BRUNSWICK – Longfellow Days 2009, scheduled for Feb. 2-26, will examine how the nation’s foremost 19th-century poet promoted cross-cultural immersion – introducing American legends and traditions to European audiences, while exposing Americans to the literary heritage of Europe.

“Longfellow: Citizen of the World” will include lectures and presentations by noted historians and community members, film screenings, a house tour, devotions with dance and music and poetry readings.

Each event will tie in to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s life and extensive travels, friendships with authors around the world, work as a translator of literary works from many languages and literary pilgrimages. Programs are designed to engage families and further an interest in Brunswick’s cultural heritage.

Schedule of events

Sunday, Feb. 1

“Poets in the Community I” features readings by Maine poets Ted Bookey, Sheryl Hansen and Ed Gottfried. 1 p.m. Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library. Free.

Thursday, Feb. 5

“All Aboard” will feature noted Longfellow scholar and biographer Charles Calhoun and Frontier Cafe owner Michael Gilroy sharing travel tales. In “Travels with Henry,” Calhoun will discuss Longfellow’s explorations abroad. “Travels with Gil” will follow Gilroy’s personal path from Mongolia to Maine. Community members are invited to bring their own travel photos and writings to add to a monthlong participatory exhibit at Frontier Cafe. 6:30 p.m. Frontier Cafe, Fort Andross. Free.

Saturday, Feb. 7

The silent film “A Man There Was” will be screened. Based on an epic poem by Henrik Ibsen, who, like Longfellow, was well-traveled, the movie launched Sweden’s film tradition. Live accompaniment will be provided by Doug Protsik. 11 a.m. Eveningstar Cinema, Tontine Mall. Admission: $8.

Sunday, Feb. 8

“Poets in the Community II” features readings by poets affiliated with Moonpie Press: Jim Mello, Alice Persons and Jim Glenn Thatcher. 1 p.m. Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library. Free.

Thursday, Feb. 12

“U.S. Trade in Longfellow’s Time and Now,” a lecture by Stephen Meardon, economics historian and Bowdoin College assistant professor of economics. The talk will recall how Longfellow debated international trade and foreign affairs as a Bowdoin student, and reflect on trade policy of both the 1820s and today. 4 p.m. Daggett Lounge, Thorne Hall, Bowdoin College. Free.

Sunday, Feb. 15

“Poets in the Community III” features readings by Maine poets Herb Coursen, Anne Oleson and Joyce Pye. 1 p.m. Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library. Free.

Wednesday, Feb. 18

“The Translator’s Art” will feature foreign language faculty from Bowdoin and Bates colleges discussing the sophistication, cultural sensitivity, facility, and eloquence required of translators. Morrell Room, Curtis Memorial Library. (Winter Wisdom Lecture.) Free.

Saturday, Feb. 21

“Sophisticates Abroad” is a reader’s theater performance drawn from memoirs and letters of literary travelers of Longfellow’s time, including Flaubert, Byron, Mark Twain, and others. The performance features writer and Bowdoin graduate Amy E. Waterman. Two performances: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Theater Project, School Street. A suggested donation of $10 will benefit The Theater Project and Longfellow Days.

Sunday, Feb. 22

“Tour Longfellow’s Home,” courtesy of the Pejepscot Historical Society. Noon to 3 p.m. Joshua Chamberlain Museum, Maine and Potter streets. Free.

Sunday, Feb. 22

“Chapel Concert” featuring the Bowdoin Brass Ensemble, Moving Spirit Dance, organist Ann Hertzler and others performing music and movement with themes of world peace. 3 p.m. Chapel, Bowdoin College. Offering will benefit Longfellow Days.

Thursday, Feb. 26

“Bon Voyage,” the Longfellow Days finale, features award-winning National Geographic photojournalist David McLain and others sharing tales of travel adventures. The community is invited to dress in international attire. 6:30 p.m. Frontier Cafe, Fort Andross. Suggested donation of $5 benefits Longfellow Days.

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

For more information call (207) 729-4439.


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