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Longfellow: Citizen of the World Feb. 1-26

Story posted January 21, 2009

Learn about the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Collection in the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives at the Bowdoin Library.

Longfellow Days 2009, scheduled for February 2 through February 26, will examine how the nation's foremost 19th-century poet—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Bowdoin Class of 1825—promoted cross-cultural immersion, introducing American legends and traditions to European audiences, while exposing Americans to the literary heritage of Europe.

"Longfellow: Citizen of the World" will include lectures and presentations by noted historians, Bowdoin students, and community members, film screenings, a house tour, devotions with dance and music, and poetry readings.

Each Longfellow Days event will tie in to the poet's life and extensive travels, friendships with authors around the world, work as a translator of literary works from many languages, and literary pilgrimages. Programs are designed to engage families and further an interest in Brunswick's cultural heritage.

Longfellow Days 2009 Schedule of Events

Sunday, February 1
"Poets in the Community I" features readings by Maine poets Ted Bookey, Sheryl Hansen and Ed Gottfried '11. 1 p.m. Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library. Free.

Thursday, February 5
"All Aboard" will feature noted Longfellow scholar and biographer Charles Calhoun and Frontier Cafe owner Michael Gilroy sharing travel tales. In "Travels with Henry," Calhoun will discuss Longfellow's explorations abroad. "Travels with Gil" will follow Gilroy's personal path from Mongolia to Maine. Community members are invited to bring their own travel photos and writings to add to a month-long participatory exhibit at Frontier Cafe. 6:30 p.m. Frontier Cafe, Fort Andross. Free.

Doug Protsik reworkied traditional fiddle tunes he learned in New Sweden, Maine, for portions of the original score to the silent film screening February 7.

Saturday, February 7
The silent film A Man There Was will be screened. Based on an epic poem by Henrik Ibsen, who, like Longfellow, was well traveled, the movie launched Sweden's film tradition. Live accompaniment will be provided by Doug Protsik. 11 a.m. Eveningstar Cinema, Tontine Mall. Admission: $8.

Sunday, February 8
"Poets in the Community II" features readings by poets affiliated with Moonpie Press: Jim Mello, Alice Persons and Jim Glenn Thatcher. 1 p.m. Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library. Free.

Monday, February 9
"Students Abroad," presentations by Bowdoin students who have recently returned from off-campus study or who have performed community service abroad. Kristina Dahmann '10 (Granada, Spain), Copley Huston '10 (Australia), Rachel Lee '10 (Dakar, Senegal), and Rachael Norton '10 (Argentina) will share their experiences. 7 p.m. Daggett Lounge, Thorne Hall. Free.

Thursday, February 12
"U.S. Trade in Longfellow's Time and Now," a lecture by Stephen Meardon, economics historian and Bowdoin College assistant professor of economics. The talk will recall how Longfellow debated international trade and foreign affairs as a Bowdoin student, and reflect on trade policy of both the 1820s and today. 4 p.m. Daggett Lounge, Thorne Hall, Bowdoin College. Free.

Sunday, February 15
"Poets in the Community III" features readings by Maine poets Herb Coursen, Anne Tobey Oleson '87 and Joyce Pye. 1 p.m. Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library. Free.

Florence, Italy. According to biographer Charles Calhoun, Italy had a great influence on Longfellow's life: he became "the most famous translator of Dante in nineteenth-century America" and in later life "became fascinated with the life and poetry of Michelangelo" (p. 55).

Wednesday, February 18
"The Translator's Art" will feature Bowdoin and Bates foreign language faculty—including Helen Cafferty, Alexandre Dauge-Roth, and Otto Emersleben—discussing the sophistication, cultural sensitivity, facility, and eloquence required of translators. 12:15 p.m. Morrell Room, Curtis Memorial Library. (Winter Wisdom Lecture.) Free.

Saturday, February 21
"Sophisticates Abroad" is a reader's theater performance drawn from memoires and letters of literary travelers of Longfellow's time, including Flaubert, Byron, Mark Twain, and others. The performance was assembled by writer and Bowdoin alumna Amy E. Waterman '76. The cast includes Mike Fear, Kat Logan, Brad Mitchell, and Maryli Tiemann. Two performances: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Theater Project, School Street. Reservations encouraged (729-8584). Admission of $10 will benefit Longfellow Days.

Sunday, February 22
"Tour Longfellow's Home," courtesy of the Pejepscot Historical Society. Noon to 3 p.m. Joshua Chamberlain Museum, Maine and Potter streets. Free.

Sunday, February 22
"Chapel Service" featuring the Bowdoin Brass Ensemble, Moving Spirit Dance, organist Clarissa Brown, the Merrymeeting Singers, and others performing music and movement with themes of global enlightenment and illumination. 3 p.m. Chapel, Bowdoin College. Offering will benefit Longfellow Days.

Bill Yeo on top of Kalapatar at the Khumbu base camp on Mount Everest.

Thursday, February 26
"Bon Voyage," the Longfellow Days finale, features award-winning National Geographic photojournalist David McLain, photographer and mountaineer Bill Yeo, and others sharing tales of travel adventures. The community is invited to dress in international attire. 6:30 p.m. Frontier Cafe, Fort Andross. Reservations required. Call 725-5222. Admission price of $5 benefits Longfellow Days.

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

For more information call 207-729-4439.

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