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Bear Pond to Create a “Pop-Up Museum” to Celebrate Gary Lee Miller’s New Book

by Nat Frothingham
On Friday evening, August 1, at 7:00 p.m., at Montpelier’s Bear Pond Books, Montpelier writer Gary Lee  Miller will be reading from his new book of short stories, Museum of the Americas.
“These are stories that I have written over a number of years,” Miller said, describing his new opus. “Most of them have been published in literary magazines.” He mentioned a number of magazines where his stories have been published—Chicago Quarterly Review, Hunger Mountain, The Florida Review and Green Mountains Review.
Miller’s August 1 reading will coincide with downtown Montpelier’s Art Walk, held the first Friday of the month from 4 to 7 p.m. The Art Walk provides a chance for anyone who likes visual art to stroll around downtown and visit a number of artist’s studios, galleries and other locations where art is hung, exhibited or shared.
To celebrate the publication of Miller’s new book and commemorate the museum theme of its title story, Bear Pond will be opening a “Pop-Up Museum” on August 1st. The museum will consist of mementos, artifacts, and saved and treasured objects from people who live in this part of Vermont. Bear Pond is inviting contributions from all who would like to display items of interest from their lives.
When asked about the sorts of things that the museum might exhibit, Miller talked about a friend who is a baseball fan. That friend is bringing in an autographed baseball for display. Miller himself has a collection of toothbrushes. “I’m going to bring in a couple, maybe a few,” he said.
These objects don’t have to have “any stunning relevance,” Miller said. But objects in our lives reveal something about us—stamps from a personal stamp collection, a piece of sheet music with an all-time-favorite popular song, a harmonica that you used to play, a family photo that shows what you were like as kid, or as a kid with your sister, or shows Brother and Sister with Mother, or depicts your favorite grandparent—anything that tells a story and reveals something from your life.
“I will give [exhibitors] a museum card,” Miller said. “They can write what they choose about that object. At the end of the night you can take back what you brought. When you leave, it leaves.”
Miller’s Museum of the Americas was published July 2, 2014, by Fomite Press in Burlington. In addition to writing himself, Miller teaches writing and is currently offering a program called “Writers for Recovery” for people who are struggling with addiction. The program, which is free and open to anyone who is in recovery or has a relative who is dealing with addiction, is being held on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Burlington’s Turning Point Center, a drop-in center for people struggling with addiction.