Poetry Readings at Whitehall Inn Thursday Evening

By Whitehall Inn | Aug 28, 2013
Photo by: unknown Edna St. Vincent Millay
Camden’s historic Whitehall Inn concludes its summer Millay Series
celebrating the 101st anniversary of the “discovery” of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay with a reading by five Maine poets at 7 p.m., Thursday, August 29. This is a free event, open to the public.

Born in Rockland, Millay read her poems on August 29, 1912 at the Whitehall Inn, and one of the guests, Caroline Dow, was so impressed that she arranged for the poet to attend Vassar College in New York.

By the time Millay graduated from college, she had completed her first book of poems, been wined and dined by the New York literati, and written copious love lyrics and sonnets exploring romantic love, lost love, and the transitory nature of love.

Millay’s most famous love poem from the 1920s does not mourn absent love but rejoices in love’s impermanence. “My candle burns at both ends,” she writes. “It will not last the night.”

Poet Kathleen Ellis will host the evening, featuring Christian Barter, Rockland poet laureate Carol Bachofner, Eve Forti, Bruce Pratt, and Wendy Rapaport, who will each read a Millay poem along with their own poetry.

The evening will begin with Ellis and Bachofner discussing Millay’s love poems and letters, including her long sonnet sequence in “Fatal Interview,” which combines passages of highly romantic language with passages of direct, unadorned language defining a powerful, creative self.

Mt. Desert Island poet Christian Barter is the author of two poetry collections, most recently “In Someone Else’s House.” The poems in his latest volume reflect his Hancock County roots and work as a trail crew supervisor at Acadia National Park. His first book, “The Singers I Prefer,” was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Prize. He is an editor for
“The Beloit Poetry Journal” and teaches at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor.

Rockland poet laureate, Carol Bachofner, draws on her Native American lineage (Abenaki) and the natural environs for inspiration. The author of five collections, most recently “Native Moons, Native Days," she is the founding editor of “Pulse Literary Journal,” in publication since 1997 and featuring new and emerging writers.

Bremen poet Eve Forti is the author of “Holding My Breath,” published by Finishing Line Press in 1912. Winner of the 2013 poetry prize from “Common Ground Review,” she competed on the Maine team at the 1994 National Poetry Finals in Asheville, North Carolina.

Bruce Pratt was nominated in 2008 for a Pushcart Award in fiction, and his poetry collection, “Boreal,” is available from Antrim House Books. His short play “Electrolysis” was performed at the 2008 Maine Short Play Festival and included in the 2nd Annual Northern Writes Festival in Bangor. He teaches creative writing at the University of Maine.

Rockland poet Wendy Rapaport, a psychologist and professor at the University of Maine and University of Miami Medical School, specializes in humor and health. Her first chapbook is titled “On the Couch with the Good Enough Poet.”

For more information or to make a reservation for dinner before the reading, call (207) 236-3391.
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