The Whittier Home Museum and Tapestry of Voices invite you to its 20th annual collaborative readings from the poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier on Sunday, August 12 from 3-5:00 p.m. The poetry readings will take place in the Victorian garden of the Whittier Home Museum, 86 Friend Street, Amesbury.
2018 is the 350th anniversary of Amesbury, MA and this year’s readings will be devoted to Whittier’s poetry about its vast cultural heritage. From 1836 until his death in 1892, John Greenleaf Whittier lived and wrote most of his poetry and prose in his Amesbury, MA home. Samuel Francis Smith, author, minister and friend wrote, “Mr. Whittier admired nature as he saw in it the landscapes which surrounded his several homes, the rolling green hills of Haverhill and Bradford, the mighty trees of Oak Knoll, the flowing stream and graceful curves of the Merrimack; the sober and quiet graces of Amesbury; and with his pen he stamped upon them immortality.”
Chris Bryant, president of the Whittier Home and Harris Gardner, co-founder of the poetry organization Tapestry of Voices from Boston, will kick-off the 20th annual poetry event with a warm welcome, a brief history of its readings, and introductions to readers.
Mayor Ken Gray will read Whittier’s poem, “The River Path.” The scene of this poem is Pleasant Valley in Amesbury, overlooking the Merrimac River.
Other luminaries include Lainie Senechal, 1st Poet Laureate of Amesbury and Stephen R. Wagner, Poet Laureate of Amesbury. Local Whittier aficionados include Rhina P. Espaillat, Gus Reusch, Paulette Demers Turco, Priscilla Turner Spada, Deb Szabo, and Toni Treadway. Chris Bryant and Harris Gardner will also read poems by Whittier.
Lainie Senechal, co-founder of Tapestry of Voices, will introduce the winners of the 2018 Gathering of Verses poetry contest, co-sponsored by the Amesbury Cultural Council and the Whittier Home. Lindsey Hunt, 1st place, will read her original poem, “Old Religion” and Andrea Samuelson, 3rd place, will read “Autumn Dance.”
An informal reception will follow the readings and light refreshments will be served. The Tapestry of Voices reading, free and open to the public, will take place in the garden at the Whittier Home. In case of inclement weather, the program will be held in the Whittier Home’s meeting room. For information, call Harris Gardner, (617) 306-9484 or Chris Bryant at (978) 388-8888.
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About the Whittier Home
The mission of the Whittier Home Association is to act as steward for the preservation of the collections, structures and grounds of this John Greenleaf Whittier Home. As a nonprofit, educational organization, it strives to engage diverse audiences in the life-story of Whittier in his roles as a Quaker, writer, legislator and abolitionist. Open May 1 through October 31, Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and by special appointment: (978) 388-1337. Visit our website for more information, www.whittierhome.org