Ellen F. Kenny from Mass Center for the Book, Mayor Romeo-Theken, & Justine Vitale share photos from Once Upon a Contest at Cape Ann Museum

Stop by and meet some of the participants featured in Once Upon a Contest: Selections from Cape Ann Reads at a special Cape Ann Museum CAM KIDS second Saturdays family activity on January 12, 2019, from 10AM-12PM. Later that same day, artists Mary Rhinelander and Julia Garrison are offering a printmaking linocut demo related to the Folly Cove designers and the major Virginia Lee Burton The Little House Her Story exhibition!

Thanks to the four public libraries of Cape Ann and Cape Ann Museum, Once Upon a Contest: Selections from Cape Ann Reads is a testament to the imagination and immense artistic talent of artists and authors. Below are photographs from the first reception for the exhibit at Cape Ann Museum January 5, 2019.

Courtesy photos from Ellen F. Kenny, Mass Center for the Book. Thank you for capturing the spirit of the reception at Cape Ann Museum! Mass Center for the Book Facebook [Folks featured in the big group shot from L-R: Anna Vojtech (Artist-Author), Claire Wyzenbeek (Artist-Author), Jean Woodbury (Author), Christina Ean Spangler (Artist), Maura Wadlinger (Author), Juni VanDyke (Artist), John Plunkett, Martha Geraghty ( Author), Barbara McLaughlin (Artist-Author)]

 

The Cape Ann Museum reception was beautiful. Everybody from the museum is so welcoming. The courtesy photos below document the start of the reception from Mayor Romeo Theken, Justine Vitale, and others. See Kim Smith’s photos from later in the afternoon and from another visit here! We’re so grateful to have a record of this joyous time. The show continues at Cape Ann Museum through February 24 before traveling throughout Cape Ann in 2019.

Installation view Once Upon a Contest at Cape Ann Museum December 2018.jpg

 

View and/or print out the Once upon a contest selections from cape ann reads trifold brochure. It’s paginated at 6pp but can be assembled like so:

Salem witch trials end with Esther Elwell, from Gloucester, Sarah Jessica Parker’s ancestor

Sarah Jessica Parker season 1 episode 1 NBC Who Do You Think You Are tv show_ ancestor ESTHER ELWELL one of 3 women from Gloucester was accused of witchcraft.jpg

In the tv show, Who Do You Think You Are? (March 5 2010), produced by Lisa Kudrow, season 1, episode 1, Sarah Jessica Parker learns that her tenth great grandmother, Esther (Dutch) Elwell, was found guilty of witchcraft in 1692. Her arrest was the last formal accusation recorded during the Salem witch trials. The grisly court was dissolved days prior to her sentencing because spectral evidence was banned. Esther lived to be 82 years old. Parker visited Danvers to meet with historians and inspect the original records, and then on to Salem to pay respects.

Did Sarah Jessica Parker come to Gloucester?

Well, not according to the final edit. The show could have filmed here.

Witches of Gloucester

Beckoned to Gloucester, Salem teenager and accuser, Betty Hubbard, officially confirmed the false suspicions in 1692. And just like that three women from Gloucester– Esther Elwell, Abigail Rowe and Rebecca Dike– were arrested for killing Gloucester resident, Mary Fitch, by witchcraft. Historians determined that nine women from Gloucester were caught up in the witchhunts, jailed, and released (by the spring of 1693). Accused were more often than not related and at odds with accusers, well off, and/or “trouble”.  Collaborating institutions and collections have gathered and digitized 17th century documents. You can peruse them here: http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/17docs.html

Later history of witches in Gloucester revolve around Dogtown. In the 1896 book,  In the Heart of Cape Ann, Charles Mann described Gloucester’s Dogtown as “practically the only ruined city in America.” By then Dogtown legends persisted about “witches” like Tammy Younger (died 1829), her aunt Luce George, Peg Wesson, and Judy Rhines.  Percy Mackaye’s 1921 poem Dogtown Common acknowledged Mann’s book, “curious reader may learn many strange, half fogotten facts concerning the old Puritan life of that region…”  Here’s the eerie opener setting a fitting scene for Halloween.

Inland among the lonely cedar dells
of old Cape Ann, near Gloucester by the sea,
Still live the dead–in homes that used to be.
     All day in dreamy spells
They tattle low with toungues of tinkling cattle
     bells,
Or spirit tappings of some hollow tree,
And there, all night–all night, out of the
     dark–
They bark–and bark.

eerie opening Dogtown Common 110 page poem by Percy Mackaye 1921.jpg

 

Apparently, when Sarah Jessica Parker starred in Hocus Pocus (1993), she did not know this family history. Some of the movie was filmed on location in Salem and Marblehead.

1959 Lyman boat for sale calls forth irresistible young adult book, Driftwood Captain, by Paul B Kenyon

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Scroll down for more photos of the boat that’s for sale which had me remembering a great read. Excerpted quotes are from the superb young adult book, Driftwood Captain, from 1956 by Paul B Kenyon, a writer and Gloucester Daily Times columnist and editor, with illustrations by Louise Kenyon, folly cove artist. The book is dedicated to their sons.  I guarantee explorers young and old will be inspired to seek treasure and adventure all about them and persist. Kids you know will want to befriend characters so real they jump off the page and grab your heart. Sometimes authors get in the way of their own writing, especially with children’s books, trying too hard and overwriting the kid’s perspective. Not Kenyon. Boy is he a timeless ease. You can find the book at Cape Ann Museum and local book stores.

“…But Pete had the faith of a twelve-year-old in his sailing skill and in his flighty boat, a hunk of a fisherman’s dory. He had been sailing in Lobster Cove since he graduated from floating logs. He knew the breezes and currents and even the ways that certain boats swung at each other. He would put on dark glasses to shield his eyes from the angry glare of visiting yachtsmen, and sail close to the boats of his customers so that he could toss folded newspapers into cockpits and cabins. He was a seagoing paperboy…

“He’d rather have the old hull lying on shore, tied to a tree just above the bridge. He liked her rugged looks and her air of being what Gloucester men called “able.”

“The old hull reminded Pete of the famous sloop Spray, Captain Joshua Slocum rebuilt the Spray, timber by timber and sailed her around the world singlehanded, after he finished fitting out at Gloucester. The Spray was thirty six feet long, not counting her bowsprit. She had a lot of room for a boat of her length. So had the hold hull that had lain unused for years. That’s where Pete had begun the daydream that had led to the Hunkadory-Harbor-Queen argument. Pete wondered why his family did not share his fondness for the hull. Pappy Leonard talked a lot about getting a boat big enough for cruising along the coast.

Here was a boat in the rough, just the right size…” 

 

1959 Lyman boat for sale as is, dry dock @ Shaw’s shopping center, Gloucester, Mass,

 

the old hull_LOUISE KENYON_stellar linocut illustrations for Driftwood Captain by Paul B Kenyon 1956butch Petes dog_LOUISE KENYON_stellar linocut illustrations for Driftwood Captain by Paul B Kenyon 1956

Deborah Cramer’s book The Narrow Edge galvanizes action to push biomedical rescue for horseshoe crabs and red knots! Revive and Restore convenes Eli Lilly to announce environmental breakthrough

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Biomedical Breakthrough is win-win for shorebirds and horseshoe crabs:  Deborah Cramer of The Narrow Edge spreads the word

“Jay Bolden, a senior biologist with pharma giant Eli Lilly, has spent the last five years proving a synthetic molecule works as well as horseshoe crab blood in a life-saving medical testIt took a dedicated birder to convince pharma giant Eli Lilly to use a synthetic compound instead of horseshoe crab blood in a mandatory medical test. Now, he hopes the rest of industry will follow…” – from National Audubon article published this March 11 2018  Inside the Biomedical Revolution to Save Horseshoe Crabs and the Shorebirds That Need Them, by Deborah Cramer with photographs by Timothy Fadek

Cramer explained that Ryan Phelan, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Revive and Restore contacted her “to see how this organization might help accelerate institutional and government exploration, acceptance of the synthetic endotoxin test to replace the use of horseshoe crabs…In the book, I’d portrayed how essential the energy rich horseshoe crab eggs are to shorebird migration, and how their numbers decline when they leave for the Arctic, hungry.  I’d described how every human family, and their pets, depend on the horseshoe crab blood test to detect potentially life-threatening endotoxin in vaccines, joint replacements, PET scans, heart stents, IV lines, etc.  And went on to tell the story of the development of the genetically engineered substitute, and the– at the time decade long–that had elapsed without it being accepted or adopted by regulators or the pharmaceutical industry.”  

Revive and Restore’s announcement in the NJ Audubon news this week has more information about these dedicated scientists and exciting news. Deborah Cramer is too modest to spell it out, so I will. Revive and Restore was inspired in part by Cramer’s book, The Narrow Edge, an award-winning read that’s smart and lyrical, and an environmental game changer. Have you read it yet?

 

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Here was a substitute test that could leave hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs in the water every year, no one was using it.

 

 

The Narrow Edge reveals more unexpected alliances and consequences. Readers learn that hunters have done much to protect wildlife at the edge of the sea through the tax on guns and ammunition. The Federal Duck Stamp that’s required on hunting licenses  provides millions of dollars to support national wildlife refuges (and supports contemporary fine art). Memberships to organizations like National Audubon and donations from wildlife fans, photographers, and birders make a difference.

Cramer had to be trained how to handle a gun for necessary wild and remote travel research.  Gloucester, Cape Ann and North Shore readers: she took the course for her license to carry at Cape Ann Sportsman Club found along Dogtown’s edge where it’s been for over a century. (I’m not certain how Cramer rated there, but a president’s daughter was a good shot. In 1912, Helen Taft, qualified as an “Expert with a Rifle” when she visited the range with her Gloucester friend, Elizbeth Hammond.)

1912 Government rifle range in Dogtown Common

prior gmg post, June 2016Piping Plover Fans: Local author Deborah Cramer on sandpipers is a must read. Oh, and dogs vs.

To learn more about Deborah Cramer, go to www.deborahcramer.com

Continue reading “Deborah Cramer’s book The Narrow Edge galvanizes action to push biomedical rescue for horseshoe crabs and red knots! Revive and Restore convenes Eli Lilly to announce environmental breakthrough”

Rockport native/Globe columnist Sean Murphy joins impressive panel at Rockport Library, May 6, on “Journalism and fake news”

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LITERARY CAPE ANN shares a press release for the impressive May 6 panel discussion they’re presenting at Rockport Public Library

Journalism in the age of fake news and truth telling

ROCKPORT, MASS— Even the experts can’t always tell fake news when they see it. Technology, politics and shifts in reader habits all play a role in a worrying trend that many say is only going to get worse. The antidote to fake news? Information.

All are invited, free of charge, to take part in what promises to be a fascinating and illuminating discussion. Find out more about fake news, how to spot it and what it means for our democracy long-term. Come prepared with questions and concerns.

Journalism in the age of fake news and truth telling — a panel discussion featuring some of the Boston area’s leading journalists and scholars — is at the Rockport Public Library on Sunday, May 6, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Refreshments and a book signing (“The Return of the Moguls: How Jeff Bezos and John Henry are Remaking Newspapers in the Twenty-First Century” by Dan Kennedy) follow the discussion.

The panel of experts includes:

Dan Kennedy: WGBH commentator, Northeastern University journalism professor, reporter and author

Sean Murphy: Boston Globe editor, columnist and journalist

Jane Enos: Gatehouse Media editor and reporter

Caroline Enos: Gloucester High School Gillnetter editor and activist

Kyle Moody: Fitchburg State University communications professor and fake news expert

hosted by Literary Cape Ann – Together we celebrate and support our abundant literary arts Rae Padilla Francoeur  •  Diana Brown McCloy  •  Mary Riotte      

Literary Cape Ann provides the community of Cape Ann with information and events that support and reinforce the value and importance of the literary arts.

👏👏 A Mayor that ❤️ arts: Sefatia Romeo-Theken shares Ruthanne Collinson #pocketpoem ✍️

It’s free and simple to participate in National Poem in Your Pocket Day.  From Mayor Romeo-Theken:

“I’ve selected a poem by former poet laureate, Ruthanne “Rufus” Collinson, “Jumping In”. The view from my City Hall office is the building Collinson writes about, and the poem’s span of time and special moments –celebrating kids, seniors, connections and kindness– are music to read.”- Mayor Romeo-Theken, Gloucester, MA

JUMPING IN

I was 12 years old
dreaming already
of the life within life,
writing plays and poems,
clumsy beyond description
when I arrived at Central Grammar School,
to a daily journey over the bridge,
learning about the universe of Gloucester
from my new friends,
learning art and history and language
from my new teachers.
What I will never forget
is the lesson I learned from the kind eighth grade girls
on the playground.
In elementary school, I fell down everyday at recess,
playing jump rope, trying to jump in.
My new friends at Central Grammar
taught me to look up,
to wait until the rope swung high,
to wait for the thin shimmering line
to reach its highest arc,
to enter then
and begin to keep the rhythm.
And here I am today.
The school has become a residence for the elders
and, once again,
I am learning to jump in

-RUTHANNE “RUFUS” COLLINSON

Reminder- kids poetry contest is closing soon. Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Libraray childrens services Poetry Without Paper 2018 contest And send them to the Mayor’s office– she promises to read them!

✍️🎶Happy #pocketpoem day! Three from John Ronan. What poem will you share?

It’s free and simple to participate. Carry a Poem. Share a Poem.

John Ronan, a poet, playwright, journalist and a National Endowment for the
Arts Fellow in Literature, shares two sonnets: “The Parlor” and “The Lesson.”  And the very short, “Arrowhead.”

Arrowhead
The bifacial point, found in a potato
field in Maine, is still sharp,
a Micmac weapon or crafted heart
knapped from the whole cloth of stone.
Flint’s a slap in the face, elegist
relic only as long as you look.
Says: crow shadow and opaque.
Adds: I will exist without witness.

-John J. Ronan

John Ronan served as Gloucester’s Poet Laureate 2008-2010, maintaining the website resource dedicated to Gloucester poets, Gloucester Poet Laureate, and producing Salt and Light: An Anthology of Gloucester Poetry, published spring 2010. He is the host of the Cape Ann TV (now 1623 studios) program, The Writer’s Block.  His most recent anthology is Taking the Train of Singularity South from Midtown. He read “We, Helsmen” at Mayor Romeo Theken’s 2018 Inauguration. Ronan helped to establish Poetry without Paper; the 12th annual deadline for this beloved annual tradition is approaching. Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Libraray childrens services Poetry Without Paper 2018 contest 

Gloucester High School students poised WBZ CBS Boston and GHS Gillnetter

Paul Burton National Walk Out Day report WBZ evening news from March 26, 2018

and links to GHS Gillnetter articles: March 15, 2018 and  March 26, 2018

GHS Gillnetter student newspaper is a must read and fully digitized-accessible

WBZ Gloucester High School students report on line

Poetry without Paper deadline reminder from Christy Russo Sawyer Free Library, John Ronan, O’Maley School, & Mayor Romeo Theken

Two weeks to go. Kids- send in your poems: Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Libraray childrens services Poetry Without Paper 2018 is underway

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Now in its 16th year (!) Sawyer Free’s annual poetry contest for all students who go to Gloucester schools or live in Gloucester is LIVE. Participants can submit up to 3 poems through April 30, 2018. Some of the previous winning poems are published on the library web site. 2015  2016 2017

Former Gloucester Poet Laureate, host of The Writers Block, and co-founder with Christy Russo of the dynamite Poetry without Paper contest, John Ronan, included this reminder plug along with his January column and poem in the Gloucester Daily Times: Continue reading “Poetry without Paper deadline reminder from Christy Russo Sawyer Free Library, John Ronan, O’Maley School, & Mayor Romeo Theken”

Poetry without Paper deadline reminder from Christy Russo Sawyer Free Library, John Ronan, O’Maley School, and Mayor Romeo Theken

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Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Poetry Without Paper 2018 is underway!

Now in its 16th year (!) Sawyer Free’s annual poetry contest for all students who go to Gloucester schools or live in Gloucester is LIVE. Participants can submit up to 3 poems through April 30, 2018. Some of the previous winning poems are published on the library web site. 2015  2016 2017

Former Gloucester Poet Laureate, host of The Writers Block, and co-founder with Christy Russo of the dynamite Poetry without Paper contest, John Ronan, included this reminder plug along with his January column and poem in the Gloucester Daily Times:

“Students! Families! Grandparents, aunts and uncles! The annual Poetry Without Paper contest, sponsored by the Sawyer Free Library, will again open from March 1 to April 30. All students living in or attending school in Gloucester are eligible, from elementary to high school. This is the 16th year of the contest and hundreds of students participate each season, winners claiming prizes, a public reading, and a chance to be on TV. Spread the word! Watch for details at: www.sawyerfreelibrary.org.”

Mayor Romeo Theken broadcasts and celebrates National Poetry Month every April, Poetry without Paper, and Poem in Your Pocket Day which is April 26 in 2018. #pocketpoem

Poetry Without Paper posted at City Hall.jpg
Mayor Romeo Theken National Poetry Month 2018 poster at City Hall, Gloucester, Mass

O’Maley Innovation Middle School has it posted in several spots and it’s been included in newsletters since the contest opened. Good luck to all the writers!

 

What’s your favorite LOVE poem? Monthly Poetry and High Tea gatherings @SandpiperBakery by Eastern Point Lit House

Naturally Love is the theme for February, the first month for Bread Poets Society Monthly Poetry and High Tea gatherings @SandpiperBakery by Eastern Point Lit House. Philip Storey set up shop last week to spread the word.

February 2018 – What’s Your Favorite Love Poem? Lit House Philip Storey will lead. Specialty French pastries, tea, coffee and themed poetry. 3pm Sunday, February 11, 2018. Sandpiper Bakery, 65 Middle Street, Gloucester, MA. $25

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Gail McCarthy highlights Cape Ann Reads and Cape Ann Art Haven in Gloucester Daily Times

in the news- Gail McCarthy highlights two family fun events in today’s Gloucester Daily Times

Friday – The annual Cape Ann Art Haven buoy auction is tomorrow night at Cruiseport!

Saturday – The upcoming Cape Ann Reads celebration at Gloucester City Hall is Saturday January 27 from noon to four. Gail’s article includes interviews with the four Library Directors and Mayor Romeo Theken. The color photograph that’s reproduced is a stunning drawing by Kim Smith from one of her children’s picture books, Beauty on the Wing. There’s also a photograph from Alice Gardner’s drawing installation at The Book Store for her published book St. Peter’s Fiesta.  Here’s the link to the article and a clever title design: All Booked Up: Community Reception and Fair Celebrate literature and art for Children by Gail McCarthy, Gloucester Daily Times

All Booked Up spotlight Cape Ann Reads Celebration by Gail McCarthy for Gloucester Daily times January 25 2018.jpg

Continue reading “Gail McCarthy highlights Cape Ann Reads and Cape Ann Art Haven in Gloucester Daily Times”

Gloucester Daily Times update on Cape Ann Reads

Look for special group exhibits and readings to be announced later in 2018- “Cape Ann Reads to Hit the Road” by Gail McCarthy, Gloucester Daily Times

This month: come to Gloucester’s City Hall on January 27 for a Cape Ann Reads celebration. Explore early drafts & drawings as well as published children’s picture art and books–all by Cape Ann artists and writers. The Book Store of Gloucester will have a satellite book shop devoted to published picture books right on site.

Gail McCarthy Gloucester Daily Times announcing Bruce J Anderson grant award for Cape Ann Reads January 8 2017

Gloucester Writers Center knocking out must read and see projects: Cape Ann Veterans book launch at Gloucester House

Sunday December 10, 2017, 1PM, at the Gloucester House

Book launch for THE INNER VOICE AND THE OUTER WORLD: writings by veterans and their families from the Cape Ann Veterans Writers Workshop, a Gloucester Writers Center project, supported by Cape Ann Veterans Services (also stunning outreach and programming)

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Cape Ann Museum & Gloucester Writers Center| 8th Annual Charles Olson Lecture Oct 21 – Ann Charters

Cape Ann Museum shares this notice:

Charles Olson and Ann Charters walking on the Boulevard in Gloucester, Mass,1967 Photo credit Sam Charters. Author information from Small Press Distribution (SPD), spdbooks

Image: Charles Olson and Ann Charters walking on the Boulevard in Gloucester, Mass., 1967. Photo credit: Sam Charters. Author information from Small Press Distribution (SPD), spdbooks.org.

8th Annual Charles Olson Lecture: Ann Charters- Evidence of What Is Said

The Cape Ann Museum and Gloucester Writers Center are pleased to present the 8th Annual Charles Olson Lecture featuring Ann Charters on Saturday, October 21 at 1:00 p.m. at the Cape Ann Museum(27 Pleasant Street, Gloucester). This program is free and open to the public. A suggested donation of $10 is appreciated.

Ann Charters, noted Beat Generation scholar, photographer, and Professor Emerita at University of Connecticut, Storrs, visits Gloucester to discuss her correspondence with poet Charles Olson. Beginning in 1968 with Charters’ request for Olson to reflect on his “earliest enthusiasm for Melville,” and continuing until late 1969, these letters traverse the final two years of Olson’s life. Centered on Charters’ book Olson/Melville: A Study of Affinity, the correspondence ultimately maps two writers’ existence in an America that is simultaneously experiencing the wonder of the moon landing and the chaotic escalation of the Vietnam War. All the while, their exchanges navigate the convolutions of Olson’s ideas about history, space, and time in relation to his pivotal book Call Me Ishmael and his Black Mountain College lectures.

Charles Olson was born in 1910 in Worcester, Massachusetts. His first book, Call Me Ishmael, published in 1947, is a case study of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Olson was an essayist, poet, scholar, and avid letter writer. He was a professor who also taught at universities ranging from Clark to Harvard to Black Mountain College. His influence in the 1950s and 1960s was expansive in many fields of thought. He died in New York in 1970 while completing his masterpiece, The Maximus Poems.

Ann Charters is the author of the first biography of Jack Kerouac, published in 1973, as well as a number of major studies of Beat literature and its personalities. She began taking photographs in 1958 on Andros Island in the Bahamas to document Samuel Charters’ field recordings for Folkways Records. These photographs of musicians are featured in Blues Faces: A Portrait of the Blues (David Godine Books, 2000). Her photographs of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Kesey, and others are included in Beats & Company: Portrait of a Literary Generation (Doubleday, 1986). Her photo essay on Charles Olson in Gloucester was published in Olson/Melville: A Study in Affinity (Oyez, 1968). Her photos also illustrated Samuel Charters’ The Poetry of the Blues (Oak Publications, 1963) and Songs of Sorrow: Lucy McKim Garrison and Slave Songs of the United States (University Press of Mississippi, 2015). Ann Charters’ photo essay featuring the Nobel Prize-winning poet Tomas Tranströmer is included in Samuel Charters’ translation of Tranströmer’s BALTICS, published by Tavern Books in 2012.

 

 

Whew! Whew! Whew! Hannah Kimberly featured speaker for Cape Ann Chamber Business Women’s Fall Luncheon

Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce Annual Fall Business Women’s Luncheon, October 12, 11:30AM-1PM, Gloucester House, 63 Rogers Street, Gloucester, MA

The Keynote Speaker will be Hannah Kimberly. I was reading Hannah Kimberly’s biography, A Woman’s Place is at the Top, about Annie Smith Peck when I heard the news that Saudi women would be granted the right to drive sometime in 2018 (though they still  need a sign off to marry, divorce, travel, get a passport, open a bank account.) I remember when my mother could get a credit card without my father’s signature. An Annie Smith Peck quote from 1874 brought to light in Kimberly’s research shows Peck knew this pain of persistent lobbying for permission:

“I have reflected for years, I am reflecting, I shall continue to reflect. The longer I reflect, the more convinced I am that it would be wise to go to college. Years ago I made up my mind that I should never marry and consequently that it would be desirable for me to get my living in the best possible way and to set about it as any boy would do. I do not think it is my duty to sacrifice myself, my happiness, and all prospect of distinction, to say nothing of usefulness for the very doubtful pleasure of my parents. Should I remain at home, as some people would have me, I should then be utterly unfitted for active life and should only be a burden to my brothers, useless and unhappy. If I am ever to be anybody or do anything, the time is now…John (her brother) would not have me on par with college graduates? Whew! Whew! Whew! What an opinion must he have of his own and William’s attainments if he considers that I am superior to what they were when they graduated…Why did John not pursue such a course as himself? ‘Too good talents to give them the benefit of a collegiate education.’ Dare you say that aloud? What if you applied it to a young man? Are you crazy? I am not afraid that my fame would be lessened should I be Valedictorian of the class of ’78 (1878!) in Michigan.” -Annie Smith Peck 

Michigan State fans will be happy:

Kimberly writes that in 1874 Peck “wouldn’t be able to place her finger on it at the time, but somehow, within her first semester, like the handful of other women studying the classics, Annie was treated as if she were equal to the men in her class. Indeed it was a blip in the history of co-education — a golden decade — when some of the first groups of women attended the University of Michigan and were recognized as mysterious, capable, attractive, intelligent, and not yet too numerous to be a threat to male power.” – Hannah Kimberly

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Boston Globe on T.S. Eliot family home in Gloucester MA at last a writers retreat

“…UK-based T.S. Eliot Foundation purchased the home for $1.3 million, announcing its plan to transform the residence into a writers retreat. Two years of planning and construction later, the foundation has made good on its promise, quietly welcoming its first cohort of poets, writers, and editors this summer…”

Link to Malcolm Gay article

http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/2017/08/24/gloucester-eliot-finally-comes-home/9sSycB8jYOMKCRtGxm1QzO/story.html

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Laura Harrington’s new novel A Catalog of Birds to be released in 2 days |Gloucester book launches at The Bookstore and goodlinens

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Laura Harrington’s New Novel, A Catalog of Birds, will be released on July 11 by Europa Editions.  Two back to back special book launches in Gloucester:

book launch Thursday July 13th @ 7PM The Bookstore of Gloucester – 61 Main Street

“Harrington’s ‘Alice Bliss’ was a big hit, and you won’t want to miss out on this one either!”

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book launch Friday July 14th @ 7PM  at goodlinens / studio 133 Main Street UPDATE goodlinens RSVP at capacity

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Laura Harrington Book Tour Dates for A Catalog of Birds

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laura Harrington is an award-winning playwright, lyricist, librettist and author.  She teaches at MIT and lives in Gloucester, MA.  And she sings! Alice Bliss, her first novel, grew out of Harrington’s one-woman musical Alice Unwrapped, which ran off-Broadway in New York and in the Minneapolis Fringe Festival in 2009. Her novel Alice Bliss (Viking/Penguin) won the 2012 Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction.  Playwrights Horizons has commissioned her to create Alice Bliss the musical which is in production 2017. 

Read the great press release issued by MIT

Motif Monday: The quotable Christmas Mrs. Miniver

Inspired by Joey’s and Kim Smith’s countdowns and Greg Bover’s posts, I was thinking about a GMG countdown of favorite quotable Christmas and holiday excerpts, with an extra bonus for passages with Gloucester ties. Please add or send quotes, passages, and poems that we can delight in and share.

I’ll start with a description of jubilant awakening — children bursting through doors early Christmas morning — from a 1939 book by Jan Struther, Mrs. Miniver, which for me is also a sweet reminder about my folks as they followed a similar “stocking first-presents after” routine and were beloved.

A little background: Struther’s book stemmed from her popular fiction column begun in 1937 and published every two weeks in The Times. Following the book’s smash reception, the classic William Wyler movie, Mrs. Miniver, starring Greer Garson was released in 1942. The movie is based on the book but its own story. The movie was nominated for 12 Oscars and garnered 6 including best picture. The music is by Herbert Stothart who won an Oscar for his work on the Wizard of Oz.

Mrs. Miniver on embracing positive enthusiasm:

“It began in the same way every year: the handle of her bedroom door being turned just loudly enough to wake her up, but softly enough not to count as waking her up on purpose; (her child) Toby glimmering like a moth in the dark doorway, clutching a nobbly Christmas stocking in one hand and holding up his pyjama trousers with the other. (He insisted upon pyjamas, but he had not yet outgrown his sleeping-suit figure.)

‘Toby! It’s only just after six. I did say not till seven.’ ‘But, Mummy, I can’t tell the time.’ He was barefoot and shivering, and his eyes were like stars.

Continue reading “Motif Monday: The quotable Christmas Mrs. Miniver”