The Olive Tree
Readers Share a Celebration of Community
Within his poem, Small Town, poet Philip Booth wrote, The town knows. You know. You’ve known for years over drugstore coffee. Who hurts, who loves. It was this type of celebration of small town life, and the exploration of the true meaning of community, that was the focus of A Celebration of Writers and Community: a tribute to poet Philip Booth and Echoes magazine on October 24th in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library.
Kathryn Olmstead, who has served as editor of Echoes since it was first published just over twenty years ago, explained that the magazine’s mission is to focus on “positive values rooted in the past that have relevance for the present and the future.” Several readers shared selections from the quarterly magazine that has been published in Caribou since 1988. The readers included Olmstead, who also serves as the Associate Dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the University of Maine.
The second half of the event was devoted to poet Philip Booth, who died in July. Booth was known as a part of the literary community in Castine, where he had spent much of his childhood, and where in the 1980s he retired from the faculty of Syracuse University. Kathleen Ellis, one of the event’s organizers, explained, “Booth was a juxtaposition of opposites—both opera and jazz aficionado, potato grower and sailor, fan of Maxine Kumin and Robert Creeley.” In an autobiographical sketch, Booth once wrote, “Whatever the imagery of my poems, my sense of language is rooted in metaphors native to Maine-talk, where each word counts.” It is that language, and the community it reflects, that was celebrated in this very special event.
A Celebration of Writers and Community was part of the Library’s Works in Progress Series, organized by Kathleen Ellis, Gretchen Gfeller, and Tina Passman.
The Wind Bird
This year’s collaboration with the Orono Public Library Friends featured film-maker Tianna Vermette. Vermette visited Fogler Library on October 28th to show her award winning film, The Wind Bird.
The Wind Bird is a retelling of a traditional Penobscot legend using modern technology and a strong dose of humor. Vermette learned the basics of claymation animation as a student at Indian Island School under the tutelage of art teacher Mike Vermette. As students at Old Town High School, she and fellow animators Shane Smith and Peter McDermott developed those skills to produce the video, which won the Grand Prize at the Maine Student Film and Video Festival in 2002, the first animated film to be so honored. Vermette is no stranger to the MSFV Festival. In 2000 her movie How Raven Stole the Sun was a winner in the Senior Division and in 1998, another of her films, Our Dances, was a winner in the Junior Division. The Wind Bird was also selected for screening at the Taos Talking Picture Festival in New Mexico, and at the Atlanta Film and Video Festival in Georgia.
After the film, Vermette answered questions and shared information about the techniques used to produce the film.
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