October 17, 2018
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The Maine Poetry Express approaching the station in Dover-Foxcroft

Community Author: Jan Bindas-Tenney
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Maine Humanities | BDN
Maine Humanities | BDN

DOVER-FOXCROFT — Everyone is invited to hop aboard the Maine Poetry Express workshop and community reading at Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft. Maine Poetry Express is a program of the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine State Library to bring Maine poetry and poets to local libraries and their communities.

Community members in Dover-Foxcroft will select Maine poems, learn to perform those poems in a workshop with Millinocket poet Paul Corrigan, and host a community poetry-reading event, where all are invited to come together to celebrate Maine poetry. The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, at Thompson Free Library. No registration is necessary.

The Maine Poetry Express, originally designed by poet, Wesley McNair during his time as the Maine State Poet Laureate connects local poets in sharing Maine’s poetry with their community. “The landscape of Maine’s voices is varied and valuable, addressing so many aspects of what it can mean to experience life in this state. Part of the goal of the Poetry Express is to create a space for community members, local poets, and libraries to get together and share in that history, often surprising themselves,” said Jan Bindas-Tenney, Program Officer at the Maine Humanities Council.

The Dover-Foxcroft event will explore themes important to Dover-Foxcroft: agriculture, community, and the natural world of the Dover-Foxcroft region. Paul Corrigan, poet and Millinockett native will lead community participants in a poetry reading and performance workshop. Community members will perform selected Maine poems to an audience. “Maine’s mostly rocky, glacial soil has nourished a surprising variety of poetic voices,” said Corrigan. “How fitting it is for a diverse gathering of community members from Dover-Foxcroft, Shiretown of Piscatiquis County, to celebrate that rich literary tradition as they lend their voices to bring the poetry of Maine’s past and present to life.”

“We welcome the opportunity to feature Maine poetry through the voices of our community. It’s exciting to discover poetry from the history of our region and also to hear from current poets. We’re pleased to collaborate with Paul Corrigan and the Maine Humanities Council and hope that this event brings together people not only from Dover-Foxcroft, but also from our wider community,” said Greta Schroeder, Director of the Thompson Free Library.

For the purpose of this program, the Maine State Library has provided specially curated resources, anthologies, and collections of Maine’s poetry—from the historical to the contemporary—for workshop participants to read and practice with and for the community to enjoy. The Maine State Library is thrilled to participate and overjoyed that our Maine Authors Collection, which captures the poetical literature of the Pine Tree State, from Maine’s native poets of 1854 to present day, will serve as a source of inspiration,” said Alison Maxell Director of Public Services and Outreach, Research & Innovation at the Maine State Library.

Paul Corrigan is a poet and essayist who has worked as a Baxter Park Ranger, a high school English teacher, and a white water raft guide. His poems, essays, and stories are inspired by his life long love of the Maine Woods. Paul has a Masters Degree from Brown University where he received an Academy of American Poets award. His poems have appeared in such publications as “The Maine Times” and “Yankee” and in the Maine Studies Anthology MAINE SPEAKS used state wide in the public schools.

Built by Dr. Elbridge A. Thompson in 1897, the Thompson Free Library has grown over the past 120 years with major additions in 1972 and 2007. The library serves its community with free programs for children, teens, and adults; public access computers and technology help; print and digital resources; and a community meeting room. The library is currently working on an initiative to preserve local stories through an oral history project funded by the Maine Community Foundation.

The Maine Humanities Council, a statewide non-profit organization, uses the humanities— literature, history, philosophy, and culture — as a tool for positive change in Maine communities. Our programs and grants encourage critical thinking and conversations across social, economic, and cultural boundaries.

The Maine State Library helps people, makes Maine libraries stronger and transforms information into knowledge.

Contacts: Jan Bindas-Tenney, Maine Humanities Council, (207) 773-5051; Greta Schroeder, Director Thompson Free Library, (207) 564-3350;

Paul Corrigan, Poet, (207) 723-5366; Alison Maxell, Maine State Library, (207) 287-5600.