RANGELEY — On Sunday, Aug. 9, lovers of poetry and stories will gather at 6 p.m. on the lawn of the Ecopelagicon nature store to honor poet Hugh Ogden. Peggy Yocom of Rangeley, Jeff Titon of Little Deer Isle and Jo Radner of Lovell will present stories and poetry from “The Folklore Muse: Poetry Fiction, and Other Reflections by Folklorists.”

Put on by Ecopelagicon, at 7 Pond St., and the Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum, the event is free. Light refreshments will be served.

Members of the Ogden family will begin the evening by reading poems written by their father, who lived from 1937 to 2006. Community members are invited to read a poem by Ogden or one of their own about what meant so much to Ogden – the beauty and mystery of the world, especially Rangeley, and peace among all living things. A sign-up sheet will be available at the start of the evening.

Later, Yocom will read her poetry, which is anchored in the western mountains of Maine. Titon, a professor of ethnomusicology at Brown University and a longtime resident and contradance musician on Little Deer Isle, will read from his story “Percy.” Set on the Maine coast, it tells of the effects of well-meaning transplants on a Maine native and illustrates the law of unintended consequences.

Radner will share “Eccentricity,” a story about the many hilarious oddities of her great-great half-uncle, Horace Greeley Adams of Denmark. Retired from American University, Radner teaches storytelling and oral history workshops throughout Maine and New England.

Ogden first came to Rangeley in 1975 and built a camp on what his children now call Poet’s Island on Rangeley Lake. In his book “Turtle Island,” the “speakers” of most of the poems are particular Rangeley trees, either rooted by the side of Route 17 in local cemeteries or on Poet’s Island. He also wrote poems for local causes, such as the Rangeley Lake Heritage Trust’s stewardship of South Bog.

Ogden taught poetry at Trinity College from 1967 until his death. He also inspired budding poets in nursing homes, prisons and shelters. “He did this because he believed poetry could save lives,” said Pamela Nomura, coordinator for the Poetry Center at Trinity College.


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