Maine Humanities Council announces 2016 Veterans Book Group programming

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For More Information:

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


March 15, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine – Although Maine ranks 41st in population, it has one of the highest percentages of Veterans in the country—roughly one in every 10 Mainers is a Veteran. To serve this group, the Maine Humanities Council is offering several book groups over the course of 2016. With locations in Augusta, Bangor, Brunswick, and Portland, Veterans Book Group provides an informal, non-military humanities program for Veterans to share their experiences, give voice to interests and issues of concern, and connect with other Veterans. Groups may focus on one longer text, like the Odyssey, or instead read selected short stories, novels, memoirs, historical texts, essays, or poems related to the experience of military service. The groups are free and open to all Maine Veterans / Former Service Members. The readings are provided.

Of last year’s Veterans Book Group participants, 99% would recommend the group to a friend.

“A lot of Veterans told us they wanted a place where Veterans from all branches of military service and ages could have the opportunity to be together and reflect with others who have served,” said Lizz Sinclair, director of programs for the Maine Humanities Council. “What better way to do this than through a book group? They are not classes nor are they clinical. They are book groups with great readings co-facilitated by a local professor and a Veteran.”

Said a participant in last year’s book groups, “I heard about this group and I thought…I’m older, I’m tired, and I’m ready to get on with the rest of my life…[the Odyssey] was telling a story to us from 3,000 years ago and yet we were telling the same story to each other…It felt good to be part of something…the society we live in doesn’t really offer, especially to veterans. We tend to be apart from what goes on.” Said another, “I don’t get out much. This has been good for me, to meet other Vets and think about some things I haven’t wanted to think much about…I like that it is a book group, I can think about these things that the readings bring up but can talk about the book, not my personal story.”

Veterans Book Group is offered in partnership with the Bangor Vet Center, the Portland Vet Center, the University of Maine Augusta- Bangor campus, and VA Maine Healthcare.

Beginning in late March, groups will be in Bangor (for all Veterans/ Former Service Members), Brunswick (for Women Veterans/ Former Service Members), and Portland (for Former Service Members who served in a Combat theater). Space is limited to Veterans/Former Service Members only and pre-registration is required. Learn more at

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.