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The Big Read: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

June 2012

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.

"Lives of great men all remind us / We can make our lives sublime." A Psalm of Life, Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Big Read

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was the most popular poet in American history. In terms of their reach and influence, Longfellow's poems resembled studio-era Hollywood films: they were popular works of art enjoyed by huge, diverse audiences that crossed all social classes and age groups. At a crucial time in American history—just as the Revolutionary War receded from living memory and the disastrous Civil War inexorably approached—Longfellow's poems gave his contemporaries the words, images, myths, and heroes by which they explained America to one another and themselves.

During the month of June 2012--the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Maryland Public Television partners with Frederick County Public Libraries, Frederick Reads and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in a modern-day Big Read celebration of the poet that told the defining stories of 19th century America. Join us for a series of free public events and activities based in Frederick and Washington Counties—deep in the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area. Info: outreach@mpt.org, or 410-581-4031.

Pick up a FREE Longfellow poetry anthology and reader's guide at the following places during the month of June:

Download event brochure here

Frederick County Events

The City of Frederick proclaims June 2012 as The Big Read Month in Frederick! Watch the video here, starting at 8:30.

Library story times, book discussion groups and special events at Frederick County Public Libraries. Info: 301-600-1630

Meet Matthew Pearl

New York Times bestselling author Matthew Pearl brings Longfellow to life in his dazzling debut novel, "The Dante Club," in which Longfellow and the other Fireside Poets are drawn into a murder mystery, showcasing Longfellow's little-known mastery of the work of Italian poet, Dante.

--Frederick Festival of the Arts Literary Writing Workshop with Matthew Pearl
June 2, 3 PM - Terrace of C. Burr Artz Public Library

--An Evening with Matthew Pearl
June 2, 7 PM - The Delaplaine Visual Arts and Education Center

Paul Revere Rides Again: a free children's history program
"Listen my children and you shall hear..." Join us as we enjoy a personal visit from the man himself...Paul Revere. Hear a traditional version of Revere's historic midnight ride and then...give it a new twist "MAD-LIB" style! Find out what Paul Revere liked to eat and try a sample, then make a colonial craft. For children ages 6-12. Registration requested: www.fcpl.org or call 301-600-7200.

June 2 at 3 pm Thurmont Regional Library

Wags for Hope – Read to a new dog friend (for reluctant readers, ages 5-8, with adult)
Participants will read "There Was a Little Girl" and other simple poems.
June 3, 2 pm - Urbana Regional Library
June 10, 2 pm - C. Burr Artz Public Library
June 23, 10:30 am - Brunswick Public Library

Adventure Book Club – reimagining the adventure of the "Paul Revere's Ride"
June 12, 5:15 pm (K-2 grade) - Walkersville Library
June 26, 5:15 pm (3-5 grade) - Walkersville Library

Teen Advisory Group meeting to discuss Longfellow anthology
June 11, 3 pm - Thurmont Regional Library

Starlight Family Storytimes – all ages gatherings will feature excerpts from poems such as "The Children's Hour" and "Haunted Houses," which blend seamlessly with the theme of the 2012 Summer Reading Program: Dream READ! and Own the Night.

June 4, 6:30 pm - C. Burr Artz Public Library
June 4, 6:30 pm - Point of Rocks Library
June 5, 6:30 pm - Urbana Regional Library
June 5, 6:30 pm - Walkersville Library
June 5, 6:30 pm - C. Burr Artz Public Library
June 5, 6:30 pm - Middletown Branch Library
June 7, 6:30 pm - Brunswick Public Library

Campout at the Library Storytimes (ages 6-11)
Poems include "Day is Done," "The Village Blacksmith," and "Hymn to the Night."
June 16, 11 am - Emmitsburg Library
June 21, 3 pm - Urbana Regional Library

Remarkable Readers Book Club (ages 5-7)
Poems include "Day is Done," "The Village Blacksmith," and "Hymn to the Night."
June 14, 4 pm - C. Burr Artz Public Library

Reading in Action Book Club (ages 5-8)
Poems include "Day is Done," "The Village Blacksmith," and "Hymn to the Night."
June 19, 4 pm - C. Burr Artz Public Library

Teen Book Club (teens only! No adults)
Participants will receive copies of the anthology and readers guides.
June 21, 3:45 pm - Walkersville

Homeschooler's Book Group – Learn at the Library (ages 6-12)
Participants will receive copies of the anthology and readers guides.
June 7, 2 pm - Brunswick Public Library

ALSO IN FREDERICK COUNTY:
Frederick Coffee Company presents The Big Read
June 7, 7-9 pm
Readings of the Poetry of Longfellow. Info: 301-663-9208, jholly8@aol.com

Summerfest Family Theater at the Baker Park Bandshell
June 21, 10 am
Mr. Jon & Friends, a popular musical group for kids and families, will kick off the summer concert season. Frederick County Public Libraries will be distributing free Longfellow anthologies, reader's guides and children's poems at this summer kickoff celebration.

Download event brochure here

Washington County Events

Events, readings, and concerts at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, as part of their landmark Civil War-themed "Valley of the Shadow" literary arts exhibit and celebrations. Info: 301-739-5764

Impressions of War: Visual Art, Poetry and Writing Competition
Inspired by the Civil War-era works of Longfellow, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is holding creative arts contests for middle and high school-aged students and adults.
Deadline for submissions: June 22.
Info: wcmfa.org.

Meet Matthew Pearl
June 2, 11 am
New York Times bestselling author Matthew Pearl brings Longfellow to life in his dazzling debut novel, "The Dante Club," in which Longfellow and the other Fireside Poets are drawn into a murder mystery, showcasing Longfellow's little- known mastery of the work of Italian poet, Dante.

Concert: An Afternoon on the Civil War Homefront
June 10, 2:30 pm
In this performance, the Síor-Óg ensemble will sing some of the songs popular in the parlors of those who waited on the home front for their loved ones to return. The popular music of the day is a rich harvest of patriotic songs, songs about the soldiering life, songs about the losses incurred by many families and emancipation music. Program to include iconic Civil War poetry from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Herman Melville and more.

Recitations of Civil War poetry—in the Museum's Kaylor Lakeside Garden
June 16, 11 am-4 pm
Organized by Scot Slaby, Poet and Literature instructor for the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts , the event will feature student readers from throughout the region as well as writing, poetry and literature instructors and local amateur and professional poets and writers.

Download event brochure here.

Partners

Frederick ReadsFrederick County Public LibraryWashington County Museum of Fine Arts 80 Years