Poetry, prose for peace at Tidemark

By Dagney C. Ernest | Jan 14, 2014
Waldoboro sculptor Stephen Parmley designed and created work for the former Bangor Theological Seminary’s Park of Peace and Light.

Waldoboro — In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Gandhi and purveyors of peace all around the world, there will be an afternoon of open readings Sunday, Jan. 26, beginning 3 p.m. at Tidemark Gallery, 902 Main St./Route 220.

“It will be a celebration of Martin Luther King and peace — all about peace around the world,” said Stephen Parmley, who is organizing the event.

Parmley is a sculptor who works with stone, big and small, via his Maine Stone and Granite Company. On the big side, he is looking forward to the arrival of a large hunk of marble from Colorado that will be transformed into a swan. On the small side, he works little beach rocks he finds on the shore into heart rocks that can be acquired at Grasshopper Shop in Rockland and Mexicali Blues in Newcastle.

Parmley also is a poet, with a fifth book of poems in the works and a past attempt at holding a monthly poetry jam downtown. The Jan. 26 event is another toe dipped into that water.

“I’d like to have a monthly open reading at Tidemark, it’s such an intimate space, perfect for poetry,” he said, adding that gallery owner Charlotte Davenhill is on board with the idea.

The Jan. 26 event is not just for poetry. Parmley hopes people will bring readings about peace in whatever form they take, their own writings or words of others. The afternoon will be loosely run along the lines of an open mic, with everyone getting a set time limit.

“I think we’ll go with 15 minutes each like they do at the Highlands,” he said, praising the Thursday evening open mic at Thomaston’s Highlands Coffee House.

Parmley comes by his peaceful leanings naturally. He is related to William Ladd, one of the country’s first anti-war activists and first president of the American Peace Society. Ladd’s 1840 “Essay on the Congress of Nations” served as a predecessor of the League of Nations.

“He didn’t have any children, so I’m one of the only descendants,” Parmley said.

For more information about the open reading, call Parmley at 832-0363 or 790-0527. For more information on his art, visit stephenparmley.com.

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