By Whitehall Inn | Sep 11, 2012

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the "discovery" of Edna St. Vincent Millay has made for a joyous summer for Camden and The Whitehall Inn.

Millay was one of the most popular American poets during the 1920s and 1930s, writing plays and operas in addition to her poetry. She symbolized the liberated woman of the Jazz Age, and British writer Thomas Hardy famously named skyscrapers and Edna St. Vincent Millay as the two wonders of America. During the Depression, new volumes of her poems sold up to 20,000 copies in the first months of publication.

The Historic Whitehall Inn will host two events on Wednesday, Sept. 10, to wrap up the Centenial celebration.

Wednesday afternoon, Kathleen Ellis will host a guided walk to local Millay sites, all within five blocks of the Whitehall Inn. The walk begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Millay Room at the Inn.

Wednesday Evening at 7:00 p.m., four Maine poets and a chemist will read, discuss, and reappraise the life, poems, and translations of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay, for the final event of the Millay Anniversary Celebration.

The presentation, “Rediscover Millay,” features poet Arielle Greenberg, who is the author of several poetry collections, including “My Kafka Century” and “Given,” and co-editor of four poetry anthologies. She will speak about Millay’s legacy of frankness and candid writing as it appears in contemporary women’s writing.

Greenberg lives in Belfast, and she is currently editing an anthology of contemporary poetry on girlhood and she is editor of a college reader, “Youth Subcultures: Exploring underground America.” Her poems and creative nonfiction have been widely published.

Joining Greenberg for the finale of the summer-long Millay series are host Kathleen Ellis, poets Carl Little and Annie Finch, and chemist Francois Amar, who will discuss Millay’s French translations.This summer’s Millay Anniversary Celebration has marked the 100th anniversary of the “discovery” of the poet on August 29, 1912, when Millay recited “Renascence” at the Whitehall Inn and a New York City guest became her patron.

Millay’s sassy and flamboyant poems of the 1920s earned her reputation as a Greenwich Village flapper and poet of a new generation of American women. The Whitehall presentation will consider her early stance of cool indifference in her early love poems, as well as, the enlarged scope of her later work, which linked feminism and social protest, as a sign of her artistic maturity.

Admission for the presentation is free, and refreshments will be served.

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