, no. 8 by Arcangelo Corelli
Performed by The Five Day Strings
Violin: Laura Anderson, Terren Niethamer, Kyle Miner,
Anna Kuta, Michael Ballou, Michael Phelan, Harry Peppiatt
Henry Winslow
Viola: Miriam Todras
Cello: Billy Ford, Jamie Anderson