September to November 2023

What is it to love another, in this life and beyond? When we lose the people we love, can that love somehow keep them alive? Might those we grieve be nearer than we think, just—as it were—on the other side of life? Or perhaps nothing can be held forever, not in memory nor in our hearts. Through a combination of talks and art events, this series will explore these questions through continuous conversations and considerations on the nature of grief—how we understand our grief, what we grieve, and the ways in which grief figures into our lives. 

Questions may be directed to Michael Trocchia at

Furious Flower Broadside Gallery Exhibit

September 1st - November 1st
Cardinal House,  500 Cardinal Dr.

Be)Holding: Poems of Love & Loss, curated by Michael Trocchia. Presented by Furious Flower Poetry Center

An Evening of Good Grief: Poems & Songs

September 5th,  7-9PM
Pale Fire Brewing,  217 S. Liberty St.

Performances by Reverend Bill Howard, Bryce Hayes, Paulo Steinberg, Shannon Dove, and The Automatic Sweethearts. Readings by Lauren K. Alleyne, L. Renée, Gbenga Adesina, Garret Milton, Indigo Eriksen, Dave Brennan, and Susan Facknitz.

Grief & Belief: Talks on Love and Loss with JMU Faculty

September 20th,  7-9PM
The Golden Pony,  181 N Main St.

Panel Discussion with Bethany Nowviskie (Dean of JMU Libraries and Professor of English), Anne van Leeuwen (Associate Professor of Philosophy), Alan Levinovitz (Associate Professor of Religion), Lindsey Harvell-Bowman (Director of the Terror Management Lab, Associate Professor in the School of Communication Studies), and Peter Fraser-Morris (Instructor of Religion). More information here

Crafting Local Commemorations: Honoring Día de los Muertos

October 5th,  5:30-7:30PM
Madison Union Ballroom

This event will honor Día de los Muertos in the Shenandoah Valley. Attendees will have the opportunity to view and craft ofrendas, experience Día de los Muertos practices, and reflect on their own cultural celebrations of their ancestors. Featuring performances and demonstrations by Estela Diaz Knott and Marissa Kalo. More information.

Moving Through Grief: A Discussion on Dance in Grief and Healing

October 11th,  7-9PM
Harrisonburg Dance Cooperative,
2 N. Main St.

Doors open at 6:30PM, limited seating. Featuring Certified Yoga Therapist Jennifer Matthaei Cottrell, Licensed Dance Therapist and Co-Owner of Harrisonburg Dance Cooperative Anna Morris, Rubén Graciani (Dean of JMU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and Professor of Dance), and a performance choreographed by Ellie de Waal, Co-Owner of Harrisonburg Dance Cooperative. 

The Story of Grief: A Conversation with Jesse Ball

October 26th,  7-8PM
HBS – Room G010 - 235 M.L.K. Jr Way

Jesse Ball is the author of over fifteen books including Autoportrait, Census, A Cure for Suicide, and Silence Once Begun.  He is on the faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a winner of The Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize for Fiction, the Gordon Burn Prize, and the Berlin Prize, and long-listed for the National Book Award. Ball has been a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, NEA, and Creative Capital Foundation. Ball has been interviewed and his books have been reviewed in Harper's Magazine, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, and elsewhere. In fall 2023 he will be University of Virginia's Kapnick Foundation Distinguished Writer-in-Residence.  More details and parking information here

EURYDICE by Sarah Ruhl

November 14th-18th,  8PM
Asbury United Methodist Church,  205 S. Main St.,  Slaven Hall 

A Contemporary Stage Adaptation of the Classic Greek Myth, directed by Michael Trocchia. Presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. with support from JMU’s Office of Creative Propulsion and School of Theatre and Dance, Friendly City Players, and Asbury United Methodist Church. Find out more about the show and purchase tickets here. Follow the show on Instagram here

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