Maggie (Nash) Kast ('57)
Maggie (Nash) Kast's ('57) memoir, The Crack between the Worlds: A Dancer's Memoir of Loss and Faith, tells of her life's spiritual journey. It begins with a career in modern dance, which is then reformed through personal tragedy into a religious awakening, taking the form of liturgical dance, theological study, and writing. After attending Shimer College for a year, like many others, Maggie transferred to the University of Chicago where she continued to study the Great Books. After graduating from the University of Chicago, Maggie founded one of the first modern dance companies in Chicago, the Chicago Contemporary Dance Theater. The Chicago Contemporary Dance Theater was in residence at the Body Politic Theatre, performed at festivals and venues throughout the city, and toured from Alaska to Jamaica. Maggie, as well as other dancers and invited guests, choreographed cutting edge pieces for the company.
Unfortunately, at the height of her modern dance career, Maggie's life was struck by tragedy. While on a family vacation, a car accident took the life of her three-year-old daughter, forever changing her life. Afterwards Maggie struggled with the loss of her daughter. "Where was she, and what did 'gone' mean?" she agonized. Though Maggie grew up with no traditional religion, three years of mourning and reflection led her to investigate Catholicism and eventually enter the Church. As Maggie states, "I found a community of faith that helped me make sense of a catalytic experience." Maggie's new found spirituality and her lifelong passion for art and dance intersected when, after her study of liturgy at Catholic Theological Union, she began performing and teaching liturgical dance.
Maggie also speaks to her writing career, which has its roots in the time around her husband's death. She began to write and take classes and workshops. Eventually, she received an M.F.A. in fiction from Vermont College. Her essays have been published in publications such as America, Image Journal, and Rosebud Magazine. She also teaches Writing and Rhetoric part-time at Columbia College Chicago. The Crack between the Worlds is her first book, which speaks to her life and as Maggie stated speaks to how she got "to A from Z when they are so far apart."
Join in the celebration at Maggie's official book launch on Thursday, September 24, 7pm at Women & Children Books, 5133 N. Clark in Chicago. A reception will follow. You can read more about Maggie's memoir at www.maggiekast.com. Maggie appreciates all your support and encourages you to visit your independent book seller for a copy of her book.