Maine Humanities Council and Portland Vet Center Host Book Group for Combat Veterans

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August 11, 2014


Lizz Sinclair, Maine Humanities Council, 207-773-5051

Maine Humanities Council and Portland Vet Center Host Book Group for Combat Veterans

PORTLAND, Maine – What does a legendary adventure story created nearly 3,000 years ago have to do with the modern experience of coming home from a war zone? “A lot more than you may think,” says Cliff Trott, an Afghanistan and Iraq Veteran. Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, follows the Greek hero Odysseus as he attempts to return home after fighting in the Trojan War.

“Homer’s Odyssey offers a map for Soldiers coming home,” Cliff explains. “A reading group provides the opportunity for Veterans to read the map.”

The Maine Humanities Council and the Portland Vet Center are hosting a multi-week book group for Combat Veterans of all eras. “Coming Home: A Book Group for Combat Veterans” will run from September 10, 2014 to December 10, 2014. The group will meet Wednesdays at Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland.

By discussing The Odyssey, Veterans can have an informal, non-military setting to share their experiences, give voice to interests and issues of concern, and connect with other Veterans. The group will be co-led by Cliff Trott and Jeannine Uzzi, University of Southern Maine Professor of Classics. Copies of the book will be provided, and the group is free of charge.

The Maine Humanities Council developed this program with funding from a $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Veterans Book Group program will be piloted throughout Maine and twelve other states nationwide.

“Classical works are timeless because the issues they deal with are timeless,” said Maine Humanities Council’s Executive Director, Hayden Anderson. “Today’s Veterans and Service Members read about Odysseus’s struggles and recognize their own struggles. This discussion group gives them a new way to think about and share their experience of coming home.”

Registration for the Odyssey Book Group is required. To register, contact Cliff Trott at 207-780-3584.

Contact the Maine Humanities Council for more information about MHC’s Veterans Programming. Phone: (207) 773-5051 Email:

About Portland Vet Center

The Portland Vet Center welcomes home war veterans with honor by providing quality readjustment services in a caring manner, assisting veterans and their family members towards a successful post-war adjustment in or near their communities. Care includes professional readjustment counseling, community education, outreach to special populations, the brokering of services with community agencies, and provides a key access link between veterans and other services in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

About Maine Humanities Council
The Maine Humanities Council is an independent, statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the people of Maine deepen their understanding of themselves, their communities, and the world.  The Council works with volunteer literacy programs, educators, school systems and libraries to promote the power and pleasure of ideas through its programming; the Council also provides grants supporting projects in community history, exhibits, workshops and other areas of study.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this press release do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.