Portland Pottery exhibit

This collection of pottery, on loan from Carl and Pauline Silveri, represents Portland and local Maine potters from about 1840 to the early 1920s, including E. Swasey & Company of Portland ME, a company which at one time was one of New England’s most prolific pottery works and today is all but forgotten.Portland Pottery exhibit

Eban Swasey was a potter who apprenticed in Exeter NH in the mid-1800s.  In 1875 he and his partner, Rufus Lamson, moved to Portland ME and established the Portland Earthen Ware Manufactory, producing redware.  Swasey and Lamson eventually went their separate ways, and in 1890 Swasey established E. Swasey & Co. at 273 Commercial Street in Portland.

In 1897, Swasey’s youngest son Perley joined the company, which became a sizeable enterprise by the turn of the century.  Eban died in 1906, but the business carried on until finally sputtering out of business in the Depression.  The factory buildings are still there on Commercial Street – refurbished and with the “E. Swasey” logos freshly restored on the end of the mill, they serve today as an office park.

http://davescupboard.blogspot.com/2010/08/vintage-sunday-e-swasey-co-pottery.html

There are also documents in the exhibit related to the E. Swasey & Co. Other Portland pottery companies in the exhibit include J.E. Goold and Geo. A. Young Co.

 

10 more days!

10 more days until Art & Soul, our annual fundraiser for the Long Island Community Library. Here areLICL raffle table at parade our intrepid library volunteers selling raffle tickets on July 4th, at the Long Island Fourth of July parade. The winning raffle tickets will buy you a wonderful themed basket, or a personalized cruise on the bay.

Stop by the library and see the kid’s rainy day basket, a blueberry bucket filled with surprises donated by Ivy Hall Gift Shop (Evergreen United Methodist Church outreach), a Maine Lottery Tree, a chocolate basket, a lobster bake basket, an Irish basket, and a mailboat run basket.

AND the FIRST ticket drawn will be treated to an afternoon trip around Casco Bay with Steve and Chris McDuffie on the BLUE NUN.  Room for six, destination to be determined by Captain and winner and weather.

Tickets are 3 for $5.00 (stapled together) or $2.00 per ticket. The tickets are sold at the library, from library volunteers & from Mary McAleney, 207-799-4306, mcaleney@gmail.com

See you in 10 days!

 

 

 

ART & SOUL Festival – July 19

ART & SOUL Festival

to benefit

Long Island Community Library

 

Long Island Library & Learning Center

Saturday, July 19, 2014, 10-2

 At 2pm: Raffle drawings, silent auction results and books $1.00 a bag

Books— Fiction, fact and fantasy

LICL booksale flower sign Food— Scrumptious sweets and savory snacks pastries

Jewelry— Baubles, beads and bling

Costume jewelry Art— Auction of awesome art treasures

Raffle— Bountiful baskets, plenty of prizes

Raffle Tickets sold at the library, library volunteers &

Mary McAleney 207-799-4306 mcaleney@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you there (and thank you for supporting our library)

 

Maine Literary Awards winners!

Great Diamond Island tour - Moon Garden

The Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance (MWPA) announced the winners of the 2014 Maine Literary Awards.

The winners for book awards included Roxana Robinson for “Sparta” in fiction; Al Lamanda for “Sunrise” in crime fiction; Mark D. Diehl for “Seventeen: Book One” in speculative fiction; Lincoln Paine for “The Sea and Civilization” in nonfiction; Peter Korn for “Why We Make Things and Why it Matters” in memoir; Christian Barter for “In Someone Else’s House” in poetry; Lynn Plourde for “You’re Wearing THAT to School?!” in children’s; Maria Padian for “Out of Nowhere” in young adult; Martha White for “E.B. White on Dogs” in anthology; Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto for “New England Gardener’s Year” in the John N. Cole Award for Maine-themed nonfiction; and Elizabeth W. Garber and Michael Weymouth for “Maine (Island Time)” for excellence in publishing.

For more information see:

http://mainewriters.org/winners-of-the-2014-maine-literary-awards/#more-2719

 

 

Cats and books!

Longfellow Books adopt-a-cat Longfellow Books adopt-a-cat BobSomehow cats and books go together. Most librarians I know own cats. Some libraries have resident cats (see Dewey : the small-town library cat who touched the world by Vicki Myron, a copy of which is at the Long Island Community Library). Many bookstores have cats too. Our own Longfellow Books on Monument Square in Portland has teamed up with the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland to offer a temporary bookstore home to help kitties find a new family to love. First there was Gus, and then Alexia, and most recently Bob – all have been adopted. What a wonderful idea!  

New bookstore in town!

For all you book lovers, here is some good news! There is a new bookstore in downtown Portland, and it’s beautiful. Sherman’s Books and Stationery has come to town, just opening in the Old Port on Exchange Street. It’s a visual treat inside – not only lots of attractive and appealing books, but lovely items to go with them. I was there on Earth Day (April 22) and a lot of earthy and green items caught my eye. There is a huge children’s area. Many of the books are reasonably priced.

Sherman books

Sherman’s Books was founded by Bill Sherman in 1886 in Bar Harbor. (They advertise themselves as “Maine’s oldest bookstore.”) There are stores in Camden, Freeport, and Bar Harbor. And now Portland! Lucky us. It’s so nice to see another Maine business come to our area.

For more information see www.shermans.com

and

https://www.facebook.com/ShermansBooks

 

National Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month (April), I would like to honor poets who write books – not of poetry, but prose. These are some of my favorite books. I just read Simon Armitage’s Walking home : a poet’s journey. Published in 2013, this book details his walk along the Pennine Way in England, which is much like America’s Appalachian Trail. Armitage exchanges room and board at various venues for reading his poems, to a variety of audiences, including appreciative, at times. Not only did I learn about this trail, but I enjoyed Armitage’s wit and honesty about himself.

England - Lanteglos Church

This book brought to mind another wonderful book, by Baron Wormser, The Road washes out in spring: a poet’s memoir of living off the grid. Baron Wormser was the Poet Laureate of Maine in 2000, and at the time of his book, lived in Madison, Maine, where he was a librarian for the local school district. Anyone who lives rural in Maine (and experiences mud season) will appreciate and enjoy this book.

So, here’s to poets everywhere, especially those who write prose!

A poem for spring

spring on Long Island 10In the heart of Westbrook College (University of New England), a quintessential New England college campus, lies a treasure: The Maine Women Writers Collection.

Founded in 1959 by Grace Dow and Dorothy Healy to honor, preserve, and make available the writings of Maine women who have achieved literary recognition, the Collection has over 8,000 volumes on more than 500 Maine women. The Collection also includes correspondence, photographs, personal papers, manuscripts, typescripts, artifacts, and audio recordings that provide insight into the lives and writing of both well-known and obscure authors.

(from the MWWC website: http://www.une.edu/mwwc/collection/index.cfm)

When I worked at Westbrook College’s Abplanalp Library the poet May Sarton had recently died, and her entire library, along with sound recordings and photographs came to the college library. I was able to sort through all her library, many of which had a bookmark or something similar tucked away in each book, linking May to the author.

For more on May Sarton’s collection at the Maine Women Writers Collection see:http://www.une.edu/mwwc/research/featuredwriters/sartonm.cfm

In memory of May Sarton, as well as celebrating the first day of spring on Thursday (although we’re still in the midst of cold and snow), I offer to you this poem by May Sarton:

Always it happens when we are not there–

The tree leaps up alive into the air,

Small open parasols of Chinese green

Wave on each twig. But who has ever seen

The latch sprung, the bud as it burst?

Spring always manages to get there first.
Lovers of wind, who will have been aware

Of a faint stirring in the empty air,

Look up one day through a dissolving screen

To find no star, but this multiplied green,

Shadow on shadow, singing sweet and clear.

Listen, lovers of wind, the leaves are here!

Book repair workshop

Ever wonder what to do with your old but tattered treasures? Here’s an opportunity to take care of them. A book repair workshop will be held on May 8, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the York Public Library. Kary Bath, Regional Manager for KAPCO, will show you how to repair your damaged books. Bring your broken spines and torn pages and use KAPCO’s materials and expert guidance to make them whole again. Light refreshments will be served. There is no charge to attend. You can register for the event at the Main State Library calendar at http://evanced.info/maine/evanced/eventcalendar.asp
.books and magazines

Quilt exhibits in libraries

There seems to be a plethora of quilts being exhibited in libraries this month. What a wonderful way to brighten up winter in Maine! I stumbled on the first one at the Falmouth Public Library – such beautiful quilts, including one made with old handkerchiefs. These quilts were made by the Cobblestone Quilters, a group of over 85 members who are interested in quilting, fabric art, and sewing.  Cobblestone quilters are active in the community donating quilts to Maine veterans, Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, the neonatal unit at Maine Medical Center, and Meals on Wheels.  They make raffle quilts to support Habitat for Humanity, Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Boys and Girls Club. Over 25 quilts by Cobblestone Quilters are on display during the month of February.  These quilts represent a variety of quilting styles, techniques, and fabric choices.

Then I read about an exhibit being held at the Portland Public Library downtown branch:

http://www.portlandlibrary.com/events/words-art-quilts-maine/

This is a traveling exhibit: Members of Art Quilts Maine, a statewide guild chapter dedicated to the exploration of contemporary quilt art, respond to an annual challenge with diverse and colorful results. This year’s challenge, issued in October 2013, is titled, “By These Words . . .” Quilts were to be inspired by Words—poetry, quote, idiom, saying. Eight members met the challenge, and the collection went on view in July at Maine Quilts 2013. Since then they have been on exhibit in Farmington and Skowhegan, and will travel to Waterville when they leave Portland.

Finally, I just came across this exhibit, held at the Wells Public Library, of quilts by Ernest Nason, a local artist who worked as a carpenter for many years. When an injury took him off his feet for a while, he decided to take up quilting.

I leave you with a picture of one of our island quilts, exhibited this summer at the Long Island Historical Society space:Quilt at the Long Island Historical Society