PORTLAND – The Maine Humanities Council is looking for 20 Maine teachers in its effort to put Portland’s Henry Wadsworth Longfellow back in the classroom.

They are invited to apply for the two-year seminar, “Longfellow and the Forging of American Identity,” an initiative recently funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Starting July 20 to 25 at Bowdoin College, and continuing in July of 2004, the development program will focus on the life and times of a poet who was once the best known writer in the English-speaking world, but who today has virtually disappeared from academic study.

Led by Longfellow biographer Charles Calhoun, participants will work with original documents, visit sites Longfellow knew in Portland and greater Boston and meet with historians, literary scholars and contemporary poets. They will be given a stipend, room and board, texts, field trip costs and related materials.

The final product will be a “Longfellow in the Classroom” Web site, edited by the teachers as a module of the Maine Historical Society’s Maine Memory Network.

Any Maine teacher, grades three to 12, or school librarian is eligible to apply. Application deadline is June 9. To apply, visit the Maine Humanities Councils Web site, www.mainehumanities.org.

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