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Longfellow Days in February: Longfellow and the Landscape

Story posted January 21, 2010

Longfellow Days 2010, scheduled for February 4 through February 25 in Brunswick, will honor the foremost 19th-century American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, with cultural programs that celebrate the environment and explore sustainability strategies and solutions.

"Longfellow and the Landscape: Earth, Sea and Sky" will include lectures and presentations by authors and community members, a locavore dinner at Bowdoin College, poetry readings, and art exhibitions.

The works of Longfellow (1807-1882, Bowdoin class of 1825) are filled with vivid evocations of the natural world, from the forest creatures of Hiawatha and the farming communities of Evangeline to the furious wind and waves depicted in The Wreck of the Hesperus. Each Longfellow Days event will tie in to the poet's connections to and celebration of nature.


Evelyn Dunphy, Twilight, Daicy Pond.

Thursday, February 4, 5 p.m.
Frontier Café, Fort Andross
"An Artist's Sense of Place"
Meet artist Evelyn Dunphy, whose watercolors of the Maine landscape will be on view at the café throughout February. Dunphy has been recognized by the Trust for Public Lands for her contribution to the largest conservation project in Maine history that expanded Baxter State Park by saving Katahdin Lake and 6,000 acres from development. She recently received the People's Choice Award from the Natural Resource Council of Maine. The film "Following in the Footsteps of Frederic Church," which follows Dunphy through a painting workshop at Church's Millinocket Lake camp, will be shown at 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, February 4, 6:30 p.m.
Frontier Café, Fort Andross
$10 or $12 per person, reservations recommended (725-5222)
"Gardens Galore"
Illustrated presentation by three of Maine's most exuberant gardeners: Robin Robinson, Jocelyn Hubbell, and Steven Palmer. Robinson's garden is an intensely planted half-acre of perennials and shrubbery overlooking Casco Bay. Hubbell is executive director of the Cornerstones of Science program serving 20 public libraries, and oversees the Library's butterfly garden. Palmer, as proprietor of Plainview Farm in North Yarmouth, created 25 meandering display gardens showcasing the more than 2,000 varieties of growth on site. Plainview is known for perennials, including 147 types of hosta, and has been selected by Burpee Seeds to grow bedding plants. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Proceeds benefit Maine Street plantings by the Village Improvement Association.

Saturday, February 6, 2 p.m.
Crystal Spring Farm, 277 Pleasant Hill Road
"Around the Old Camp Fire"
Late afternoon fun outdoors in collaboration with Five Rivers Arts Alliance. Trails open for sledding, snowshoeing, and guided cross-country skiing at 2 p.m. Next gather around a camp fire to sip hot chocolate and toast marshmallows, while Rob Jarratt and friends lead camp songs and stories. Song sheets provided. Bring flashlights as dusk settles in early. As dark descends, and stars come out, Southern Maine Astronomers will guide kids of all ages in looking at the firmament through their telescope, and through personal binoculars. Crystal Spring Farm comprises over 300 acres of farm and forest conserved by the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. All activities weather permitting. Parking available but limited; carpooling encouraged. Information: 721-0141.

Sunday, February 7, 1 p.m.
Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library
"Poets in the Community I"
Longfellow is just one of many poets who have called the Brunswick area home throughout the years, and the tradition continues today. Over three Sunday afternoons, Herb Coursen curates a three-part series of readings by local writers. This first event features the works of Alice Persons, Bruce Spang, and Coursen. Refreshments courtesy of Bohemian Coffee House.


Wednesday, February 10, 6 p.m.
Main Lounge, Moulton Union, Bowdoin College
$20 per person, reservations required (729-4439)
"Very Nourishing: A Locavore Dinner"
Savor a dinner buffet from the renowned Bowdoin College dining service. The menu is drawn from local suppliers of produce, cheese, and meat. The meal will be followed by a presentation outlining the College's many sustainability programs and efforts. Speakers will include Katy Longley, senior vice president for finance and administration & treasurer; Mary Lou Kennedy, director of dining and bookstore services; Keisha Payson, coordinator for a sustainable Bowdoin; and students. Reservations required by February 2; call 729-4439.

Thursday, February 11, 7 p.m.
F.W. Horch Sustainable Goods, 56 Maine Street
"Seed Starting"
Host Fred Horch and master gardener volunteer Brett Thompson share secrets for starting a bountiful garden from seed. Seating is limited. Reservations suggested (729-4050).

Saturday, February 13, 11 a.m.
Fort Andross
"Certified Organic Fun"
An oral historian will interview local farmers, bakers, cheese makers, and others, on stage at the winter farmers' market.

Sunday, February 14, 1 p.m.
Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library
"Poets in the Community II"
Readings by poets Kevin Sweeney, Joan Nicholson, and Darcy Shargo. Refreshments courtesy of Bohemian Coffee House.

Wednesday, February 17, 12:15 p.m.
Morrell Room, Curtis Memorial Library (Winter Wisdom Lecture)
"A Writer's Sense of Place"
Whether you are a native-born Mainer or "from away," you probably have distinct feelings about the Midcoast region that make you feel at home in the world. Author Jane Brox will discuss what we mean by "sense of place," and how myth, memory, and imagination may contribute as much as geography to the way we feel about places in our lives. Brox, an adjunct lecturer at Bowdoin College, is studying the relationship coastal Maine farmers have had to the sea. Books by Brox include Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm, Five Thousand Days Like This One: An American Family History, and Here and Nowhere Else: Late Seasons of a Farm and Its Family.

Thursday, February 18, 6:30 p.m.
Frontier Café, Gallery and Cinema, Fort Andross
$10 advance, $12 at the door, reservations recommended (725-5222)
Dozens of environmental organizations in Maine protect waterways and endangered animals, model green practices or alert communities to toxins. Nancy Randolph emcees 10 whirlwind, six-minute presentations by nature lovers, artists and stewards including the Shelter Institute, Cold River Vodka, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Cathance River Education Alliance, the Lobster Conservancy, and the National Parks Service. Proceeds benefit the Topsham-Brunswick Androscoggin Riverwalk. Reservations recommended, 725-5222.

Saturday, February 20, 7 p.m.
The Theater Project, 14 School Street
$10 adults, $5 students
"Environmental Songs and Stories"
Readings by prize-winning high school students from Morse, Mount Ararat, and Brunswick, storyteller Pat Gerdiner, ballads performed by Kat Logan and Jim Loney, and original songs/sing-along with Grace Lewis McLaren. Admission: $10 adults, $5 students. Refreshments available.

Sunday, February 21, 1 p.m.
Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library
"Poets in the Community III"
Poets Marta Finch, Ted Bookey, and David Adams complete the three-part series of readings. Refreshments courtesy of Bohemian Coffee House.

Sunday, February 21, Noon-4 p.m.
Joshua Chamberlain Museum, corner of Maine and Potter streets
"Visit Longfellow's House"
Tour Longfellow's Brunswick home as guests of the Pejepscot Historical Society. Tours are available on the hour.

Thursday, February 25, 6:30 p.m.
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
"Behind the Landscapes at the Museum"
Kevin Salatino, director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, will give a guided tour of two nature-oriented exhibitions: "Grounded: Two Centuries of American Landscape" and "Learning to Paint: American Artists and European Art, 1876-1893." Co-sponsored by Five Rivers Arts Alliance.

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

For more information call 207-729-4439.

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