Holism in the hills

The Prama Institute, a new seminar and retreat center located near Marshall, plans to make a splashy debut. Grand-opening events include a poetry reading and workshop with lauded wordsmith Robert Bly film screenings with Palestinian director Hanna Elias.

Head space: The Prama Institute’s Sid Jordan, left, and Ramesh Bjonnes in one of the facility’s dome-shaped meeting centers. photo by Jonathan Welch

Spokesperson Ramesh Bjonnes explains that the nonprofit institute will host a wide range of events. “We plan to organize concerts, readings, workshops and retreats in or around Asheville, as well as at our newly built geodesic domes near Marshall,” he says.

Bly’s program, “The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy: An Evening of Sacred Poetry,” is presented in conjunction with UNCA. He’ll read from his own works as well as the poetry of Rumi, Hafez and Mirabai at the university’s Humanities Lecture Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25. In addition, a writers’ workshop and luncheon with the poet will be held at the Prama Institute on Thursday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost of the Prama event is $45, and advance registration is required.

Elias’ award-winning film, The Olive Harvest, was made with an Israeli crew and a Palestinian cast. It integrates a tale of love, tradition and family loyalty into the larger landscape of political and economic unease in a Palestinian village; ultimately, it gives “a message of peace,” according to the film’s producer, Kamran Elahian. The film will be shown at Asheville’s Fine Arts Theatre at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, and at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 29. Each screening will be followed by a discussion with the director.

Elias will also conduct film workshops, including: “How To Be An Indie Filmmaker And Love It,” on Saturday, April 28, from 1 to 4 p.m.; and “One Man’s Journey: The Use of Film to Promote Peace in the Middle East,” on Sunday, April 29, from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission to each workshop is $35.

For registration or additional information about these events or the Prama Institute, visit www.pramainstitute.org or call 649-9408.

About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.