Traverse City Record-Eagle


August 9, 2013

Stone Circle turns 30

ELK RAPIDS — The 88 boulders at the Stone Circle will remain silent as always, but not the poets, musicians and friends who gather the next two Saturday nights to celebrate the outdoor fire circle’s 30th anniversary.

They’ll do it with one foot in the ancient oral tradition and the other in a modern form of storytelling — documentary filmmaking.

The celebration will be filmed by a Spanish crew directed by Patrick Pfister, a poet, writer, filmmaker and old college friend of Stone Circle founder Terry Wooten. The segment eventually will become part of a documentary that probably will be released by mid-2014, Pfister said.

“I would like to document what has happened here at the Stone Circle for three decades,” Pfister said. “Terry Wooten and the other poets have kept the oral tradition alive and the flame of light glowing brightly. It’s outstanding service to art and humanity.”

Pfister arrived in Antrim County three weeks ago to interview and film the location, the Wootens and about 20 to 30 friends, poets and musicians. Two Northwestern Michigan College audio technology students, Colin Wakefield and Lily Kroupa, also are helping the film crew for class credit.

Wooten, a performance poet and 29-year writing workshop instructor, created the Stone Circle in 1983 on five acres of land about nine miles north of Elk Rapids where he lives with and his wife, Wendi.

The Stone Circle opens each summer in June on the Saturday night closest to the summer solstice and runs through Labor Day weekend. It is dedicated to the ancient oral tradition, which Wooten describes as a time when history, herstory, myth and ethics were transmitted only by the spoken word in poems and stories.

All stories and poetry told at the Stone Circle must be memorized and recited. No reading is allowed except in unusual circumstances with Wooten’s approval.

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