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Humanities on Demand

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The Maine Humanities Council podcast includes readings, lectures, interviews, and other programs sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council and partners like the Portland Public Library. The audio files on this page can be downloaded to your computer or to a media player such as an iPod. For more information on downloading and playing the files, as well as instructions for subscribing to the podcast, see our audio FAQ. If you are interested in finding other audio programming from Maine, see our list of links. This project is supported by a special Digital Humanities Start-Up grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. If you have any questions, please contact Brita Zitin at (207) 773-5051.

Stonecoast

Readings and workshops from the low-residency MFA program in creative writing at the University of Southern Maine

 
Colin Sargent

Colin Sargent

posted: 12 January 2009

Colin Sargent is a playwright and author of three books of poetry. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he earned a Stonecoast MFA in creative writing and was awarded the Maine individual artist fellowship in literature. His screenplay “Montebello Ice” is under option at Gideon Films. Sargent is founding editor and publisher of award-winning Portland Magazine, as well as a board member of the literacy organization Maine Reads. As a guest reader for the Stonecoast program, he read from his first novel, Museum of Human Beings. Stonecoast alumnus and faculty member Jaed Coffin introduced the reading.

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This reading took place in Freeport, Maine, during the winter residency of the Stonecoast MFA program in January, 2009. The audio on the left is about thirty-six minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 34,784 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Colin Sargent podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Alison Hawthorne Deming

Alison Hawthorne Deming

posted: 8 August 2008

Alison Hawthorne Deming is the author of three books of poetry, three nonfiction books, and two limited-edition chapbooks. Her place-based writing has earned her fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown , the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the Tucson/Pima Arts Council; as well as many awards, including the Bayer Award in science writing from Creative Nonfiction for the essay “Poetry and Science: A View from the Divide.” Deming was born and raised in Connecticut, but currently lives near Aqua Caliente Hill in Tucson, where she serves as Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona. Here, she is introduced by Stonecoast faculty member Barbara Hurd.

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This reading took place in Brunswick, Maine, during the summer residency of the Stonecoast MFA program in July, 2008. The audio on the left is about thirty-four minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 32,535 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Alison Hawthorne Deming podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Nalo Hopkinson

Nalo Hopkinson

posted: 8 August 2008

Nalo Hopkinson is one of the world’s best known fantasy and science fiction writers. She is the author of four novels (most recently The New Moon’s Arms, Warner, 2007) and numerous short stories, and editor or co-editor of several anthologies, including So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Visions of the Future (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004). Hopkinson was born in Jamaica and lived in the Caribbean until the age of 17, when her family moved to Toronto. Here, she is introduced by fellow science fiction writer Michaela Roessner Herman.

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This reading took place in Brunswick, Maine, during the summer residency of the Stonecoast MFA program in July, 2008. The audio on the left is about thirty-one minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 29,649 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Nalo Hopkinson podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Shara McCallum

Shara McCallum

posted: 19 June 2008

Shara McCallum is the author of two poetry collections, The Water Between Us (University of Pittsburgh, 1999, winner of the 1998 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize) and Song of Thieves (University of Pittsburgh, 2003). McCallum was born in Jamaica, where she lived until she was nine with Afro-Jamaican and Venezuelan parents. She directs the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University. Here, she is introduced by fellow poet Charles Martin.

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This reading took place in Freeport, Maine, during the winter residency of the Stonecoast MFA program in January, 2008. The audio on the left is about twenty-nine minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 28,117 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Shara McCallum podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Lewis Robinson

Lewis Robinson

posted: 19 June 2008

Lewis Robinson is the author of Officer Friendly and Other Stories and the forthcoming novel Water Dogs, due out from Random House in January 2009. A graduate of Middlebury College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he is the winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award and a PEN/Oakland-Josephine Miles Award. Here, he is introduced by fellow fiction faculty member Lesléa Newman.

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This reading took place in Freeport, Maine, during the winter residency of the Stonecoast MFA program in January, 2008. The audio on the left is about twenty-five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 23,914 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Lewis Robinson podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Gary Lawless

Art for Justice: Using Writing to Create Social Change

posted: 29 May 2008

Jennifer Hodsdon, a 2008 graduate of the Stonecoast program who now coordinates the Maine SpeakOut Project, led this discussion of some of the rewards and challenges that come from using writing as a transformative exercise to effect social change. The panelists were three Maine-based writer-activists—Gary Lawless (pictured at right), Cathy Plourde, and Chiara Liberatore—whose experiences range from writing workshops with homeless youth, veterans, and immigrant populations to theatrical performance with incarcerated youth and adults. You may have seen Lawless at Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, which he co-founded in 1979. Plourde founded Add Verb Productions, and co-wrote that organization’s play “When Turtles Make Love: Real Talk Between Parents and Teens” with Liberatore.

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This panel discussion took place in Freeport, Maine, during the winter residency of the Stonecoast MFA program in January, 2008. The audio on the left is about sixty-three minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 60,932 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Art for Justice podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Penelope Schwartz Robinson

posted: 8 April 2008

Penelope Schwartz Robinson, a 2004 Stonecoast graduate in Creative Nonfiction, won the first Stonecoast Book Award for her essay collection Slippery Men. She received an honorarium and a publishing contract with New Rivers Press, a teaching press at Minnesota State University, Morehead. Slippery Men will be published and distributed nationally in the fall of 2008. Robinson’s work has already appeared in Ascent, Willow Springs, Fourth Genre, and River Teeth, among others. At this reading, Robinson, who currently teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Maine, Farmington, was introduced by finalist judge Katha Pollitt.

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This reading took place in Freeport, Maine, during the winter residency of the Stonecoast MFA program in January, 2008. The audio on the left is about twenty-four minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 22,727 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Penelope Schwartz Robinson podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Cindy Williams Gutierrez

A Dialogue of Flower and Song

posted: 8 April 2008

“A Dialogue of Flower and Song” is a one-act play written by Stonecoast student Cindy Williams Gutiérrez and performed here by Bridget Madden, Elsa Colón, Julie Manon, Luis Luque, and Kathleen Clancy. Gerardo Calderón of Grupo Condor provides live pre-Columbian music. The play re-imagines a 15th century Aztec literary event, drawing together three women poets from different periods in Mexico’s history—pre-Conquest Tenochtitlan, colonial New Spain, and the current Mexican Diaspora. This recording begins with an introduction and acknowledgements from the playwright.


The play is a work-in-progress. If you would like to provide feedback as part of the development process, please email Cindy Williams Gutiérrez. All rights are reserved by the playwright. For permission to reproduce, perform or publish this work, please contact her via email or at (503) 631-4113.

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This reading took place in Freeport, Maine, during the winter residency of the Stonecoast MFA program in January, 2008. The audio on the left is about sixty-five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 62,925 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Flower and Song podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Charles Martin

Charles Martin

posted: 25 March 2008

Charles Martin is a renowned poet and translator. He is the author of six poetry collections, three of which have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His verse translation of Ovid”s Metamorphoses received the 2004 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets. In 2005, the American Academy of Arts and Letters honored him with the coveted Award for Literature. Martin lives in Manhattan and teaches at CUNY and Syracuse University. Here at Stonecoast, he is introduced by Patricia Smith.

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This reading took place in Freeport, Maine, during the winter residency of the Stonecoast MFA program in January, 2008. The audio on the left is about thirty-three minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 31,690 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Charles Martin podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones

posted: 25 March 2008

Tayari Jones was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia where she spent most of her childhood with the exception of the one year she and her family spent in Nigeria, West Africa. As a visiting writer at Stonecoast, Jones read from her newer novel, The Untelling (Warner, 2005). Her debut novel, Leaving Atlanta (Warner, 2002), won the Hurston/Wright Award for Debut Fiction. Currently, Jones is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers-Newark University. She is introduced by poet Tim Seibles.

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This reading took place in Freeport, Maine, during the winter residency of the Stonecoast MFA program in January, 2008. The audio on the left is about twenty-nine minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 28,036 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Tayari Jones podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Stonecoast Faculty Flash Readings

posted: 27 February 2008

One of the highlights of each 10-day residency in the Stonecoast MFA program is the “flash reading” by faculty members. Each writer gets three minutes in which to share his or her work before introducing the next writer in the queue. We have made a special page for these recordings, all between three and ten minutes long, which you can access here.

We welcome your feedback on this Stonecoast podcast. You can leave a comment here.

The Gift

The Place of Poetry

posted: 22 February 2008

Maine poets Annie Finch and Baron Wormser led students and fellow Stonecoast faculty members in this wide-ranging conversation about the place of poetry. They based their discussion on two books: The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde and The Song of the Earth by Jonathan Bate.

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This workshop took place in Freeport, Maine, during the winter residency of the Stonecoast MFA program in January, 2008. The audio on the left is about sixty-seven minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 64,377 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Place of Poetry podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Programs for Teachers

Professional Development Programs created especially for educators

 
Rachel Sturman

India and Pakistan: The History Behind the Headlines

posted: 12 January 2009

The goal of this day-long program was to provide an introduction to the complex web of politics, culture, and religion that has made South Asia both a volatile area and an emerging power. Rachel Sturman, Assistant Professor of History and Asian Studies at Bowdoin College, was the featured scholar. The recording is offered here in two parts: an overview from the beginning of the day and a question-and-answer session from the end.

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India and Pakistan: The History Behind the Headlines took place on December 4, 2008, in Brunswick, Maine. The audio for Part 1 is about sixty-five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 62,379 Kb. Part 2 is about forty-eight minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 46,321 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this teacher program podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Patrick Rael

Vietnam in the Context of the American Way of War

posted: 26 August 2008

Patrick Rael is Associate Professor of History at Bowdoin College. His areas of interest include antebellum America, Civil War and Reconstruction, and comparative slavery. Among other publications, he has edited a volume of scholarship on African-American Activism Before the Civil War (Routledge, 2008). In this talk, Rael places the Vietnam conflict in a continuum of U.S. military engagements, considering the impacts of war on society, and vice versa.

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This talk was part of the 2008 Teaching American History teacher program in Brunswick, Maine. The audio on the left is about sixty-six minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 66,289 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Teaching American History podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Charles Calhoun

Why Are Some Biographies So Good?

posted: 16 July 2008

Charles Calhoun is Scholar in Residence at the Maine Humanities Council. He is the author of Longfellow: A Rediscovered Life (2004), A Small College in Maine: 200 Years of Bowdoin (1993), and the volume on Maine in the Compass American Guide Series (4th ed., 2005). Born in Monroe, Louisiana, he studied history at the University of Virginia and law at Christ Church, Oxford. In this talk, Calhoun identifies storytelling techniques (such as suspense, fulfillment, gratification, and apt quotation) that biographers can adopt in their own writing. With input from Teaching American History Through Biography participants, he analyzes passages from three contemporary biographies—Claire Tomalin’s Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, Blanche Wiesen Cook’s Eleanor Roosevelt, Vol. 1: 1884-1933, and Peter Guralnick’s Searching for Robert Thompson—for examples of these techniques.

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This talk was part of the 2008 Teaching American History teacher program in Brunswick, Maine. The audio on the left is about sixty-nine minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 66,048 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Teaching American History podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Nancy Riley

Family and Gender in Contemporary China

posted: 16 July 2008

Nancy Riley is a professor of sociology at Bowdoin College whose work focuses on family, gender and population, and China. She has completed years of research in Dalian on the family lives of women factory workers, and taken groups of students (and one group of faculty) to Asia with the support of the Freeman Foundation. Publications include (with James McCarthy) Demography in the Age of the Postmodern (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and “Challenging Demography: Contributions from Feminist Theory” (Sociological Forum, 1999). In de-mystifying cultural practices such as foot binding and arranged marriage, Riley explains how she encourages students to get beyond the assumptions they’ve made about women in China.

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This talk was part of the 2008 Views of the East teacher program in Brunswick, Maine. The audio on the left is about sixty-six minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 63,809 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Views of the East podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Kids and Parents

Programming for children and families from the Maine Humanities Council and other organizations

 
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat book cover

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat

posted: 21 November 2008

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell, illustrated by Jonathan Bean (Henry Holt, 2007), is intended for children ages 8-12, but its whimsy and wit broaden its appeal. The novel was chosen as one of School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2007, and now it’s a contender for a Maine Student Book Award in 2008-09. Here, school librarian Connie Burns introduces the story and reads the first chapter aloud. You can find the book, or a complete professional recording by Full Cast Audio, at your library.

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The audio on the left is about eighteen minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 16,962 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this book talk. You can leave a comment here.

Children’s author Ying Chang Compestine

Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party

posted: 21 November 2008

Another contender for a Maine Student Book Award in 2008-09 is Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party (Random House, 2007) by Ying Chang Compestine (pictured at right). This novel about life in China during the Cultural Revolution is based on the author’s own experiences. The first chapter from the audiobook, performed by Jodi Long and published by Listening Library (an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group), is excerpted here. South Portland school librarian Connie Burns introduces the excerpt, then previews the rest of the story and explains how you can get involved with the Maine Student Book Awards.

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The audio on the left is about twenty-one minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 20,682 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this book talk. You can leave a comment here.

Children’s author Carolyn Marsden

A Librarian’s Introduction to Moon Runner

posted: 06 October 2008

School librarian Connie Burns of South Portland is a steadfast supporter of the Maine Student Book Award program. Here, she presents one of the books on the list of contenders from the 2006-07 school year: Moon Runner (Candlewick, 2005) by Carolyn Marsden (pictured at right). After Connie introduces the main character, Mina, then previews the story and reads the first chapter, it’ll be hard to resist finding a copy of the book at your library and reading the rest.

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The audio on the left is about fourteen minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 13,548 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this book talk. You can leave a comment here.

Cynthia Voigt

Children’s Authors at the Blue Hill Library

posted: 06 October 2008

Maine is home to many children’s authors and illustrators. Fans are usually only fortunate enough to see one at a time, but in July 2008, three of the best-known—Cynthia Voigt, Ruth Freeman Swain, and Rebekah Raye—appeared together at the Blue Hill Library. In this recording, they are introduced by Brook Ewing Minner, the library’s Assistant Director, who then leads a lively conversation among the writers and artists and their audience. (For an interview with Cynthia Voigt, pictured at right, by Maine Humanities Council facilitator Annaliese Jakimides, see this Bangor Metro site.)

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The audio on the left is about sixty-one minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 58,940 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this event. You can leave a comment here.

Thanks to the Animals book cover

A Conversation about Thanks to the Animals

posted: 25 July 2008

When the Born to Read program selected books for its anti-bias initiative, Many Eyes, Many Voices, there was a distressing gap in the field of contenders: a suitable children’s book about Maine Native Americans. The few titles available were either too stereotypical or too distant—tales populated by warriors with headresses, or set amidst Plains buffalo or Southwest deserts. That changed in 2005, when Tilbury House publishers in Gardiner, Maine, published Thanks to the Animals by Passamaquoddy storyteller Allen Sockabasin. Born to Read Program Officer Brita Zitin sat down with Sockabasin and his editor, Audrey Maynard, to talk about the story behind this important book. To learn more about Sockabasin, see this newsletter article.

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The audio on the left is about thirty-two minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 30,372 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this book conversation. You can leave a comment here.

Kiss Good Night

Kiss Good Night

posted: 25 July 2008

This is the first book that author Amy Hest wrote about the bear named Sam, a character inspired by her own son, Sam. Here, the book is read aloud by Rachel Davis, children’s librarian at the Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth. Rachel then teaches two fingerplays about kisses.

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Text copyright 2001 by Amy Hest. Illustrations copyright 2001 by Anita Jeram. Reproduced by permission of Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA. The audio on the left is about four minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 3,781 Kb. We welcome your feedback on any of Rachel Davis’s readings. You can leave a comment here.

Baby Brains

Baby Brains

posted: 25 July 2008

Here’s a funny book by British author Simon James, read aloud by Rachel Davis, children’s librarian at the Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth. After she reads the book, Rachel teaches a fingerplay called “The Baby Grows” and a poem called “Bend and Stretch.”

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Text and illustrations copyright 2004 by Simon James. Reproduced by permission of Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA. The audio on the left is about five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 4,726 Kb. We welcome your feedback on any of Rachel Davis’s readings. You can leave a comment here.

You Can Do It, Sam

You Can Do It, Sam

posted: 25 July 2008

Amy Hest’s third book about the bear named Sam is read aloud by Rachel Davis, children’s librarian at the Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth. Rachel then teaches two fingerplays that you can do after you read the book.

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Text copyright 2003 by Amy Hest. Illustrations copyright 2003 by Anita Jeram. Reproduced by permission of Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA. The audio on the left is about five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 4,979 Kb. We welcome your feedback on any of Rachel Davis’s readings. You can leave a comment here.

Sleep Tight, Little Bear

Sleep Tight, Little Bear

posted: 25 July 2008

Here is another story by Martin Waddell about Little Bear and Big Bear. It is read aloud by Rachel Davis, children’s librarian at the Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth. Then Rachel shares two fingerplays.

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Text copyright 2005 by Martin Waddell. Illustrations copyright 2005 by Anita Jeram. Reproduced by permission of Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA, on behalf of Walker Books Ltd., London. The audio on the left is about five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 4,895 Kb. We welcome your feedback on any of Rachel Davis’s readings. You can leave a comment here.

Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear?

Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear?

posted: 6 June 2008

Owl Babies is not the only bedtime book by Martin Waddell. He also wrote this book about a bear who cannot fall asleep. Amy Hand, children’s librarian at the Camden Public Library, reads the story aloud, then shares two rhymes and a song about the night sky.

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Text copyright 1988 by Martin Waddell. Illustrations copyright 1988 by Anita Jeram. Reproduced by permission of Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA, on behalf of Walker Books Ltd., London. The audio on the left is about nine minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 8,928 Kb. We welcome your feedback on any of Amy Hand’s readings. You can leave a comment here.

Don’t You Feel Well, Sam?

Don’t You Feel Well, Sam?

posted: 6 June 2008

Here is one of Amy Hest’s popular books about a bear named Sam, read aloud by Amy Hand, children’s librarian at the Camden Public Library.

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Text copyright 2002 by Amy Hest. Illustrations copyright 2002 by Anita Jeram. Reproduced by permission of Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA. The audio on the left is about four minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 4,275 Kb. We welcome your feedback on any of Amy Hand’s readings. You can leave a comment here.

In the Rain With Baby Duck

In the Rain With Baby Duck

posted: 6 June 2008

Amy Hest is the author of this book about a duck who learns to love the rain. Here is Amy Hand, children’s librarian at the Camden Public Library, reading the book aloud and sharing a rhyme and two songs. For more children’s books about rain, see this Born to Read booklist.

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Text copyright 1995 by Amy Hest. Illustrations copyright 1995 by Jill Barton. Reproduced by permission of Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA. The audio on the left is about four minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 4,719 Kb. We welcome your feedback on any of Amy Hand’s readings. You can leave a comment here.

Jody Fein

Peaceable Stories with Jody Fein

posted: 29 May 2008

Storyteller Jody Fein visited the East End Community School in Portland on May 15, 2008, to tell stories to the Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade. She selected the stories “Abiyoyo,” “Stone Soup,” and “The Wind and the Sun,” all of which tie into the Born to Read initiative Peaceable Stories. This event was part of the Maine Festival of the Book. Audio recordings of other Festival events are on the MPBN website.

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The audio on the left is about twenty-three minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 22,096 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Jody Fein podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Only Joking! Laughed the Lobster

“Only Joking!” Laughed the Lobster

posted: 2 May 2008

Colin West is a prolific British author who writes nonsense verse and humorous books, such as this one, about a lobster who takes his joking one step too far. Rachel Davis, children’s librarian at the Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth, reads the book aloud and then teaches two fingerplays about the ocean.

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Copyright 1995 by Colin West. Reproduced by permission of Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA, on behalf of Walker Books Ltd., London. The audio on the left is about three minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 2,816 Kb. We welcome your feedback on any of Rachel Davis’s readings. You can leave a comment here.

Oliver Finds His Way

Oliver Finds His Way

posted: 2 May 2008

While walking through the woods in autumn, Oliver chases a leaf and gets separated from his parents. This is the story of how he finds them again. It is read aloud by Rachel Davis, children’s librarian at the Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth, who then shares two fingerplays about leaves.

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Text copyright 2002 by Phyllis Root. Illustrations copyright 2002 by Christopher Denise. Reproduced by permission of Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA. The audio on the left is about three minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 3,153 Kb. We welcome your feedback on any of Rachel Davis’s readings. You can leave a comment here.

Cowboy Baby

Cowboy Baby

posted: 2 May 2008

This bedtime story by Sue Heap is set in the Wild West. As Rachel Davis, children’s librarian at the Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth, reads the book aloud, you can follow along in your own copy or a copy borrowed from the library. Then, listen to some fingerplays about cowboys.

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Copyright 1998 by Sue Heap. Reproduced by permission of Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA, on behalf of Walker Books Ltd., London. The audio on the left is about four minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 4,209 Kb. We welcome your feedback on any of Rachel Davis’s readings. You can leave a comment here.

Pam Beliveau

Sharing Stories with Pamella Beliveau

posted: 11 April 2008

Storyteller Pamella Beliveau has performed for children of all ages at libraries, schools, festivals and other children’s events throughout Maine and New England. She has created early childhood literacy programs at public libraries, done residency work at schools throughout the state, and been recognized by the Maine Arts Commission for her quality storytelling programs. Here, she shares stories with a group of toddlers and preschoolers, then talks with their parents and caregivers about the strategies she has used.

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This storytelling performance took place at a Born to Read family literacy event in September 2006. During the program, Beliveau reads Buz, copyright 1995 by Richard Egieslki, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, used with permission of Sheldon Fogelman Agency, Inc. She also reads from The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone, copyright 1973 by Paul Galdone, used by permission of Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved. The audio on the left is about thirty minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 28,811 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Pamella Beliveau podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Little Beaver and the Echo book cover

Little Beaver and the Echo

posted: 17 March 2008

Amy MacDonald is a children’s book author who lives in Maine. The Portland Stage Company Affiliate Artists have created staged readings of three of Amy’s picture books, with different actors playing different characters. With Amy’s permission, their performance of her very first picture book, Little Beaver and the Echo, is available here.

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This performance took place at a Portland Stage Company Open House on January 12, 2008. The audio on the left is about four minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 4,113 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Amy MacDonald podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Please, Malese book cover

Please, Malese!

posted: 17 March 2008

Amy MacDonald is a children’s book author who lives in Maine. The Portland Stage Company Affiliate Artists have created staged readings of three of Amy’s picture books, with different actors playing different characters. With Amy’s permission, their performance of Please, Malese!, a trickster tale from Haiti, is available here.

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This performance took place at a Portland Stage Company Open House on January 12, 2008. The audio on the left is about ten minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 9,564 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Amy MacDonald podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Rachel Fister book cover

Rachel Fister’s Blister

posted: 17 March 2008

Amy MacDonald is a children’s book author who lives in Maine. The Portland Stage Company Affiliate Artists have created staged readings of three of Amy’s picture books, with different actors playing different characters. With Amy’s permission, their performance of Rachel Fister’s Blister is available here.

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This performance took place at a Portland Stage Company Open House on January 12, 2008. The audio on the left is about three minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 3,004 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Amy MacDonald podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Maria Testa

A Tale of Three Cities

posted: 17 March 2008

Author Maria Testa combines readings from her book for young adults, Something About America, with discussion of events in Lewiston and Kosovo that inspired the story.

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This presentation took place at the Portland Public Library. The audio on the left is about twenty minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 19,804 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Maria Testa podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Owl Babies

Owl Babies

posted: 17 March 2008

In this picture book by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Patrick Benson, three baby owls whose mother has gone out into the night try to stay calm until she returns. As Vicky Smith, editor of children’s book reviews for Kirkus, reads the book aloud, you can follow along in your own copy or a copy borrowed from the library.

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Text copyright 1992 by Martin Waddell. Illustrations copyright 1992 by Patrick Benson. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA, on behalf of Walker Books Ltd., London. The audio on the left is about two and a half minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 2,417 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Owl Babies podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Vicky Smith

Introduction to Early Literacy

posted: 17 March 2008

Vicky Smith is the former director and children’s librarian at the McArthur Public Library in Biddeford. She is now the editor of children’s book reviews for Kirkus. She has been active in the Public Library Association’s early literacy program, Every Child Ready to Read, as well as the Council’s own Born to Read program. Drawing on all of her experience, Vicky offers this brief introduction to early literacy skills for parents and other caregivers.

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The audio on the left is about seven minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 6,963 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this early literacy podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Maine Humanities Miscellany

Highlights from Council events, scholars, and grant projects

 
Blaine House

Blaine House Oral History

posted: 16 October 2008

The Blaine House is the Governor’s residence in Augusta, Maine. Historian Jo Radner interviewed some former residents and staff of the Blaine House on the occasion of its 175th anniversary. We have made a special page for the interviews she recorded, which you can access here.

We welcome your feedback on the Blaine House Oral History project. You can leave a comment here.

David Richards

Landscapes of Poland Spring

posted: 16 October 2008

David Richards earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of New Hampshire. His research for the 2006 book Poland Spring: A Tale of the Gilded Age (University Press of New England) forms the basis of this presentation at the Yarmouth Historical Society. Richards is the assistant director of the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan, Maine. He has also served as executive secretary of the Androscoggin Historical Society in Auburn, and curator of collections at the United Society of Shakers in New Gloucester.

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The audio on the left is about fifty-one minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 40,076 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Daniel Pearl

Beyond the Clash of Civilizations

posted: 22 September 2008

The 2008 Douglas M. Schair Memorial Lecture on Genocide and Human Rights was a dialogue for Muslim-Jewish understanding, presented in cooperation with the Islamic Society of Portland and the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine. The featured speakers were Judea Pearl and Akbar Ahmed. Pearl, a computer scientist from Israel, and Ahmed, a social scientist from Pakistan, share a concern about the deterioration of relationships between Muslim and Jewish communities around the world. They have become partners in a dialogue project in memory of Pearl’s son, journalist Daniel Pearl, under the auspices of the Daniel Pearl Foundation. Through their public dialogue, they aim to inspire ongoing conversations in the communities they visit that are similarly honest and respectful. They were recognized for this project in 2006, with the first annual Purpose Prize.

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The Schair Memorial Lecture took place at the University of Southern Maine in Portland on April 7, 2008. The audio on the left is about ninety-two minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 88,663 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Devil of Great Island cover

The Devil of Great Island

posted: 9 September 2008

Emerson ‘Tad’ Baker of York, Maine, is a former chair of the Maine Humanities Council. An author and Professor of History at Salem State College, he directs several archaelogical excavations in New England and also served, from 2002 until its premier in 2004, as a lead consulant for the Emmy-nominated PBS TV series, “Colonial House.” In August, 2008, Baker visited Cousins Island to read from his 2007 book, The Devil of Great Island: Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England. His appearance was sponsored by the Yarmouth Historical Society.

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The audio on the left is about fifty-one minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 48,707 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat

Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat

posted: 26 August 2008

Connie Burns is a school librarian in South Portland with a hidden passion: the lives of Victorian women. In pursuit of her passion, Burns researched Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat (1823-1908) for her Master’s thesis in the American and New England Studies program at the University of Southern Maine. Sweat is best remembered for her bequest of the mansion that would become the Portland Museum of Art, but she was also a published author and an influential member of Portland’s elite during her life. Here, Burns reads from Sweat’s diary and letters (held in the Maine Women Writer’s Collection) and discusses her role in Victorian society.

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The audio on the left is about thirty-seven minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 35,749 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Margaret Sweat podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Annaliese Jakimides

Annaliese Jakimides and A Coastal Companion

posted: 15 August 2008

A Coastal Companion: A Year in the Gulf of Maine, from Canada to Cape Cod (Tilbury House, 2008) is part field guide, part almanac; a celebration of the natural world that also highlights people who have chosen the Gulf of Maine as the setting for their life’s work. Poems by contemporary Maine poets open each chapter, and illustrations by two Maine artists, Kimberleigh Martul-March and Margaret Campbell, are featured throughout the text. Author Catherine Schmitt, a science writer for the Maine Sea Grant College Program, opens this reading with an excerpt from the book, then introduces contributor Annaliese Jakimides (pictured at right) for a poetry reading.

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This reading took place at Borders in South Portland on July 22, 2008. The audio on the left is about twenty-two minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 21,591 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Portland Freedom Trail logo

First Anniversary of the Portland Freedom Trail

posted: 15 August 2008

“Weaving History and Literature: the African American Oral and Written Tradition” brought five writers together to read from their work and discuss how African American history is revealed through storytelling and literature. The speakers were JerriAnne Boggis, founder and director of the Harriet Wilson Project; Kate Clifford Larson, biographer of Harriet Tubman; novelists Michael C. White and David Anthony Durham; and poet Patricia Smith. Biographies of the speakers are available here; download the walking tour map of the Portland Freedom Trail in PDF format here.

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This event was held at the Portland Museum of Art on July 11, 2008. The audio on the left is about ninety minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 85,806 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Helen K. Nearing

The Good Life of Helen K. Nearing

posted: 10 July 2008

For her doctoral dissertation in American history, scholar Mimi Killinger researched the life of homesteader and writer Helen Nearing. Her dissertation became the biography The Good Life of Helen K. Nearing (University of Vermont Press, 2007). Here, Killinger uncovers the roots of her project at the Good Life Center in Harborside, Maine, and reads excerpts from the biography. Killinger earned her Ph.D. from the University of Maine, where she is now Rezendes Preceptor for the Arts at the Honors College. The photo of Helen Nearing is courtesy of the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods.

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The audio on the left is about forty-four minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 42,858 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Helen Nearing podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Robert P. Tristram Coffin

Robert P. Tristram Coffin

posted: 10 July 2008

The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert P. Tristram Coffin (1892-1955) was a native Mainer, Bowdoin College graduate, and longtime Bowdoin faculty member. Though a popular writer and speaker in his time, his work is not widely known today. In this podcast episode, Kevin Belmonte, who recently completed a Master’s thesis on Coffin for the American and New England Studies program at the University of Southern Maine, considers why. In the process, he shares pieces of Coffin’s correspondence and, with permission from Coffin’s literary executor, reads three poems aloud. Kevin Belmonte is the author of William Wilberforce, A Hero for Humanity (Zondervan/HarperCollins, 2007), for which he received the John Pollock Award for Christian Biography, and has served as a script consultant for the BBC and PBS. He lives in York, Maine, where his family has resided since the 1630s.

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Permission to read Coffin’s poems was granted by the Estate of Robert P. Tristram Coffin. Photo courtesy of Kevin Belmonte. The audio on the left is about twenty-four minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 22,853 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Robert P. Tristram Coffin podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Victoria Mares-Hershey

“How Did You Get Here?”

posted: 2 May 2008

Playwright Victoria Mares-Hershey’s “How Did You Get Here?” gives voice to Africans in Maine, during the period of slavery and beyond, by giving audiences a sense of their everyday lives. This reading of the play’s first act was recorded on March 21, 2008, at the Museum of African Culture’s new location on Brown Street in Portland. Museum Director Oscar Mokeme welcomes the audience and architect Stephen Oliver introduces the show, then volunteer actors join with Mares-Hershey to perform the excerpt.

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The audio on the left is about thirty-two minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 30,475 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Victoria Mares-Hershey podcast. You can leave a comment here.

David Greenham

Taxing Maine

posted: 19 December 2007

Through different historical characters, humor, little known facts, and thought-provoking stories, Taxing Maine explores what taxes mean for Maine communities, the state government, the Maine landscape, and Mainers’ wallets. The performance, featuring David Greenham and Dennis A. Price from the Theater at Monmouth, encourages us to consider how history and a range of opinions and beliefs about taxes have influenced our current taxation system.

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The audio on the left is about twenty-nine minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 27,785 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Taxing Maine podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Wes McNair

Wesley McNair

posted: 05 November 2007

The Council sponsored a poetry reading by Wesley McNair at the State Street Church in Portland during the Fall of 2002. He was introduced by fellow Maine writer Cathie Pelletier. McNair has a long-standing relationship with the Council. He has led workshops for Maine teachers about using poetry in the classroom, and he granted an interview for our Fall 2001 newsletter.

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The audio on the left is about fifty minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 50,293 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Wes McNair podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Maine Writers Speak

Interviews with Maine authors by Charlotte Albright, re-released in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the Maine Humanities Council

 
Ashley Bryan

Ashley Bryan

posted: 6 June 2008

Born and raised in New York City, Ashley Bryan is another author “from away” who has found a home in Maine. Folklorist, writer, illustrator and performer, Bryan draws on African myths and tales, his own and others’ experience, and his literary, artistic and thespian talents to create children’s books (enjoyed by adults, too) and storytellings in schools and other venues, sometimes under the auspices of the Maine Humanities Council. (Read about his appearance at the 2005 Born to Read conference here). Bryan’s newest book is Let it Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals (Simon and Schuster, 2007).

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This interview with Ashley Bryan by Charlotte Albright was included on the Council’s 30th Anniversary CD, ‘Maine Writers Speak.’ The audio on the left is about ten minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 9,635 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Ashley Bryan podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Hannah Holmes

Hannah Holmes

posted: 4 March 2008

Hannah Holmes took a geology class at the University of Southern Maine that led to a career as a science writer, someone who turns the facts of science into stories, sometimes mysteries, with exciting plots and intriguing characters. She has toured the world for “Discovery,” making the complexities of science comprehensible, and scientists comprehensibly human as well. Much nearer home, she studied her backyard in Suburban Safari: A Year on the Lawn (Bloomsbury, 2005).

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This interview with Hannah Holmes by Charlotte Albright was included on the Council’s 30th Anniversary CD, ‘Maine Writers Speak.’ The audio on the left is about nine minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 8,649 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Hannah Holmes podcast. You can leave a comment here.

S. Corbett and M. Paterniti

Mike Paterniti and Sara Corbett

posted: 4 March 2008

Two journalists in one Portland household—and both write for the New York Times Magazine. Mike Paterniti and Sara Corbett are often away, however, laying the groundwork for their articles and books. Sometimes alone, as when Paterniti was Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain (Dell, 2000). (Read an excerpt from the book here.) Sometimes together, as when Corbett recounts her experience of learning Spanish in Spain, in “Learning the Lingua Franca” in Travel and Leisure. Paterniti has won National Magazine Awards for features and profiles; Corbett’s New York Times essay “The Permanent Scars of Iraq” has been widely discussed. Paterniti and Corbett are also co-founders of The Telling Room, a Portland-based writing center designed to nurture and encourage Maine’s next generation of writers.

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This interview with Sara Corbett and Mike Paterniti by Charlotte Albright was included on the Council’s 30th Anniversary CD, ‘Maine Writers Speak.’ The audio on the left is about eleven minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 10,627 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Maine Writers Speak podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Richard Ford

Richard Ford

posted: 3 January 2008

Born in Mississippi, educated in Michigan and California, a sometime resident of Montana and New Orleans, his Pulitzer Prize-winning Independence Day set in New Jersey, Richard Ford now lives in Maine. And he writes about it: “Charity,” in Contemporary Maine Fiction (Down East Books, 2005), for example, is about people from away who see the possibilities of Maine in very different ways. The considerable debate about whether Ford is a “Southern” or “ex-Southern” writer now has a new dimension, “Maine writer.”

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This interview with Richard Ford by Charlotte Albright was included on the Council’s 30th Anniversary CD, ‘Maine Writers Speak.’ The audio on the left is about thirteen minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 12,300 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Richard Ford podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Bill Roorbach

Bill Roorbach

posted: 16 November 2007

Like other writers interviewed for this series, Bill Roorbach has written about a very personal part of Maine. Temple Stream (Dell, 2005) considers the stream that borders the fields below his house in Farmington; it won the nonfiction Maine Literary Award. His stories and novels deal with equally real and natural people. And he produces “teacherly tomes” on memoirs, essays, and Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: The Art of Truth (Oxford University Press, 2001).

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This interview with Bill Roorbach by Charlotte Albright was included on the Council’s 30th Anniversary CD, ‘Maine Writers Speak.’ The audio on the left is about five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 5,114 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Bill Roorbach podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Richard Russo

Richard Russo

posted: 05 November 2007

Richard Russo retired early from Colby College in order to write full-time. He has set several novels in New York and Pennsylvania, but given his fascination with decaying towns and their struggling inhabitants, he was bound to write of a Maine mill town sooner or later. Empire Falls (Knopf, 2001) won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize. It was followed by The Whore’s Child and Other Stories (Knopf, 2002). Russo’s newest book is The Bridge of Sighs (Knopf, 2007)

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This interview with Richard Russo by Charlotte Albright was included on the Council’s 30th Anniversary CD, ‘Maine Writers Speak.’ The audio on the left is about seven minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 7,1234 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Richard Russo podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Monica Wood

Monica Wood

posted: 22 October 2007

Monica Wood learned her craft early, growing up in a family of Irish Canadian storytellers and ballad singers in Mexico, Maine. Her short stories and novels are well known; the latest is Any Bitter Thing (Chronicle, 2005). She also writes for writers, on her website and in works like The Pocket Muse (F & W Publications, 2006). “The best advice I have for aspiring writers is to read, read, read. Read everybody.”

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This interview with Monica Wood by Charlotte Albright was included on the Council’s 30th Anniversary CD, ‘Maine Writers Speak.’ The audio on the left is about six minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 5,668 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Monica Wood podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Cathie Pelletier

Cathie Pelletier

posted: 08 October 2007

Now living in Tennessee, Cathie Pelletier remains a very Maine writer. Born here and educated at the University of Maine, she speaks in her novels, including most recently Running the Bulls (University Press of New England, 2005) of northern Maine. Pelletier also writes screenplays, poetry, and short stories. Writing as K. C. McKinnon, she has produced some of her most popular work, notably Dancing at the Harvest Moon (Doubleday, 1997).

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This interview with Cathie Pelletier by Charlotte Albright was included on the Council’s 30th Anniversary CD, ‘Maine Writers Speak.’ The audio on the left is about five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 4,824 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Cathie Pelletier podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Winter Weekend

The Council’s annual Winter Weekend seminar answers a deeply felt need among general readers to confront a challenging text in a group setting

 
Andrew Walkling

Dido’s Lament: Virgilian Epic and 17th Century English Opera

posted: 29 May 2008

Andrew Walkling is Dean’s Assistant Professor of Early Modern Studies at the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he teaches in the departments of art history, English, and theater and is affiliated with the faculties of history, music, and philosophy. He earned a Ph.D. in British history from Cornell. A Fellow of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, he works in an interdisciplinary field focusing on the courts of Charles II and James II (1660-88). He is writing a book entitled Masque and Opera in Restoration England. Two handouts accompanied his talk on 17th-century interpretations of the Aeneid. You can download them both in PDF format: Handout 1; Handout 2.

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This talk was part of the Winter Weekend seminar on Virgil’s Aeneid in March 2008. The audio on the left is about sixty minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 57,714 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Andrew Walkling podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Barbara Boyd

Translating Virgil

posted: 22 April 2008

Barbara Weiden Boyd is the Henry Winkley Professor of Latin and Greek at Bowdoin College, where she has taught since 1980. She earned her Ph.D. at Michigan and has written extensively on Latin literature, notably two books on the poet Ovid. In recent years she has prepared a series of school texts and teachers’ guides to Virgil’s Aeneid. She has also been a visiting professor twice at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. Her talk on translation relies on a handout, which you can download here in PDF format.

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This talk was part of the Winter Weekend seminar on Virgil’s Aeneid in March 2008. The audio on the left is about sixty minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 58,379 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Barbara Boyd podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Peter Aicher

The Rome of Augustus

posted: 17 April 2008

Peter Aicher is Professor of Classics at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, where he frequently teaches courses on Homer and Virgil, in translation and in Greek and Latin. He combines these literary interests with a fascination with the city of Rome, which has resulted in several books and numerous articles and talks. He recently designed a course entitled “The City of Rome: Romulus and Mussolini,” which explores how an architectural language of power has evolved and persisted over the millennia. This is only the first part of Professor Aicher’s talk. In the second part, he uses maps of Rome and the ancient world to show where the events described in the Aeneid took place. This part of the talk will be available soon on video.

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This talk was part of the Winter Weekend seminar on Virgil’s Aeneid in March 2008. The audio on the left is about sixty-two minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 58,858 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Peter Aicher podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Michael Putnam

Virgil and History

posted: 11 April 2008

Michael C. J. Putnam is MacMillan Professor of Classics and Professor of Comparative Literature at Brown University, where he has taught since 1961. Educated at Harvard, he has written 11 books on Latin literature and has edited four others. He is widely regarded as one of the leading interpreters of the work of Virgil. He has been closely associated with the American Academy in Rome for many years and is a summer resident of Rockport, Maine.

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This talk was part of the Winter Weekend seminar on Virgil’s Aeneid in March 2008. The audio on the left is about seventy-four minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 70,923 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Michael Putnam podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Portland Public Library

Lunchtime lectures, author appearances, and other events from the library

 
Eve LaPlante

Eve LaPlante

posted: 22 September 2008

Samuel Sewall, the only judge to publicly repent his decision to condemn twenty people to death as witches in 1692, is the subject of Eve LaPlante’s new biography, Salem Witch Judge: The Life and Repentance of Samuel Sewall (HarperOne, 2007). LaPlante counts Sewall as her sixth great-grandfather, a family connection that gave her access to rare documents not previously available. Using these papers, as well as Sewall’s extensive personal diaries and letters, she vividly recreates Sewall’s life and times. LaPlante is the author of two previous books, Seized (a multidisciplinary exploration of temporal lobe epilepsy) and American Jezebel (a biography of Anne Hutchinson), and essays for The Atlantic, the New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Gourmet, and Boston.

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This talk was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series. The audio on the left is about forty-four minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 41,988 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Eve LaPlante podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Linda Greenlaw

Linda Greenlaw

posted: 9 September 2008

Linda Greenlaw’s three books about life as a commercial fisherman—The Hungry Ocean (1999), The Lobster Chronicles (2002), and All Fishermen Are Liars (2004)—have climbed as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. Her first novel, Slipknot, began a mystery series whose second installment is Fisherman’s Bend (2008). Before becoming a writer, Greenlaw was the captain of a sword boat, the career that earned her a prominent role in Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm and a portrayal in the subsequent film. She now lives on Isle au Haut, where she captains a lobster boat.

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This talk was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series. The audio on the left is about thirty-one minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 30,069 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Linda Greenlaw podcast. You can leave a comment here.

book cover, Contentment Cove

Miriam Colwell

posted: 10 July 2008

Miriam Colwell was born in Prospect Harbor in 1917 and still lives in the house built by her great-great-grandfather in 1817. She is the author of Wind Off the Water (1945), Day of the Trumpet (1947), and Young (1955). As a small town resident and long-time postmistress, she has watched change upon change wash over the fabled coast for nearly nine decades. She explores those themes in her fourth novel, Contentment Cove (Islandport Press, 2008), which is set in a Down East coastal village in the 1950s, when social clashes and changing values were starting to tear at the fabric of Maine’s traditional way of life.

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This talk was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series. The audio on the left is about forty-three minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 40,866 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Miriam Colwell podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Neil Rolde

Neil Rolde

posted: 1 July 2008

Neil Rolde’s 2006 book, Continental Liar from the State of Maine, is a biography of James G. Blaine, the Maine politician who dominated the American political stage from just before the Civil War and almost until the twentieth century. A former Maine politician himself, Rolde is a prize-winning historian and author of Unsettled Past, Unsettled Future: The Story of Maine Indians; The Interrupted Forest: A History of Maine’s Wildlands; Maine, Down East and Different; and many other books. A former Board member of the Maine Humanities Council, Rolde won the Constance H. Carlson Public Humanities Prize in 2005.

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This talk was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series. The audio on the left is about fifty-five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 52,556 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Neil Rolde podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Jeff Shaara

Jeff Shaara

posted: 1 July 2008

The Steel Wave is the second novel in what will be a trilogy of World War II stories by Jeff Shaara, who has also written about the Civil War, the American Revolution, the Mexican War, and the first World War. Shaara is the son of the late Michael Shaara, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Killer Angels, and got his start as a novelist when he was asked to write both a sequel and a prequel to his father’s bestseller.

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This talk was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series. The audio on the left is about fifty minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 47,912 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Jeff Shaara podcast. You can leave a comment here.

David Kastan

Believing Shakespeare: Religion in Shakespeare’s World and in his Plays

posted: 29 May 2008

David Scott Kastan is the Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities and Chair of the English Department at Columbia University. He specializes in 16th- and 17th-century literature and culture, Shakespeare, and the history of the book. He is the first American to serve as General Editor of the Arden Shakespeare, and he also served as General Editor of the 5-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature, which was published in 2006. Kastan is presently working on a book called The Invention of English Literature, a project for which he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004.

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This talk was part of the Portland Public Library’s Poetry Festival in April, 2008. The audio on the left is about fifty-nine minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 57,054 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Poetry Festival podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Alice Persons

Moon Pie Press

posted: 13 May 2008

Alice N. Persons, founder of Moon Pie Press, is a sometime English teacher and an adjunct instructor of business law at the University of Southern Maine. A Maine resident since 1983, she volunteers for animal welfare organizations and also works with Port Veritas, a spoken word collective in Portland. Six of her poems have been featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac on NPR. Her first two chapbooks were Be Careful What You Wish For (2003) and Never Say Never (2004); in June 2007, Sheltering Pines Press published her third, Don't Be A Stranger.


Michael Macklin

Michael Macklin of Portland works as a carpenter, edits reviews for the Cafe Review, and dreams of spending time at the ancient monastery of the island of Sceilig Mhichil off the west coast of Ireland. He received his MFA from Vermont College. He has published poems in the Cafe Review, The Aurorean, Animus, Rattle and other journals, and several anthologies. He owes a great deal to the support of his wife Donna and his son Gabriel, a hip-hop DJ.


Kevin Sweeney

Kevin Sweeney has degrees from California (PA) State College and the University of Massachusetts. He is the chair of the English Department at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, where he has been for more than twenty years. He is a native of Pittsburgh and dreams of retiring someday to be an old gringo in Mexico, watching Steelers games via satellite. Kevin lives in South Portland with his wife and pets. He has been on a diet, with lapses, for 46 years.

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This reading was part of the Portland Public Library’s Poetry Festival in April, 2008. The audio on the left is about forty-five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 42,994 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Poetry Festival podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Annie Finch

Annie Finch and Patricia Hagge

posted: 13 May 2008

Patricia Hagge and Annie Finch opened the library’s 2008 Poetry Festival with this reading. Hagge earned her MFA from the Stonecoast MFA program. She serves on the boards of SPACE Gallery and The Telling Room. Finch, who directs the Stonecoast program, is a professor of English at the University of Southern Maine.

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This reading was part of the Portland Public Library’s Poetry Festival in April, 2008. The audio on the left is about forty-five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 43,576 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Poetry Festival podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Ford In Focus book cover

Ford In Focus

posted: 13 May 2008

Michael C. Connolly and Kevin Stoehr are the editors of John Ford in Focus, a collection of essays that offers a comprehensive examination of Ford’s life and career, revealing the frequent intersections between Ford’s personal life and artistic vision, including his roots in Portland. Stoehr is associate professor of humanities at Boston University and lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Connolly teaches History and Political Science at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. He is the author of They Change Their Sky: The Irish in Maine.

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This reading was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, sponsored by Martin’s Point Health Care. The audio on the left is about fifty-four minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 52,373 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this John Ford podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Martha Tod Dudman

Martha Tod Dudman

posted: 8 April 2008

Martha Tod Dudman’s first novel, Black Olives, turns her unflinching candor and sharp wit on reconstructing the end of a love affair. Dudman is the author of the powerful memoirs Augusta, Gone (which was adapted into an award-winning Lifetime Television movie) and Expecting to Fly. A professional fundraiser, Dudman lives in Northeast Harbor with her son and daughter. She has lived in Maine since 1975.

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This reading was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, sponsored by Martin’s Point Health Care. The audio on the left is about thirty-seven minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 35,456 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Martha Tod Dudman podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

posted: 8 April 2008

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas was nineteen when her father took his family to live among the Bushmen of the Kalahari. Fifty years later, after a life of writing and study, Thomas returns to her experiences in The Old Way: A Story of the First People. She recalls life with the Bushmen, one of the last hunter-gatherer societies on earth, and discovers among them an essential link to the origins of all human society. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas is the author of many books, including The Hidden Life of Dogs. She lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

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This reading was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, sponsored by Martin’s Point Health Care. The audio on the left is about fifty-two minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 50,079 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Elizabeth Marshall Thomas podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Bill Bushnell

William Bushnell

posted: 4 March 2008

In addition to reading books, we like to read about books, but few people know what book reviewers really do or how they do it. William Bushnell has been a professional book reviewer and freelance writer for thirteen years. He has more than 1,350 published pieces in thirty magazines and newspapers. He is professionally affiliated with the National Book Critics Circle and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, and he teaches a class on book reviewing at the University of Southern Maine. He lives in Harpswell, Maine. In conjunction with this talk, Bushnell compiled a list of recommended titles from among the books that have recently crossed his desk. That list is available in PDF form here.

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This reading was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, sponsored by Martin’s Point Health Care. The audio on the left is about fifty minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 47,526 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Bill Bushnell podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Sue Miller

Sue Miller

posted: 8 February 2008

Sue Miller is the best-selling author of nine works of fiction, including The Good Mother and While I Was Gone, and the nonfiction book The Story of My Father. Her new book, The Senator’s Wife, revolves around the marriages of two women—a young mother and the wife of a promiscuous politician—who live side by side in a New England townhouse. Miller lives in Boston. In this recording, she is introduced by Portland novelist Monica Wood.

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This reading was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, sponsored by Martin’s Point Health Care. The audio on the left is about forty-six minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 44,100 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Sue Miller podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Jaed Coffin

Jaed Coffin

posted: 8 February 2008

Six years ago, at the age of twenty-one, Jaed Muncharoen Coffin left New England’s privileged Middlebury College to be ordained as a Buddhist monk in his mother’s native village of Panomsarakram—thus fulfilling a familial obligation. Part armchair travel, part coming-of-age story, his debut book A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants (Da Capo Press, 2009) chronicles his time at the temple. Jaed Coffin holds a B.A. in philosophy from Middlebury College and an M.F.A. from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Writing Program. A boxer, sea-kayaker, and lobster fisherman, he lives in Brunswick, Maine. In this recording, he is introduced by Shonna Milliken Humphrey, Executive Director of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance.

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This reading was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, sponsored by Martin’s Point Health Care. The audio on the left is about fifty-six minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 53,640 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Jaed Coffin podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Christina Baker Kline

Christina Baker Kline

posted: 3 January 2008

Christina Baker Kline is a novelist, nonfiction writer, and editor. Her novels include Sweet Water and Desire Lines. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Yale Review, Southern Living, Ms., Parents, and Family Life. Currently writer-in-residence at Fordham University, Kline lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband, three boys, and their dog, Lucy. She spends summers with extended family on Mount Desert Island. Her newest novel is The Way Life Should Be.

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This reading was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, sponsored by Martin’s Point Health Care. The audio on the left is about thirty-five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 34,123 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Christina Baker Kline podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Jennifer Gilmore

Jennifer Gilmore

posted: 12 December 2007

Spanning the first half of the twentieth century, Jennifer Gilmore’s Golden Country tells the intertwining stories of three immigrants seeking their fortunes. Gilmore’s reinvention of the Jewish American novel, captures the exuberance of the American dream while exposing its underbelly—disillusionment, greed, and the disaffection bred by success. It received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Gilmore’s work has appeared in magazines, journals, and anthologies, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Allure, BookForum, CutBank, Nerve, Salon, and The Stranger. She works in publishing and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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This reading was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, sponsored by Martin’s Point Health Care. The audio on the left is about thirty-one minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 29,081 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Jennifer Gilmore podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Masha Hamilton

Masha Hamilton

posted: 16 November 2007

The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton is a tale about an American librarian, Fiona Sweeney, who leaves Brooklyn to work for a relief organization in Africa that sends books on the backs of camels to forgotten villages. Fiona’s intentions are entirely pure but, when the bookmobile causes a feud among the nomadic tribe it aims to help, she realizes her good deeds may come with a high price. Hamilton worked as a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press for five years in the Middle East, spent five years in Moscow where she was a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, then traveled to Afghanistan as a freelance journalist. She currently lives with her family in Brooklyn. To donate books to the real camel bookmobile in northern Kenya, visit the Camel Book Drive.

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This reading was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, sponsored by Martin’s Point Health Care. The audio on the left is about fifty-five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 53,887 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Masha Hamilton podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Meredith Hall

Meredith Hall

posted: 24 September 2007

Meredith Hall graduated from Bowdoin College at age forty-four and wrote her first piece, “Killing Chickens,” in 2002. Two years later, she won the $50,000 Gift of Freedom Award from A Room of Her Own Foundation. Her other honors include a Pushcart Prize and “notable essay” recognition in Best American Essays; she was also a finalist for the Rona Jaffe Award. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, the Southern Review, Five Points, Prairie Schooner, and several anthologies. She teaches writing at the University of New Hampshire and lives in Pownal, Maine. Without A Map: A Memoir is her first book.

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This reading was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, sponsored by Martin’s Point Health Care. The audio on the left is about fifty-five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 53,887 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Meredith Hall podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Eric Martin

Eric B. Martin

posted: 10 September 2007

Eric B. Martin wrote The Virgin’s Guide to Mexico from 2001-2006 in Mexico City and California. Raised in Maine, he was educated in Austin, Durham, and Quito, Ecuador. He has worked on vineyards, beer trucks, tobacco fields, and in homeless shelters. The recent recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, he is the author of the novels Luck and Winners, which was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. He lives in San Francisco on the corner of Mission and Cesar Chavez.

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This reading was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, sponsored by Martin’s Point Health Care. The audio on the left is about twenty-five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 23,123 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Eric Martin podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards

posted: 27 August 2007

Elizabeth Edwards is originally from Pittsburgh and now lives in Kittery, Maine. She earned an M.A. in writing from the University of New Hampshire and has published poems in many journals including The Southern Review, Witness, The Antioch Review, The Carolina Quarterly, The Cream City Review, Sycamore Review, and The Florida Review. She was the Maine Arts Commission Poetry Fellow in 2001.

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This reading was part of the Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, sponsored by Martin’s Point Health Care. The audio on the left is about twenty-five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 23,123 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Elizabeth Edwards podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Fall Seminars

Day-long symposia featuring presentations by scholars on literature, politics, philosophy, and other humanities topics

 
Huey Long

Share Our Wealth

posted: 29 November 2007

In 1934, Huey Long organized the Share-Our-Wealth Society, which advocated a populist program for redistributing wealth. In this April 1935 radio address, Long sharply criticized FDR and the New Deal and then sketched out his alternative program. (From the collection of Andy Lanset — used with permission.)

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The audio on the left is about forty-two minutes; the download (mp3) size is 40,084 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Huey Long podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Ray Arsenault

The Huey Long—Willie Stark Connection

posted: 29 November 2007
Ray Arsenault is Professor of History at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg. He spoke as part of the Organization of American Historians’ Distinguished Lecturer series, which honors major scholars who are also outstanding teachers. He is an expert on contemporary Southern politics, notably the phenomenon of the political demagogue. He discussed the life and times of Huey Long, Louisiana’s governor and U.S. Senator in the depths of the Depression, and a potential rival to FDR as a presidential candidate.

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This talk was part of the seminar on All the King’s Men on October 20, 2007. The audio on the left is about an hour; the download (mp3) size is 58,171 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Ray Arsensault podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Tricia Welsch

Filming American Politics

posted: 29 November 2007

Tricia Welsch is Associate Professor of Film Studies at Bowdoin College. Welsch used clips to compare the 1949 film version of “All the King’s Men” starring Broderick Crawford and the 2006 re-make starring Sean Penn. Since those clips are protected by copyright, this excerpt from her talk includes only the background material she gave on Hollywood’s treatment of politics and film adaptations of novels.

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This talk was part of the seminar on All the King’s Men on October 20, 2007. The audio on the left is about twenty-eight minutes; the download (mp3) size is 26,532 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Tricia Welsch podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Joseph Wensink

Jack Burden and the Limits of Political Idealism

posted: 29 November 2007

Joseph Wensink is a PhD candidate in English at Brandeis University, where he teaches writing. He has written on the links between intellectual history and the modern American novel, and is particularly interested in studying Warren’s Jack Burden as a failed idealist. In his talk, he offered a close reading of several passages from the book that shed light on Burden’s character. Download the handout from this talk in PDF format.

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This talk was part of the seminar on All the King’s Men on October 20, 2007. The audio on the left is about forty-five minutes; the download (mp3) size is 42,722 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Joseph Wensink podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Healthcare®

Interviews, workshops, and talks connected to the national program, developed by the Maine Humanities Council, that uses literature to help health care professionals reflect on their work

 
Lizz Sinclair

Interview with Lizz Sinclair

posted: 8 August 2008

Created by the Maine Humanities Council, Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care® is a national award-winning reading and discussion program for health care professionals. The Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s Tom Porter interviewed Literature & Medicine Program Officer Lizz Sinclair when the Literature & Medicine anthology, Imagine What It’s Like, was published by the University of Hawai’i Press in the summer of 2008. Here, with permission from MPBN, is a re-broadcast of the interview.

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The audio on the left is about seven minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 6,830 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this podcast interview. You can leave a comment here.

 

The following five episodes are from the Caring for the Caregiver national conference organized by the Literature & Medicine program. The conference explored the ways in which literature and writing can support the personal and professional development of health care professionals.

Rita Charon

Keynote Presentation by Rita Charon

posted: 31 January 2008

Rita Charon, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Clinical Medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and the leader of the emerging field of Narrative Medicine. (Click here for a full bio.) As Director and Founder of Columbia’s Program in Narrative Medicine, she guides both aspiring and practicing health care professionals in writing about their experiences from both their own points of view and the imagined perspectives of their patients. In this talk, “Listening for the Self-Telling Body,” she speaks about how these narratives, which she calls parallel charts, both heighten the attention of the caregiver, and create an affiliation between the patient and the caregiver. Dr. Charon is introduced by Lizz Sinclair.

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This talk was part of the Literature & Medicine program’s national conference, Caring for the Caregiver, held on November 9 & 10, 2007 in Manchester, NH. The audio on the left is about sixty-nine minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 66,492 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Rita Charon podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Veneta Masson

Clinician’s Guide to the Soul

posted: 31 January 2008

A former public health nurse with many years’ experience, Veneta Masson, R.N., M.A., is also the author of three books. Though no longer in practice, Veneta continues to explore healing art. The title of her newest collection, Clinician’s Guide to the Soul, was also the title of her conference workshop. “As a family nurse practitioner, I relied on countless ‘clinician’s guides,’ concise, up-to-the-minute print or online references to specific topics like antibiotics, common skin conditions or pediatric lab values. But, a guide to the soul! What is the soul? And why, in this golden age of scientific exploration and achievement, do so many of us insist on its relevance to health and health care?”

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This workshop was part of the Literature & Medicine program’s national conference, Caring for the Caregiver, held on November 9 & 10, 2007 in Manchester, NH. The audio on the left is about forty-three minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 41,194 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Veneta Masson podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Rafael Campo

Keynote Presentation by Rafael Campo

posted: 11 January 2008

Rafael Campo, M.D., M.F.A., is a national award winning poet who is also a faculty member and practitioner of general internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. (Click here for a full bio.) His newest collection of poetry, The Enemy, was published in April 2007. He is a recipient of the Annual Achievement Award from the National Hispanic Academy of Arts and Sciences, among many other awards. Campo lives in Brookline, Massachusetts. In this recording, he is introduced by Veneta Masson.

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This talk was part of the Literature & Medicine program’s national conference, Caring for the Caregiver, held on November 9 & 10, 2007 in Manchester, NH. The audio on the left is about fifty-six minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 53,715 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Rafael Campo podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Judy Schaefer

Writing Workshop with Judy Schaefer

posted: 11 January 2008

Judy Schaefer, R.N.C., M.A., is a nationally recognized author, editor, lecturer, teacher, and advocate for patients as well as nurses. Her conference workshop was called “The Courage to Create: Finding Your Voice Through Writing.” If you have pen and paper handy while you listen, and pause the recording when Judy says to start writing, you can actually take part in the workshop yourself.

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This workshop was part of the Literature & Medicine program’s national conference, Caring for the Caregiver, held on November 9 & 10, 2007 in Manchester, NH. The audio on the left is about thirty-seven minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 35,402 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Judy Schaefer podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Rafael Campo

“Fact” vs. “Truth” in Narratives of Illness

posted: 11 January 2008

In this conference workshop, Rafael Campo, M.D., M.F.A., defines a “biocultural” narrative of the illness experience, in contrast to the restrictive biomedical narrative encountered in today’s health care setting. He explores how literary works by Frank O’Hara, Debra Spark, Abraham Verghese, and Veneta Masson issue an insistent invitation to share in diverse human experiences. Please note: This workshop involved a great deal of audience participation. Workshop participants read each of the literary works aloud, and then shared their thoughts and questions. Campo’s microphone did not capture the participants’ voices, so in their place you will hear substitute readers and gaps in the recording. The works discussed are also available here in PDF format.

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This workshop was part of the Literature & Medicine program’s national conference, Caring for the Caregiver, held on November 9 & 10, 2007 in Manchester, NH. The audio on the left is about fifty-four minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 51,776 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Rafael Campo podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Voici the Valley

The Voici the Valley Cultureway celebrates the places and culture of the St. John Valley, where the United States and Canada meet along the St. John River.

 
Valley CD

Introduction

posted: 24 January 2008

The St. John Valley is found at the top of the state of Maine with the neighboring province of New Brunswick. Fondly called “The Valley,” this international region is home to around 55,000 people, mostly of French heritage. The Voici the Valley Cultureway was created by Sheila Jans, Don Cyr, and Daniel Picard of CultureWorth to celebrate the places and culture of the Valley. Visitors can enhance their experience (and residents can deepen their understanding) of the region with the Voici the Valley Audio Story and Guide, available here for $15. The guide has maps and information about both sides of the international border. This podcast episode contains the introduction to the 80-minute Audio Story, which brings the region to life through stories, interviews, and traditional music.

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This introduction to the St. John Valley is part of the Voici the Valley Cultureway Audio Story. The audio on the left is about four minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 4,559 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Voici the Valley podcast. You can leave a comment here.

Traditional river driving batteau on the St. John River

Tales of Terrain: Shaping Land, Shaping People

posted: 24 January 2008

This excerpt from the Voici the Valley Audio Story features Allagash resident Joe Kelly recalling his experiences as a logger and river driver in the time before the chain saw. You’ll also hear a French folk song about a river driver, performed by traditional singer Rachel LeBlanc. The photo at right by Daniel Picard shows a traditional “Connors” river driving batteau on the St. John River.

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This recording is excerpted from the Voici the Valley Cultureway Audio Story. The audio on the left is about five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 4,415 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Voici the Valley podcast. You can leave a comment here.

View of the St. John River from Edmundston, NB toward Frenchville, ME, courtesy Daniel Picard.

Character and Culture: Marking a Passage

posted: 24 January 2008

This portion of the Audio Story delves into the rich cultural life of the valley, including its language, idioms, pronunciation, music, and the traditional arts. The region’s French heritage is manifest in interviews with artists and folklorists, as well as traditional singing and instrumental music. Agriculture and cuisine also make an appearance in this excerpt. At right: view of the St. John River from Edmundston, NB toward Frenchville, ME, courtesy Daniel Picard.

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This recording is excerpted from the Voici the Valley Cultureway Audio Story. The audio on the left is about thirty minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 27,326 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Voici the Valley podcast. You can leave a comment here.

bagosse, moonshine

Law of the Lands: Dividing the Valley

posted: 06 February 2008

Governments on both sides of the international border that runs through the Valley have made laws to regulate the crossing of people and goods. This segment offers a glimpse of how current residents feel about these laws and how their forebears got around them during Prohibition. At right: bagosse, which is homebrew or moonshine, depicted by Daniel Picard.

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This recording is excerpted from the Voici the Valley Cultureway Audio Story. The audio on the left is about five minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 4,794 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Voici the Valley podcast. You can leave a comment here.

View of the St. John River from Edmundston, NB toward Frenchville, ME, courtesy Daniel Picard.

Alliances and Adversities: Shifting of Affairs

posted: 06 February 2008

The complete Voici the Valley Audio Story (available here) includes a thorough historical account of the deportation of the Acadian people from the Maritime Provinces in 1755, the territorial disputes that ensued, and the eventual settlement of the Valley in 1785 by Acadian refugees. This brief excerpt explains how, in the wake of the 1842 treaty that established the border, residents of the south side of the Valley—now a part of the United States—turned to the Catholic Church to provide social services, schools, and hospitals. The Church, rather than their new government, shaped their lives and culture. The photo at right by Don Cyr shows the angel on the tower of the former Catholic church, Notre Dame du Mont-Carmel, now the Musee culturel du Mont-Carmel in Lille, ME.

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This recording is excerpted from the Voici the Valley Cultureway Audio Story. The audio on the left is about thirty minutes long; the download (mp3) size is 27,326 Kb. We welcome your feedback on this Voici the Valley podcast. You can leave a comment here.

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Please be aware that the content in these audio files does not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of the Maine Humanities Council or any organization with which the Maine Humanities Council is affiliated. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.