Immediate Release: September 14, 2013:
The 4th annual Dead Poets Remembrance Day will be celebrated in New Hampshire on Saturday, October 5th.
The event will start at 12:30, at the grave of Walter Butts, the much-beloved former NH Poet Laureate (Calvary cemetery, 990 Middle St. Rt. 33). Then, at 1 PM the event will continue at the Portsmouth Book & Bar, located at 40 Pleasant Street.
New Hampshire poets reading will be: Kim Cloutier Green (the current Portsmouth Poet Laureate), Jennifer Militello, James Rioux, S. Stephanie, and Mark DeCarteret. They will be reading and remembering the following NH poets: Richard Eberhart, Celia Thaxter, May Sarton, Robert Lowell, Walter Butts, and E.E. Cummings.
The event is free and there is great food and drink available at Book & Bar, so come along and help celebrate our poetic heritage in New Hampshire.
Dead Poets Remembrance Day is a national literary holiday started in 2010 by 13 State Poets Laureate in cooperation with the Dead Poets Society of America.
"Walter Butts was one of the first State Poets Laureate to endorse this holiday in 2010," said Walter Skold, the founder of the Dead Poets Society of America. "We are so saddened that Walter passed away earlier this year, after so many years of dedication to the art of poetry, so this year's celebration is especially in remembrance of him."
The holiday takes place on the weekend closest to October 7th, and it is a time for people who love our past poets to gather in small or large groups at the graves of poets, or bookstores or parks to read and remember their favorite local or regional poets.
Other regional events will be held at the NY grave of Edna St. Vincent Millay, on Friday the 4th, the annual celebration on Sunday the 6th at the grave of Elizabeth Bishop, and the 2nd annual Midnight reading of the Raven and cognac toast at the Poe Corner in Boston, Sunday the 6th.
Below, fyi, is the archive of the press release from 2010:
Videos from that historic 2010 event are online to view.
New Hampshire Poets Help Inaugurate New Literary Holiday
What do you get when you mix Edgar Allan Poe, All Saints-Day, Robert Frost and the Mexican celebration of El Dia De Los Muertos?
Why, Dead Poets Remembrance Day in New Hampshire, of course.
“Dead Poets Remembrance Day is a unique way to enrich our cultural commons by annually “digging up” the treasures of our poetic past and resurrecting them in the public imagination,” says Walter Skold, the founder of the Dead Poets Society of America.
This October 10th the historic Robert Frost Farm will join with the Dead Poets Society of America and several well-know N.H. poets in an event called "Remembering the Poets of the Granite State" to help inaugurate the new literary holiday.
“The Derry farm is the place where the voice of Robert Frost as poet was truly heard for the first time,” said Bill Gleed, poet and manager of the Frost Farm. “In a sense, all of us who write poetry, whether we know it or not, carry the very stones of this farm within us.”
The New Hampshire event is one of a ten that have been organized by state poets laureate in California, Wisconsin, Indiana, Alabama, and five other states.
“This project is an important historical documentation of the rich poetry of our nation and New Hampshire,” said S. Stephanie, a poet and professor who is helping to coordinate the New Hampshire event in Derry.
“Not only is the holiday a celebration of the deceased poets of NH who have contributed so much to American Literature,” she said, “But of those who have followed in their footsteps as well.”
Former NH State Poets Laureate, Marie Harris and Patricia Fargnoli, along with the current laureate, Walter Butts, have all endorsed the idea of an annual holiday for past poets.
The current poet laureate of Portsmouth, Mark DeCarteret, along with two previous poets to hold that position, Mimi White and John Perrault, will read from the works of Robert Lowell, Esther Buffler, Phillip Booth and Jane Kenyon.
“The Frost Farm is one of my favorite poetry landmarks,” says Skold, “And it is a great venue for a community poetry reading.”
“In the very farm that inspired Frost to write so many of his beloved poems we’ll honor the memory of poets like Richard Eberhart, May Sarton, E.E. Cummings, and Robert Dunn.”
Actress and ACT ONE Theater director, Stephanie Voss Nugent, is also going to give a special presentation on the life and poetry of Celia Thaxter.
It was during trips in 2009 and 2010, when Skold travelled over 15,000 miles to document the graves of poets and meet state poets laureate, that the idea for a new holiday developed.
And it was in Athens, Georgia, where he met Coleman Barks, the poet and translator of Rumi, whom Skold credits with being one of the instigators behind the idea for the new holiday.
"The areas around the tombs of Hafez and Saadi in Shiraz, Iran, are great continuous celebrations,” says Barks, who has visited the tombs on several occasions. “The same with Rumi's resting place in Konya, Turkey.
“We have a lot to learn from those ancient cultures about how to enjoy our poets, and poetry in general," he says.
“We’re out to instigate celebrations like this at the graves of more American poets,” says Skold, who has visited over 200 poets’ graves east of the Mississippi.
Back in April S. Stephanie and Rodger Martin met Skold in the historic Stark graveyard in Dunbarton to read the poetry of Robert Lowell, who is buried there with so many ancestors who appear in his poems. That reading was the second of 19 readings held during the Dead Poets Grand Tour 2010, which went through 22 states in 34 days.
The Frost Farm celebration in Derry will take place from 3 PM to 4:30 on Sunday, October 10th. The address is 122 Rockingham Road, and there is an entrance fee of $4 for NH residents and $5 for non NH residents.
More details can be found at the event blog: http://deadpoets.typepad.com/rpgs/