Couple to bring nature's song to Bristol

BRISTOL-Bristol husband and wife team Jim Stapleton and Diana Bigelow will present "Sanctuary Reflections in Story and Song" on Saturday, May 14, 7 p.m., at the Federated Church, 37 North St. in Bristol.

Admission is free and refreshments will be provided.

The program is part of the year-long centennial celebration, "One Hundred Years of Stories" of Bristol's Lawrence Memorial Library.

The 75-minute-long program will feature readings from Jim's recently published book, "Sanctuary Almanac," and a selection of Diana's own songs.

During the 1980s, the couple lived in the Mid-Hudson Valley at the John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary, where Jim was resident naturalist.

In 1987, he organized his natural history observations into a book-length almanac of stories and meditations. Diana's songs were written a decade later on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, where the couple then lived. The songs share with the stories a reverence for the natural world and offer a complementary perspective on sanctuary.

Jim was born in Toledo, Ohio and spent his working life teaching and doing research in environmental science. Since retiring in 1990, he turned his writing to storytelling, theater, and autobiography. He has produced two audio tapes of original stories.

Diana was born in Cleveland, Ohio, studied anthropology, and worked as a counselor for victims of domestic violence. She has pursued music and theater throughout her life. She released two recordings of her songs in the 1990s.

Diana and Jim sing in the Federated Church Choir and with Wellspring, a local Hospice service group. They recently appeared at the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury in Jim's play, "Henry and Emily, the Muses in Massachusetts", an imagined encounter between Emily Dickinson and Henry David Thoreau.

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