Brunswick's Longfellow Days gets romantic in 9th year

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BRUNSWICK — Love, friendship and romance are the themes of the ninth annual celebration of Brunswick’s famous poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The nearly month-long event, sponsored by the Brunswick Downtown Association, kicks off on Saturday, Feb. 4, with a community tea with Maine women poets. Maggie Finch and Jerry Day Mason will read and discuss poetry in a fireside talk at the Brunswick Inn on Park Row.

On Sunday, three more Maine poets will gather at Curtis Memorial Library to read from their works. The library will host poetry readings throughout the month.

In its second week, the celebration tackles dating and marriage through the ages with a lecture by Wendy Christensen, Bowdoin College visiting professor of sociology and anthropology. The talk, held in the Morrell Room in the Curtis Memorial Library on Feb. 8, will answer questions like: Do people still date? Does marriage mean what it used to?

Later in the month, Bowdoin College will host a dinner with Maine’s poet laureate, Wesley McNair, on Feb. 16. A $25 ticket buys a buffet dinner featuring delicacies like fettuccine with squash and baby spinach, pan-seared balsamic turkey steak and red velvet cupcakes.

On Feb. 24, Maine State Music Theater, the Bowdoin College a capella group Ursus Verses and local actors are hosting a cabaret, love letter-reading and buffet at the Inn at Brunswick Station. Tickets are $20 and reservations are encouraged.

Longfellow Days closes out its 2012 celebration with a service at the Bowdoin College chapel on Feb. 26. The Rev. Brad Mitchell, formerly of the Unitarian Universalist church, will lead the service, accompanied by organist Grace Lewis McLaren, The Bowdoin College Longfellows, and the Merrymeeting Singers.

The groups will perform “Snow-Flakes,” a Longfellow poem set to music composed by Charles Kaufmann.

Emily Guerin can be reached at 781-3661 ext.123 or Follow her on Twitter: @guerinemily.