Tag Archives: poetry

Poetry without Paper deadline reminder from Christy Russo Sawyer Free Library, John Ronan, O’Maley School, & Mayor Romeo Theken

Two weeks to go. Kids- send in your poems: Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Libraray childrens services Poetry Without Paper 2018 is underway

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Now in its 16th year (!) Sawyer Free’s annual poetry contest for all students who go to Gloucester schools or live in Gloucester is LIVE. Participants can submit up to 3 poems through April 30, 2018. Some of the previous winning poems are published on the library web site. 2015  2016 2017

Former Gloucester Poet Laureate, host of The Writers Block, and co-founder with Christy Russo of the dynamite Poetry without Paper contest, John Ronan, included this reminder plug along with his January column and poem in the Gloucester Daily Times: Read more

Plant a Poet-Tree! Sawyer Free Children’s Library Services April 20 poetry celebration

“April is National Poetry Month! Kids can celebrate by writing a poem & planting a tree! All supplies will be provided for this make & take program on April 20, 2018 from 2-3pm”

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Always busy, busy fun programming through children’s services at Sawyer Free Library

Poetry without Paper deadline reminder from Christy Russo Sawyer Free Library, John Ronan, O’Maley School, and Mayor Romeo Theken

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Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Poetry Without Paper 2018 is underway!

Now in its 16th year (!) Sawyer Free’s annual poetry contest for all students who go to Gloucester schools or live in Gloucester is LIVE. Participants can submit up to 3 poems through April 30, 2018. Some of the previous winning poems are published on the library web site. 2015  2016 2017

Former Gloucester Poet Laureate, host of The Writers Block, and co-founder with Christy Russo of the dynamite Poetry without Paper contest, John Ronan, included this reminder plug along with his January column and poem in the Gloucester Daily Times:

“Students! Families! Grandparents, aunts and uncles! The annual Poetry Without Paper contest, sponsored by the Sawyer Free Library, will again open from March 1 to April 30. All students living in or attending school in Gloucester are eligible, from elementary to high school. This is the 16th year of the contest and hundreds of students participate each season, winners claiming prizes, a public reading, and a chance to be on TV. Spread the word! Watch for details at: www.sawyerfreelibrary.org.”

Mayor Romeo Theken broadcasts and celebrates National Poetry Month every April, Poetry without Paper, and Poem in Your Pocket Day which is April 26 in 2018. #pocketpoem

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Mayor Romeo Theken National Poetry Month 2018 poster at City Hall, Gloucester, Mass

O’Maley Innovation Middle School has it posted in several spots and it’s been included in newsletters since the contest opened. Good luck to all the writers!

 

What’s your favorite LOVE poem? Monthly Poetry and High Tea gatherings @SandpiperBakery by Eastern Point Lit House

Naturally Love is the theme for February, the first month for Bread Poets Society Monthly Poetry and High Tea gatherings @SandpiperBakery by Eastern Point Lit House. Philip Storey set up shop last week to spread the word.

February 2018 – What’s Your Favorite Love Poem? Lit House Philip Storey will lead. Specialty French pastries, tea, coffee and themed poetry. 3pm Sunday, February 11, 2018. Sandpiper Bakery, 65 Middle Street, Gloucester, MA. $25

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Gloucester Daily Times update on Cape Ann Reads

Look for special group exhibits and readings to be announced later in 2018- “Cape Ann Reads to Hit the Road” by Gail McCarthy, Gloucester Daily Times

This month: come to Gloucester’s City Hall on January 27 for a Cape Ann Reads celebration. Explore early drafts & drawings as well as published children’s picture art and books–all by Cape Ann artists and writers. The Book Store of Gloucester will have a satellite book shop devoted to published picture books right on site.

Gail McCarthy Gloucester Daily Times announcing Bruce J Anderson grant award for Cape Ann Reads January 8 2017

Edward Hopper at Oxford and T S Eliot at Turner Contemporary

Several European museum shows in 2018 contain examples or are devoted to American 20th century artists and modernism like the ones curated for the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, the Royal Academy, Tate Modern and British Museum.

Massachusetts loans boast the Edward Hopper painting Manhattan Bridge Loop from the Addison Gallery of Art collection, Phillips Academy, Andover, selected for America’s Cool Modernism at Oxford. Three Hopper etchings (The Cat Boat, Night Shadows, and The Railroad) are on the checklist. Hopper depicted Gloucester in over 110 works of art. Besides Hopper, notable artists and writer with various Gloucester connections selected are: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, e e cummings, and Louis Lozowick.

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Forgot the cry of gulls and the deep sea swell

 

 

Upcoming at Turner Contemporary – “Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’   a major exhibition (Sat 3 Feb – Mon 7 May 2018) considering Eliot’s watershed poem through visal arts, and Margate. I hope they turn to Gloucester and Cape Ann, unspoken in the final poem yet approachable (and specified in excised iterations). From the museum’s press release:

“Presenting artworks from the 19th century to the present, including film, photography and artefacts, the exhibition explores how contemporary and historical art can enable us to reflect on the T. S. Eliot poem, The Waste Land, and its shifting flow of diverse voices, references, characters and places.

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If Not, Not (1975-6), R.B. Kitaj, National Galleries of Scotland

In 1921, T.S. Eliot spent a few weeks in Margate at a crucial moment in his career. He arrived in a fragile state, physically and mentally, and worked on The Waste Land. The poem was published the following year, and proved to be a pivotal and influential modernist work.  Building on Turner Contemporary’s extensive experience in participation and engagement, the exhibition is being co-curated with a research group of 30 volunteers from the community, supported by the programme team at Turner Contemporary and external curator Professor Mike Tooby. Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ is being funded by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the John Ellerman Foundation.”

City Hall acoustics Inauguration Celebration 2018

Here are a few brief (less than 30 seconds each) sound snippets from the 2018 City of Gloucester Inauguration Celebration including Gordon Baird (God Bless America), Alexandra Grace, Josh Cominelli (National Anthem, You’ve Got A Friend), Fly Amero, John Ronan recitation (poem We, Helmsmen), Charlee Bianchini & Jack Tomaiolo (Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow). To see great photos and portraits of the day, see Kim Smith’s post Inspiring City of Gloucester Inauguration Ceremony 2018. To see the printed program and the Mayor’s full remarks, visit the city website: http://gloucester-ma.gov/index.aspx?nid=956. I’ll add Cape Ann TV video link if/when it’s ready. Ray Lamont’s excellent coverage in the Gloucester Daily Times Taking the Oath of Office 

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Read more

Gloucester Writers Center knocking out must read and see projects: Cape Ann Veterans book launch at Gloucester House

Sunday December 10, 2017, 1PM, at the Gloucester House

Book launch for THE INNER VOICE AND THE OUTER WORLD: writings by veterans and their families from the Cape Ann Veterans Writers Workshop, a Gloucester Writers Center project, supported by Cape Ann Veterans Services (also stunning outreach and programming)

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Before Dogtown was Dogtown: Archaeological Survey project to be presented at City Hall November 29! Maybe hello blueberries bye bye Lyme Disease

Old tree Rockport Road ca.1892

Dogtown is eligible for the National Register! Will Gloucester earn another major district designation?

Nov 29th, 7PM, Public Meeting

Come to a special public presentation November 29th in Kyrouz Auditorium in Gloucester City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue, at 7pm.

Read excerpts from the press release shared by Bill Remsen, local project coordinator, and Mary Ellen Lepionka, co-chair Gloucester Historical Commission, and some Dogtown maps and memorabilia 1633-1961:

Read more

$12,000 grant opportunity for local artists and writers | Drawing, Printmaking, Poetry, Traditional arts

Mayor Romeo Theken always shares art news immediately! Please share. Dealers, tell your artists! Family and friends, encourage someone you know should try.

Here’s the announcement and deadline from the Massachusetts Cultural Council:

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The Massachusetts Cultural Council 2018 Artist Fellowship program opportunities have been announced!

October 2 deadline for drawing, poetry, printmaking, traditional arts

“Mass Cultural Council will accept applications in Choreography, Fiction/Creative Nonfiction, and Painting beginning December 15, 2017. Application deadline: January 29, 2018…Visit the MCC redesigned ArtSake blog, our online resource to support new art and Massachusetts artists. Every week, we round up a list of opportunities for artists – a way to find your next contest, artist residency, call to artists, publication, and more.”

Gloucester artist, Erica Daborn, was awarded an MCC fellowship grant in 2016.

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Bradley Smith’s roadside Patron’s collection 92 Thatcher Road Rt127A

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Bradley Smith displays a curious collection of interests, art and ephemera inside the blue shed, the Patron’s Museum & Education Center at 92 Thatcher Road (RT 127A), which he founded in 1987. He’s a poet, Shakespeare enthusiast , Korean veteran, and a Winfrey’s chocolate fan which he’s shared with us more than once. Many moons ago there was a candy store at this location (something like Taft’s Salt Water Taffy.)

SAND

SAND, WHITE SAND, WET SAND, ON AND AROUND MY HAND
IN THIS STRANGE AND FOREIGN LAND.
EYES, SIGHTLESS EYES, ONCE SAYING LAST FAREWELL,
THOSE SAD, SWEET SIGHS, MY FONDEST LORALIE.
STIFLING BERTH, DEADLY MIRTH, WARLIKE GIRTH,
THEN THE CLOSE GREY UNFAMILIAR EARTH.
WATER, PACIFIC HUE, LAPPING FEET,
LIFE’S CRESTING, FADING, LAST RETREAT.
MEN, BRAVE MEN EMBRACE THEIR GRAVES AND DIE
BENEATH THE WARM, BLUE WHITE SKY
ALL CARES TORN AWAY.
THIS DAY…

-Bradley Smith, Korean air force veteran and aesthete  (Smith’s poem Sand about WWII)

2017 Call for Applications for Gloucester’s 5th POET LAUREATE is OPEN!

APPLICATION DEADLINE IS JUNE 9

Links for: 2017 Poet Laureate application (digital format) or 2017 Poet Laureate application (PDF format submit 5 copies).

The City of Gloucester’s Committee for the Arts announces the release of the 2017 Call for Applications for the four year position of Gloucester Poet Laureate. 

The position of Gloucester Poet Laureate is dedicated to building community through poetry and encouraging a love of poetry among people of all ages.  The position was most recently held by the late Peter Todd, appointed in 2014.  During Peter’s time as Poet Laureate, he generously shared his talents with his beloved City of Gloucester. 

Under City Ordinance, the process to select the Poet Laureate is administered by the Committee for the Arts and will involve a Selection Panel including representatives from the local literary community thanks to Eastern Point Lit House and The Gloucester Writers Center.  A recommendation from the Selection Panel will be forwarded to the Committee for the Arts for review and then forwarded on to the Mayor for nomination, subject to confirmation by the City Council.

The Call for Applications is available for download at the Committee for the Arts page on the City website: http://gloucester-ma.gov/index.aspx?nid=102.  Copies also are available at the Sawyer Free Library, the City of Gloucester Mayor’s Office, Eastern Point Lit House, the Gloucester Writer’s Center, and other locales.  Applications must be submitted by 12 pm on Friday, June 9th , 2017. Contact Judith Hoglander, Committee for the Arts with any questions.

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Sawyer Free April 8 | John Ronan reads from his first new book of poetry in 8 years, and shares one here for National Poem in Pocket Day April 27, 2017

John Ronan presents Taking the Train of Singularity South From Midtown on Saturday, April 8, 2:00-3:00pm in the Friend Room. It’s Sponsored by the Gloucester Lyceum and Friends of the Sawyer Free Library.

John Ronan a poet, playwright, journalist and a National Endowment for the
Arts Fellow in Literature has done so much in Gloucester! Here’s a throwback article from 1978 about the Gloucester Broadside, a monthly 10 cent one sheet of quality poetry.

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Ronan developed the website resource dedicated to Gloucester poets, Gloucester Poet Laureate, also for Salt and Light: An Anthology of Gloucester Poetry, published spring 2010. He is the host of the Cape Ann TV program, The Writer’s Block.  He was pivotal in establishing the library’s annual Poetry without Paper Contest and poetry columns in the Gloucester Daily Times.

Students are encouraged to submit poems to the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library’s annual Poetry without Paper contest by April 30th!

April 27 2017 | POEM IN POCKET DAY: It’s free and simple to participate. Carry a Poem. Share a Poem. For more information, search for Poem in Your Pocket Day (PIYP Day) Academy of American Poets (www.poets.org) or New York City’s excellent web site, http://www.NYC.gov/poem. PIYP Day started in NYC in 2002 inspired by the Favorite Poem Project established in 1997 (first events April 1998) by Robert Pinsky, former 3x Poet Laureate of the United States. East Gloucester Elementary School initiated Poem in Pocket Day in 2011 (PTO enrichment).

The Ride of My Life

The signs say sixty

miles an hour, sixty

degree angles, eight

bucks for two minutes,

and Don’t Stand Up!

We pay the eight,

climb in the car.

The Big Guy who draws

down the lap bar

tight as a tourniquet,

says:  “Stash the glasses,

the pen in your pocket.

Stuff flies out.”

Cogs catch.  The cars

quake, start awkwardly

forward as my wife waves,

safe on West 10th

and others stroll Surf,

Coney Island tourists

not thinking about The Cyclone,

or the comic fate that leads

in the first place to Astroland,

no way not to be

in a roller coaster seat

at the top of the first drop and…

Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod!

Up plummet of guts

plunging down, fist

full of fear in the heart-

sick final mind:

I am not on a metaphor,

I am going to die.

Followed by a slow coast,

an arc of confident calm,

balm of Brooklyn below and…

Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod!

Death drop and keister

clench!  The easy scream!

…and the balm of Brooklyn below.

Ohmygod! horror, and hope…

Ohmygod! horror, and hope…

Slowly, slack in the lickety split.

Speed evens out

and the sine curve dies,

finally flat

in a fan turn to the ramp.

The Big Guy hovers

above the cars, smiling:

“Second ride’s five.”

-John J. Ronan

Cape Ann TV filmed John Ronan reading this poem, The Ride of My Life

I LOVED the Cyclone and I lost my prescription eyeglasses…and a shoe!

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Harry Shokler 1943 Coney Island original screenprint

John Ronan’s New Book: Taking the Train of Singularity South from Midtown

Taking the Train of Singularity South From Midtown

The Poetry Society of America recently featured  John Ronan’s wonderful civic poetry creed essay January 2017. Book tour events listed http://www.theronan.org/

POET LAUREATE: In Gloucester, MA, the Poet Laureate is dedicated to building community through poetry and encouraging a love of poetry among people of all ages. The honorary post for the City of Gloucester was created in 1998. There have been 4 Poet Laureates: Vincent Ferrini was the City’s first, then John Ronan served from 2008-10, Ruthanne Collinson served 2010-14, and Peter Todd served 2014-15. The Committee for the Arts helps to select a new Poet Laureate.

 

Rediscovered Artist: seeking information on Arthur William Wilson (1892-1974) also known as ‘TEX’, WINSLOW WILSON and PICO MIRAN active NYC, Rockport, Gloucester

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Winslow Wilson, Squall Coming, photo http://www.winslowwilson.com

 

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Pico Miran (Arthur Winslow Wilson), Merry-go-Round, photo http://www.winslowwilson.com

Granddaughter Claudia Wilson-Howard writes Good Morning Gloucester seeking any information, biographical “tidbits”, or recollections about fine artist Winslow Wilson who resided in Gloucester and had studios in Gloucester and Rockport ca. 1946-1972.She is working on an excellent project: a digital resource about her grandfather.

I am the granddaughter of Winslow Wilson,” she writes, “an artist who spent most of his life on Cape Ann, painting under two names in two studios.  One studio, in Gloucester, the second in Rockport, and a member of the Rockport Art Association from 1946-1972, he was an active member of the art community. I have developed a website (www.winslowwilson.com), which is a work in progress.  I am attempting to develop as detailed a biography as possible, and was hoping …to reach out to the community to help gather any tidbit of information. Thank you very much!” 

Perhaps a reader of this blog can help identify a sitter in one of Wilson’s stellar unidentified local portraits.

Arthur William “Winslow” “Tex” Wilson, also known as Pico Miran was an American artist–primarily a painter– born on July 20, 1892  in Brady, Texas. His family moved to Junction, TX, where he graduated from high school, also the address he used while attending Harvard. Wilson  was a veteran of the First World War (National Guard, AEF) deployed to France 1918-1919. He died November 18, 1974 in Miami, FLA.

At Harvard

Wilson transferred from Texas A&M University to  Harvard. Roy Follett his professor at Texas A&M described Wilson’s impact on him as “atomic”, possessed with a creative intellect that surpassed the teacher’s.  And then the unthinkable…

For Wilson, life changed punishingly July 4, 1912 as he accidentally and horrifically killed his fellow undergrad, a friend and co-worker Merle DeWitt Britten on the job, driving the streetcar that crushed him. Wilson left Harvard, then came back. He skipped classes. At times he soared. He was a writer and editor of The Harvard Monthly  literary magazine with an impressive group of multi talented peers and friends: ee cummings; John Dos Passos; critic Gilbert Seldes; poet (Pulitzer prize winner) Robert Hillyer; poet (later Director MA Historical Society) R. Stewart Mitchell; Scofield Thayer*; and  James Sibley Watson*.

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Arthur Wilson undergraduate writing published in The Harvard Montly

The Harvard Monthly was founded in 1885 and ceased publication in 1917, its aim “to publish the best (undergraduate) articles, fiction and verse by students in the University.”  The words  “and verse” were added after E.E. Cummings gave their class commencement speech in 1915 on “The New Art” extolling contemporary expressions in music, the visual arts, and literature. “What really brought down the house was Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons,” he’d later say about this bit in the speech:

“unquestionably a proof of great imagination on the part of the authoress, as anyone who tries to imitate her work will discover for himself. Here we see traces of realism, similar to those which made the “Nude Descending a Staircase” so baffling. As far as these “Tender Buttons” are concerned, the sum and substance of criticism is impossible. The unparalleled familiarity of the medium precludes its use for the purpose of aesthetic effect. And here, in their logical conclusion, impressionistic tendencies are reduced to absurdity. The question now arises, how much of all this is really Art? The answer is: we do not know. The great men of the future will most certainly profit by the experimentation of the present period. An insight into the unbroken chain of artistic development during the last half century disproves the theory that modernism is without foundation; rather we are concerned with a natural unfolding of sound tendencies. That the conclusion is, in a particular case, absurdity, does not in any way impair the value of the experiment, so long as we are dealing with sincere effort. The New Art, maligned though it may be by fakirs and fanatics, will appear in its essential spirit to the unprejudiced critic as a courageous and genuine exploration of untrodden ways…how much of all this is really Art? The answer is: we do not know. The great men of the future will most certainly profit by the experimentation of the present period.” – ee cummings 1915 

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ee cummings portrait of Thayer, printed in the Dial

*The Dial was founded by James Sibley Watson and Scofield Thayer. Emily Sibley Watson, Founder of Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester was friends with Marianne Moore

1917 NYC apartment with Cummings

Wilson and e.e. cummings (1884-1962) were roommates at Harvard, friends who hit the town. (There’s one story with them caught at a prostitute’s apartment.) They remained friends enough to room together more and carouse Greenwich Village. Thanks to $1000 from Thayer, Cummings joined Wilson in New York at 21 East 15th Street in 1917.

There are striking parallels, comparisons, and secrets in the lives they led. Both men were artists and writers that had tragic and shattering life experiences, and estranged and scandalous family stories.

According to Virginia Spencer Carr‘s 1984 biography of John Dos Passos, Dos Passos envied these two: “Wilson was already signing his paintings (when he signed them at all) “Winslow Wilson” and Dos Passos surmised (when?) that he would be recognized eventually for his stunning portraits and seascapes. He was convinced that Cummings was too assured a reputation as a painter and saw Dudley Poore as the best poet of the lot from Harvard who aspired to a career in letters.” 

All three enlisted in WW1. Cummings signed up for the volunteer ambulance corp along with Harvard chums Hillyer and Dos Passos. Cummings ended up a POW and wrote a novel about the experience, The Enormous Room. Cummings said he was a self-taught painter, helped along by friends from Harvard. Did he sign up for classes in New York? Where did Wilson study art in New York before WW1?

(Incidentally, Gertrude Stein was also a volunteer camion; it seems like a ‘who wasn’t?’ roster. The majority of the 3500+ drivers came from ivy league schools, especially Harvard. The American Field Service (AFS) ambulance unit grew to be the largest and was founded by Gloucester’s own A. Piatt Andrew in 1915, after helping out the year before.)

1920s

After the War, Wilson was in New York and abroad in Paris, and London (infamously). There was a blink of a marriage and divorce from Elizabeth Brice, and a daughter Caroline, a dancer, that he never saw again. At 34, Wilson and his  19 year old girlfriend Winifred Brown abandoned a baby. It was an international scandal. Wilson’s family stepped up and his brother Ernest raised the boy as his own. It was four decades before the baby learned about his biological parents. I know these wincing details because that boy, H Robert Wilson, is a good writer and did the research.

Arthur Wilson signed his paintings as “Winslow” Wilson, which fits as a wink at Homer. Seascapes as a subject. Private solitary life. It also works as a visual swapping out of “Tex” for East Coast “Winslow”. The initials become double letters (like e.e. cummings), and nearly a double name, minus one letter and there’s an anagram of Wilson. It’s even a  way to differentiate his name ‘Arthur Wilson’ from other artists and writers with the same name(s), initials (AW or the comic Aww), and friends. Winslow Wilson is decidedly not Edmund Wilson (though like many writers he credits “nearly everything” about his sources of style as a painter to him), artist Edward Arthur Wilson, artist Arthur Wilson (UK), artist Arthur Wilson (LA), artist Edward Adrian Wilson, to name a few.

Mostly, Wilson using “Winslow” seems a deliberate break from his traumatic past: living with the death of his friend, letting his family down, fighting in WW1, divorce, scandal, family secrets, and that difficult ee cummings portrait poem about him.

ca. 1922 ee cummings poem ‘Arthur Wilson’

E.E. Cummings poem “Three Portraits” (I. Pianist  II. Caritas  III. Arthur Wilson) is published in the modernist magazine the Broom: An International Magazine of the Arts, Volume 2, Number 4, July 1922. Founded and backed not nearly enough by Harold Loeb and Alfred Kreymborg, the Broom publication was a short lived (1921-24) modernist monthly featuring  “unknown, path-breaking” writers and artists (reproductions, original designs, translations). The cummings poem ‘Arthur Wilson’ was illustrated with woodcuts by Ladislaw Medgyes.  The issue’s cover design was by Fernard Leger;

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Cover design by Fernard Leger, Broom, Volume 2 No. 4, July 1922

 

Picasso, Modigliani and William Gropper drawings were reproduced inside.

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The text for III. Arthur Wilson follows (refer to the image for the visual spatial break in cummings prose).

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III. Arthur Wilson
as usual i did not find him in cafes, the more dissolute atmosphere
of a street superimposing a numbing imperfectness upon such peri-
grinations as twilight spontaneously by inevitable tiredness of flang-
ing shop-girls impersonally affords furnished a soft first clue to
his innumerable whereabouts          violet logic of annihilation demon-
strating from woolworthian pinnacle a capable millenium of faces
meshing with my curiously instant appreciation exposed his hiber-
native contours,
aimable immensity impeccably extending the courtesy of five o’clock
became the omen of his prescience          it was spring by the way
in the soiled canary-cage of largest existence.

(when he would extemporise the innovation of muscularity upon the
most crimson assistance of my comforter a click of deciding glory
inflicted to the negative silence that primeval exposure whose elec-
tric solidity remembers some accurately profuse scratchings in a
recently discovered cave,           the carouse of geometrical putrescence
whereto my invariably commendable room had been forever subject
his Earliest word wheeled out on the sunny dump of oblivion)

a tiny dust finely arising at the integration of my soul i coughed

, naturally.
-E.E. Cummings

Like The Harvard Monthly and The Dial, Broom contributors were or would become recognized luminaries: Sherwood Anderson, Guillaume Apollinaire, Hans Arp, Conrad Aiken, Kenneth Burke, Robert M Coates, Jean Cocteau, Malcolm Cowley, Hart Crane, Adolph Dehn, Andre Derain, Raoul Dufy, Paul Eldridge, T S Eliot, Wanda Gag, Robert Graves, Juan Gris, William Gropper, George Grosz, Rockwell Kent, Paul Klee, Fernand Leger, Lipchitz, El Lissitzky, Amy Lowell, Louis Lozowick, Marianne Moore, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Mondigliani, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, ‘Charles Sheeler, Gertrude Stein, Joseph Stella, Wallace Stevens, Paul Strand, Max Weber, William Carlos Williams, and Virginia Woolf among other  artists and writers.

It was a small world and circle. The Broom contributors likely read that ee cummings poem about Wilson, and several knew both men. Names carried over from the Harvard-Dial network (Amy Lowell, Marianne Moore).

EE Cummings published Part III in later editions by the title “as usual I did not find him in cafes” omitting Arthur Wilson’s name.

1924 e.e. cummings visits Gloucester

to see writer, friend and editor R. Stewart Mitchell (1892-1957) who had a home here. Stewart Mitchell was another Harvard alumni (1915) and former Harvard Monthly editor. His face inspired the nickname “The Great Auk”. How nice being friends with artist-writers.

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After serving in WW1, Mitchell was a managing editor and regular contributor for The Dial from 1919-21, then published poet. From 1928-1937 he was Managing Editor of the New England Quarterly journal, and from 1929- 57 an editor and Director of the Massachusetts Historical Society. On the Ma Historical Society seal : “It would hardly have done to compare the members of the Society to oxen, sheep, or birds … but bees had always had a good reputation for the sweetness and light of their honey and their wax. “– 1949 Stewart Mitchell

 

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Did  Cummings and Arthur W. Wilson come to Gloucester while attending Harvard or at other times in the 1920s to see Stewart? Was Cummings in Gloucester other years, decades? Did Wilson and Mitchell re-connect in Gloucester? John Sloan’s etching Frankie and Johnnie illustrates EE Cummings’ play HIM. Did Wilson interact with Stuart Davis in Gloucester or New York?

(Aside: In 1984 the play ViVa Cummings! opened in Gloucester under the direction of William Finlay and the New Stillington Players. Did they know Cummings had been here…)

1935

Wilson fails to update his Harvard alumni association requests. Here’s the 1935 entry:

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1951 ELEANOR ROOSEVELT VISITS EXHIBIT AT AAA, NYC

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Artist Winslow Wilson guiding Eleanor Roosevelt through his solo exhibition at Associated American Artists, June 4, 1951.   Photograph from http://www.winslowwilson.com

Wilson’s painting from the 1951 Contemporary American Artists exhibition at the Associated American Artists won the people’s choice award, and his solo exhibit in June was attended and written about by Eleanor Roosevelt in her nationally syndicated MY DAY column:

HYDE PARK, Sunday—At lunch last Friday I had a visit from Mr. Tatsukichiro Horikawa, who is over here from Japan on a trip studying the World Federation movement in different countries. He has visited Switzerland, Germany, France and England, as well as the United States, and he came to see me before in New York City; but he wishes particularly to come up to Hyde Park and place some flowers on my husband’s grave.

I was especially interested in talking to him because, like so many of the World Federalists, he felt that the United Nations was very inadequate. He felt one must bring about more unity—and particularly, if we were going to have any settlements in the Far East, there must be unity between Great Britain and the United States as well as the other nations in their policy.

I asked him if he did not think it was a good deal to expect to have a unified policy among 60 nations when the organization bringing them together had been in existence only six years. It seems to me it requires longer for people to understand how the other peoples think and feel. World federation might someday be possible, but not until people have had a greater length of time to find out about each other. One of the American World Federalist members had also written me saying that the federation must come first and then be followed by understanding. I think this begs the question of how you obtain the federation and how, having obtained it in name, you do anything practical with it.

In New York City on Thursday afternoon I went to see an exhibition of paintings of the sea done by Winslow Wilson, at the Associated American Artists Galleries on Fifth Avenue. This exhibition was arranged under the auspices of Greenwich House, toward whose support a portion of the proceeds of any sale will go.

Mr. Wilson told me he did not paint actually from a scene he was looking at, but from memory. He said he particularly liked to use the sea because it was to him a symbol of the stress and strife we were all going through at present; and still it had a kind of discipline and control which was what most human beings were striving for today and finding difficult of achievement. I found some of his paintings quite beautiful, and reminiscent of many seacoasts I have known. In certain ones the light made one think of tropical climates; in others the shores of Maine seemed to stand out. More often the sky and the sea were stormy, but the light was nearly always breaking through. Let us hope that out of this turbulent period of history the light will break through for all human beings.

The other day I was sent a little pamphlet written by Eloise R. Griffith on the national anthems and their origin. I think this will be of interest to a great many people who want to know a little more than the mere words of the songs which we hear sung so often.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I am thunderstruck reading a portion of sales would benefit Greenwich House. Talk about an undercurrent.

1951 Post-Modern Manifesto in the same year as the AAA seascapes

 

“A complete study of Cummings should take penetrating account of his painting and drawing. And no estimate of his literary work can begin without noting the important fact that Cummings is a painter.” That’s the opener for Syrinx., a critique of Cummings by Gorham B. Munson published in Secession July 1923. “His first stimulus comes from the emotional and perceptive materials of his experience…Cummings has jabbed his pen into life, but he has also twisted it in the wound, and it is this twist of the pen that makes literature.” 

Knowing ee cummings facility with visual arts transforms how his poems read. He identifies both pursuits. The press announcement for Cummings appointment at Harvard in 1952 affirmed that he resided in New York City, writing and painting since the year 1920. It wasn’t that he sculpted marks–‘scratchings’- that could be seen as pictures in print,–it’s this charge when visual art and writing advance toward or basically obliterate media boundaries.

After reading Wilson’s 1951 Manifesto For Post-Modern Art published under his pseudonym Pico Miran, I felt a similar tug. For Wilson, when it comes to ideas and individuality, words and paint –and as many names and identities to match– matter.  Some of Wilson’s paintings could be shown alongside pages from ee cummings The Enormous Room.

There are takeaways and points one can make about this manifesto and painting series of Wilson. I can think of art I’d like to show together with this work.

Yikes, the thoughts about women! Here’s Wilson writing as Pico Miran in his Manifesto, emphasis on man apparently:

“But while he proposes to save the personal symbol, he must emphatically reject the conception of its privacy–a conception which he is compelled to regard as an effeminate misery: he cannot help thinking an almost unmanly exaggeration of the one bit of feminine make-up in every artist, here flouncing in absurd esthetic millinery, with coy desire for secretiveness, mysterious subjectivity, and vain feelings of cryptic superiority to the vulgar mass.” 

1951 Hidden, not lost

Wilson evidently maintained some contacts; note the supportive reviews by friends (Moore, Burke, Wheelock) later reprinted for his 1957 solo exhibit at Vose Galleries in Boston. Edward Alden Jewel, the New York Times critic, described Wilson as “living a hidden life of pure dedication and drudgery” in his 1951 NYC AAA review.

2015 Found. A great teacher

On Cape Ann, Wilson taught figurative painting through the Rockport Art Association, which he joined in 1946. Wilson is recollected as a dazzling teacher who could bring out the best in his students. One student’s 2015 recollection is a must read:  “Bing McGilvray of the Cape Ann Museum was fortunate to communicate with a local artist familiar with Wilson, Betty Lou Schlemm.”  Wilson sounds like the famous and captivating professors at Harvard.   Another unforgettable piece about Wilson’s biography concerns a local exchange between Pico Miran and Peter Anastas following a 1954 review by the latter.

For local readers, the www.winslowwilson.com website helpfully provides some Gloucester addresses associated with Wilson.

  • June 21, 1951: Bradford Building, 209 Main Room 208, Gloucester, MA
  • August 1, 1951: Marine Basin, E. Gloucester, MA
  • June 18, 1952: Bradford Building, 209 Main Room 208, Gloucester, MA
  • July 26, 1955: Bradford Building, 209 Main Room 208, Gloucester, MA
  • 1967 maybe 195 Main Street, Gloucester, MA
  • 1969 maybe 195 Main Street, Gloucester, MA
  • June 2, 1971: PO. Box 414, Gloucester, MA

Also:

21 Est 15th Street, 154 East 39th Street, Carnegie Hall, 3 Washington Square North in Greenwich Village, Woodstock, N.Y., and Lime Rock, CT.

Sawyer Free at a crossroads: building plan meetings tomorrow January 11 at 4:00pm and 6:30pm

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Sawyer Free Building Committee is meeting at 4pm January 11, 2017 to discuss schematic design, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC grant opportunities), and ready another presentation. At 6:30pm they’ll give a second public presentation with the building team. (Today’s Gloucester Daily Times article by Ray Lamont has more information: Commish Questions: Library board presenting proposal at community forum Wednesday night) Below are photographs from the January 4th meeting for coporators and other invited guests. The library’s building committee and the new building team gave a presentation and fielded comments and questions. Attendees expressed both support and dismay. Like the schools, it’s a big topic.  There are similarities: seeking a matching state grant, steep building compliance requirements, same project manager as West Parish and architects as West Parish. Questions and concerns can be directed to a communications consultant engaged by the library who will help to connect you with answers. There was a scrumptious catering spread from Willow Rest. I liked the artisan flatbread school of fish display. Melissa and the Willow Rest team are so creative.

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The current North Shore Magazine gives a shout out to Beverly Library for being rather library-ish, “unlike a lot of libraries, it’s quiet.” Plus more interior photographs of the Boston Public Library.

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Boston Public Library passing through Daniel Chester French doors

 

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Longfellow among the 30 Boston notable mosaics

 

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Louis Saint-Gaudens twin lions, honoring Civil War veterans; grand stairs, ceiling, windows, partial peek at Puves de Chavennes murals

Balancing and balance

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Prior post: Proposed building plans. Plus universal access, consolidated archives and digitization

When good fences make good neighbors, and Robert Frost was here thanks to Walker Hancock

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Photo without irony. For irony scroll down to see the poem, Mending Wall, by Robert Frost, and for Hancock’s portrait of Frost.

Update: shortly after posting and thanks to Good Morning Gloucester facebook feed and readers, there may be more information coming on the outside-r artist who built such a great fence design. Please send in more information soon. And here is some! Danny Diamond writes: “I painted this octopus (and the rest of the fence) back in October. It belongs to  Jon Just Jon and Lisa Bouchie. The octopus was painted entirely with low-pressure spray-cans.” And Lisa Redbird adds:  “…conceived by Lisa Bouchie, built by Mark (Girard) of Spotless Monkey and spray painted by Danny Diamond. A true artist collaborative…”

Mending Wall

1914 poem by Robert Frost, American poet  (1874-1963), first published in anthology North of Boston

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To  please the yelping dogs. The gaps I made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door-game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines,  I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
Spring is mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.”  I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go beyond his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

Robert Frost sat for Walker Hancock, Gloucester resident, esteemed sculptor and one of the country’s Monuments Men. Frost walked our local woods.

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Artist: Walker Kirtland Hancock, (b.1901-December 30, 1998)
Sitter: Robert Lee Frost, 26 Mar 1874 – 29 Jan 1963
Date: 1969 bronze sculpture cast after 1950 original (collection Amherst)
Dimensions: Without socle or mount: 16 1/2 x 9 1/2 x 10 inches
Collection: National Portrait Gallery

The Robert Frost Farm, Derry, NH (home 1900-1911)

Friends of Robert Frost, So. Shaftsbury, VT

Frost Place in Franconia, NH

Robert Frost Society established in 1978

Robert Frost collection at Amherst College (on the faculty for 40 years; also University of Michigan, Middlebury, Columbia, Harvard, and Yale, among other places) Hancock’s sculpture is in this collection. Sculpture of Frost by artist Penelope Jencks was unveiled in 2007

Robert Frost collection at Dartmouth College (alumnus)

A Frost Bouquet: Robert Frost, His Family, and the Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, a digitized rendering of the 1996 exhibition at University of Virginia

Victor E. Reichert Robert Frost Collection, University at Buffalo

Audio of Frost reading poems, Part III includes Mending Wall or here read and listen to Frost’s voice as he recites Mending Wall:

First Night Boston Copley Square: top crowd at Man At Wheel ice sculpture…by far! And Boston Public Library

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There were also large ice works of a lighthouse, clipper ship and sea serpent (live sculpting work in progress while we were there)

Across the street a favorite spot with more public art and large crowds– the ever stunning Boston Public Library. An art post for another day: for now some interior details. Here are a Kitson marble bust of Longfellow and a tease detail from the Sargent murals. (My sons said they like the Sawyer Free teen room more but this Boston Library was something to be proud of, too.)

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Motif Monday: The quotable Christmas Mrs. Miniver

Inspired by Joey’s and Kim Smith’s countdowns and Greg Bover’s posts, I was thinking about a GMG countdown of favorite quotable Christmas and holiday excerpts, with an extra bonus for passages with Gloucester ties. Please add or send quotes, passages, and poems that we can delight in and share.

I’ll start with a description of jubilant awakening — children bursting through doors early Christmas morning — from a 1939 book by Jan Struther, Mrs. Miniver, which for me is also a sweet reminder about my folks as they followed a similar “stocking first-presents after” routine and were beloved.

A little background: Struther’s book stemmed from her popular fiction column begun in 1937 and published every two weeks in The Times. Following the book’s smash reception, the classic William Wyler movie, Mrs. Miniver, starring Greer Garson was released in 1942. The movie is based on the book but its own story. The movie was nominated for 12 Oscars and garnered 6 including best picture. The music is by Herbert Stothart who won an Oscar for his work on the Wizard of Oz.

Mrs. Miniver on embracing positive enthusiasm:

“It began in the same way every year: the handle of her bedroom door being turned just loudly enough to wake her up, but softly enough not to count as waking her up on purpose; (her child) Toby glimmering like a moth in the dark doorway, clutching a nobbly Christmas stocking in one hand and holding up his pyjama trousers with the other. (He insisted upon pyjamas, but he had not yet outgrown his sleeping-suit figure.)

‘Toby! It’s only just after six. I did say not till seven.’ ‘But, Mummy, I can’t tell the time.’ He was barefoot and shivering, and his eyes were like stars.

Read more

Wonderful Gloucester Cultural Council has money for 2017 arts, humanities and sciences projects. Apply now!

The GCC Application deadline is October 17, 2016. No paper copies are required this year!

The GCC grants have primed countless programs that would not have been possible without that support. The unheralded community volunteers that put in the time and effort to administer the process are fantastic. I look forward to seeing the annual choices. Good luck everyone!

Rose Sheehan writes to GMG:

On behalf of the Gloucester Cultural Council please help us get the word out about project funding opportunities. Thanks! 

The Gloucester Cultural Council is currently accepting applications for grant funding for community-based projects in the arts, humanities and sciences for the FY 2017 round of funding. Each year, organizations, schools and individuals are invited to apply to the Local Cultural Council for funding to support projects that promote rich cultural experiences in the Gloucester community. This year, all applicants must submit their proposals via the new online system and no hard copy applications will be accepted. 

The Gloucester Cultural Council is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community. The Gloucester Cultural Council guidelines, project priorities and online applications are available at http://www.mass-culture.org/Gloucester.

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Gloucester Daily Times April 2012, Poetry Comes Alive, East Gloucester Elementary school celebrates National Poetry Month with support from the Gloucester Cultural Council, an MCC LCC initiative

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