The Olive Tree
Imagining the River: Celebrating the Penobscot
On October 22nd, a group of writers, musicians, and poets gathered together in Fogler Library’s Special Collections to celebrate the Penobscot River. The celebration focused on the connections between the environment and the human spirit. Several of the presenters sang and read from poems and prose which reflected their Penobscot heritage in relation to the River.
Esther Bear of the Penobscot Nation opened the program by singing, Peace is flowing like a river, followed by Cheryl Daigle reading from her prose and poetry. Daigle is community outreach coordinator for the Penobscot River Restoration Trust, and her work has appeared in numerous conservation-related publications in New England. UMaine creative writing students read from their own poems as well as those concerning rivers by Langston Hughes, Gary Snyder, and others.
Catherine Schmitt, Maine Sea Grant Communications coordinator and coordinator of the Penobscot River Science Steering Committee, read prose, and student poet David Attean read poems in which his Penobscot ancestry was clearly evident. Award winning poet Carol Bachofner, whose ancestry is Western Abenaki, read poems in which she interspersed words and phrases from the Abenaki language, highlighting the richness of meaning and sound. Poet Kathleen Ellis, adjunct lecturer in English and assistant professor of Honors, read from her work-in-progress, Narrow River to the North Woods, concerning the Penobscot Watershed. The program concluded with a prose reading by Maria Girouard, director of cultural and historical preservation for the Penobscot nation and a project ambassador for the Penobscot River Restoration Project.
Home | Olive Tree | Spring 2009 Issue