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Edna St. Vincent Millay: Balancing Grief & Renewal

February 21, 2021 @ 1:30 pm 2:30 pm

Berenice Abbot, Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1930, Gelatin Silver print, Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum, Gift of Mr. Ronald A. Kurtz, 1986.27.1
Berenice Abbot, Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1930, Gelatin Silver print (DRY MOUNT) , Gift of Mr. Ronald A. Kurtz, 1986.27.1

Online via Zoom 

Celebrate the 129th birthday of Pulitzer Prize poet Edna St. Vincent Millay with Maine poets reading letters and poems that focus on Millay’s exploration of loss and renewal. Poets will also read their own poems in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, personal loss, and the threat of global climate change.

 A hundred years ago, Millay began writing “Renascence” in 1911 when she was nineteen and caring for her ailing father in Kingman, Maine. “Renascence,” which moves between life and death and ends with a sense of hope and revival, was the first poem to catapult Millay to stardom, winning fourth place in The Lyric Year anthology in 1912. This year’s annual birthday reading will focus on Millay’s poems that mediate a balance between grief and renewal of hope, such as those from her third collection, Second Spring, that includes an elegy for Millay’s Vassar classmate who died from the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918.

Featured poets include: Kathleen Ellis, Host; Stuart Kestenbaum; François Amar; Carol Bachofner; Ellen Goldsmith; Annaliese Jakimides; Bria Lamonica; Gary Lawless; Kristen Lindquist; Claire Millikin; Wendy Satin Rapaport; and Elizabeth Tibbetts.

Prior to the readings, there will be an introduction to the life of Millay by Farnsworth curator, Jane Bianco and an illustrated presentation on the ongoing restoration of the Millay House, Millay’s childhood home located in Rockland, Maine.

This event is free and open to the public.