Bits & Bytes: Paula Poundstone at Fairview gala; children’s book sale; ‘The Feminine Mystic;’ goat yoga

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By Saturday, May 13 Life In the Berkshires
Jessy McMahon, Hancock Shaker Village special events/community engagement associate, demonstrates a plank pose joined by one of HSV's goats. HSV will present goat yoga classes on Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28 (see item below).

Paula Poundstone to headline Fairview Hospital gala

Paula Poundstone

Paula Poundstone

Great Barrington — Fairview Hospital has announced that comic Paula Poundstone, will headline its annual gala on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. Ophthalmologist and Fairview’s chair of surgical services Dr. Joseph Gold will be the 2017 gala honoree.

Poundstone, who last headlined Fairview’s gala in 2012, has a quick-thinking, unscripted approach to comedy that makes for her perfect fit as a regular panelist on NPR’s news quiz show “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” She regularly performs standup comedy across the country and recently released the book “The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness.”

Tickets are $53. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call Fairview’s community relations office at (413) 854-9609.


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Mason Library to host children’s book sale

Great Barrington — The Friends of the Great Barrington Libraries are sponsoring a children’s book sale at Mason Library until Friday, May 26. Books for children and teens as well as books on parenting are on display in the library’s main reading room. The cost of the books is 50 cents each. On Saturday, May 27, the sale will morph into the Friends’ annual book giveaway scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the library’s front lawn and at which books with condition issues, dated material, magazines, CDs and DVDs will be available for free on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call the library at (413) 528-2403.


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‘The Feminine Mystic’ conference to explore women’s religious authority

Eileen Myles. Photo: Peggy O'Brien

Eileen Myles. Photo: Peggy O’Brien

Great Barrington — Bard College at Simon’s Rock and Shaker Museum, Mount Lebanon in New Lebanon, New York, will present “The Feminine Mystic: American Prophetesses and the Politics of Religious Experience,” Friday, June 9, through Sunday, June 11.

Marking the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York state in 1917, the interdisciplinary conference will explore the significance of women’s religious authority in American political and cultural contexts from the early republic through the long 19th century. The conference will include a Friday evening keynote speech at Simon’s Rock by poet, writer and feminist icon Eileen Myles, which is free and open to the public; presentations and roundtable discussions on Saturday; and a Sunday excursion to the museum to view the exhibit “Break Every Yoke: Shakers, Gender Equality, and Women’s Suffrage.”

“Ann Lee, the founder of the Shakers, created a communal society in which men and women together held positions of authority,” said the museum’s executive director Lacy Schutz. “In a time when women were disenfranchised from the political process, they often, like Ann Lee, found their voice and power in the religious realm.”

An online registration form is available and attendees are welcome to sign up for the entire conference or a single day. For more information, contact (413) 528-7392 or


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Goat yoga at Hancock Shaker Village

Pittsfield — Hancock Shaker Village will offer yoga classes with goats on Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28, at 10 a.m.

The popular fitness craze of goat yoga involves traditional yoga classes in the presence of wandering goats, whose peaceful and playful presences have been seen to relax and raise the spirits of participants. Led by Kripalu-trained yoga instructor Alison Walter, the one-hour classes will be held outdoors on the farm. Participants should be aware that goats may climb, nuzzle and snuggle during the classes and are advised to tie back long hair and bring their own mats.

Tickets are $25 and proceeds will go toward HSV’s “Save Our Silos” campaign, a fundraising effort to repair the farms circa-1908 wooden silos that were damaged in a recent storm. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call HSV at (413) 443-0188.


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