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Women of Vision Program: Poetry & Pops—A Student Reading of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Renascence”

August 24 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm

Berenice Abbot, Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1930, Gelatin Silver print (DRY MOUNT) , 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

This event is free, and no registration is required, however there is a charge to enter the park.

Join us for a popsicle atop Mt. Battie during this special program honoring 2021 Woman of Vision Edna St. Vincent Millay. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at the top of Mt. Battie, in Camden, at 12 noon, and will feature popsicles and a recital by Camden Hills High School students of Millay’s poem “Renascence”.  The Pulitzer Prize winning poet was born in Rockland, and raised in Camden, Maine.

It was in 1911 that Edna St. Vincent Millay entered the long poem “Renascence”—107 rhyming couplets describing a life-altering spiritual awakening—in a poetry contest under the name “E. Vincent Millay.”  Though the poem didn’t win, she recited “Renascence” that summer to guests at Camden’s Whitehall Inn. One guest, Caroline Dow, the head of the YWCA National Training School in New York, was so struck by the poem that she helped raise funds for Millay’s education at Vassar College.

During the event, Jennifer Munson, an English teacher at Camden Hills Regional High School, will talk about Millay’s life in Camden, and several students from Camden Hills, Millay’s Alma mater, will recite her poem “Renascence.”  Munson has done extensive research on Millay’s childhood writings, and has uncovered some new material.

“Millay grew up as an outsider in many ways”, commented Munson. “In her youth, Millay was desperately poor. Her mother worked as a traveling nurse, which took her away from home for days, sometimes weeks. Her father abandoned the family. But many of her conflicts centered on her identity. She wanted to be called Vincent, never Edna. And in her early poetry, which she wrote in high school, she clearly demonstrates her bisexual identity.”

”She is a powerful example of living your true self,” Munson continues, “because that is what she always did. She was authentically herself – a creative, educated, openly bisexual woman, who went by a name of her choosing 100 years ago.”

The program will take place at the summit of Mt. Battie, located in Camden Hills State Park, in Camden, Maine. Parking will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no charge for the event, however, park admission is required. Admission is free for Maine resident seniors 65 and older, and children under 5. Admission is $1 for children 5-11 years old. Admission is $4 for Maine resident adults, $6 for non-resident adults, and $2 for non-resident seniors. More information on the Camden Hills State Park is available here.

This event is free, and no registration is required, however there is a charge to enter the park.

280 Belfast Rd
Camden, Maine 04843 United States
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