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Longfellow Days

Throughout the month of February (Click here to download the poster.)

This year’s theme allows us to reflect on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s beautiful poems about nature, his personal life, and life’s stages in general – for which nature poems were often a metaphor. Free poetry readings, movies, lectures, cozy fires, performances, exhibitions, and community fun will lift your spirits, and you’ll hardly notice the weather outside. All events are free and open to the public. 

Sunday, February 7, 1:00 PM • THE COURSEN READINGS, PART ONE
Many superb writers have graced Brunswick and its vicinity through the years. We feature twelve of them in a four-part Sunday series named for the late poet and great Longfellow Days friend, Herbert Coursen. To get us started: Carolyn Gelland, Kristen Lindquist and Mark Swiedom. Refreshments.
Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library

Tuesday, February 9, 7:00 PM • A PORTLAND BOYHOOD
A true Longfellow expert, John William Babin from the Maine Historical Society’s Wadsworth/Longfellow House, will read and talk about his new book, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Portland: The Fireside Poet. Inside the historic house on Congress Street, Henry watched his father help craft the Maine State Constitution … and wrote his first childhood poem.
Daggett Lounge, Thorne Hall, Bowdoin College

Friday, February 12, 7:00 PM • BEST BELOVED: A 19th-CENTURY ROMANCE
Listen or join in to this evening entertainment excerpting diary entries and love letters exchanged between Longfellow and his second wife, Fanny Appleton. Abigail Killeen, Assistant Professor of Theater at Bowdoin, guides us, with musical accompaniment (violin and cello) by Kathryn and Evan Pillsbury.
Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union, Bowdoin College

Saturday, February 13, 11:00 AM • SILENT FILM: EVANGELINE
Longfellow’s romantic and heartbreaking epic work was inspired by the expulsion of the Acadian people from Canada’s Maritime Provinces. This version, from 1929, features gorgeous Dolores Del Rio and a musical score – thus making it not 100% silent. Follow Evangeline on her lifelong search for husband Gabriel. Opening remarks by Tricia Welsch, Professor of Film Studies at Bowdoin.
Smith Auditorium, Sills Hall, Bowdoin College

 Sunday, February 14, 10:00 AM • LITERARY CHAPEL SERVICE
Love is, fittingly, a topic for reflection on Valentine’s Day at the luminous Unitarian Universalist Church. While taking heart, catch a glimpse of the Bible that Longfellow signed and donated to his Unitarian church in 1878.
Unitarian Universalist Church, 1 Middle Street

Sunday, February 14, 1:00 PM • THE COURSEN READINGS, PART TWO|
Maine poets Jim Donnelly, Susann Pelletier and Anna Wrobel are featured. Refreshments.
Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library

Wednesday, February 17, 12:15 PM • SCHOOL DAYS, SCHOOL DAYS
Charles Dorn, Bowdoin Associate Professor of Education, helps us imagine the 19th-century educational settings, philosophies, and practices that Longfellow’s generation, and their children, might have experienced. Presented in partnership with the Midcoast Senior College’s Winter Wisdom program.
Morrell Room, Curtis Memorial Library

Come one, come all. This informal gathering, facilitated by poets Ted and Ruth Bookey, is open to people of all ages, so please bring a poem to share that you wrote or love. Refreshments.
Merrymeeting Room, Thornton Oaks, 25 Thornton Way (off Baribeau Drive)

During school break, join us for family-oriented activities as Kathleen Neumann of the Maine Historical Society shares stories of Longfellow’s boyhood and 19th–century world and leads participants in a 19th-century craft. Peruse period clothing that Longfellow family members might have worn, as part of the exhibition DRESS: 19th and 20th Century Gowns from the Pejepscot Collection.
Pejepscot Historical Society, 159 Park Row

Sunday, February 21, 1:00 PM • THE COURSEN READINGS, PART THREE
Come in out of the cold. Poets Daniel Mahoney, Robin Merrill and Jeffrey Thomson present their work. Refreshments.
Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library 

Ted and Ruth Bookey facilitate more informal sharing of favorite poems (your own or others’) at The Highlands. Refreshments.
Georgetown Parlour, Maine Lodge, 30 Governors Way, Topsham

Saturday, February 27, 7 PM • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HENRY – AND THANK YOU, WES!
Wesley McNair makes a final public appearance as Maine’s Poet Laureate and kicks off an everyone’s-welcome poetry open mic to mark HWL’s 209th birthday. Don’t be bashful. Come read your work, and enjoy some cake from Union Street Bakery in Brunswick.
Unitarian Universalist Church, 1 Middle Street

Sunday, February 28, 1:00 PM • THE COURSEN READINGS, PART FOUR
The final installment of this seasonal highlight features Rachel Flynn, Megan Grumbling and Marita O’Neill. Refreshments.
Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library 

Longfellow Days is a program of the Brunswick Downtown Association, with support from Bowdoin College, the Nathaniel Davis Fund, and the Association of Bowdoin Friends. All programs are free of charge. 

Longfellow Days 2016 updated-Jan


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