BRUNSWICK — The annual month-long celebration of one of Brunswick’s most famous citizens, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, will begin Feb. 1.
Like previous events honoring the 19th-century poet, Longfellow Days 2009 will focus on a theme. This time events will revolve around “Longfellow: Citizen of the World” and include lectures and presentations by historians, films, dance, music and poetry devoted to Longfellow’s commitment to cross-cultural immersion and his promotion of American literary icons to European audiences.
Each event will link the poet’s world travels and friendships and is designed to further local interest in Brunswick’s cultural heritage.
Almost all the events are free and open to the public.
The activities begin Feb. 1 at 1 p.m. at the Fireplace Room in the Curtis Memorial Library with Maine poets Ted Bookey, Sheryl Hansen and Ed Gottfried.
Longfellow Days will conclude Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the Frontier Cafe with special guest David McLain, an award-winning photojournalist for National Geographic magazine. McLain, who lives in North Yarmouth, will share with the audience stories from his many international travels. A suggested donation of $5 is requested; proceeds will benefit Longfellow Days.
Other highlights include a Feb. 5 showing of “All Aboard” at 6:30 p.m. at the Frontier Cafe. It will feature stories from noted Longfellow biographer Charles Calhoun. In addition, Frontier owner Michael Gilroy will discuss his own journey from Mongolia to Maine. Attendees are invited to bring writings and photos from their own travels, which will be added to the Frontier’s month-long participatory exhibit.
On Feb. 12, Stephen Meardon, an economics historian and assistant professor at Bowdoin College, will lecture on “U.S. Trade in Longfellow’s Time and Now.” The talk will focus on Longfellow’s involvement in international trade while he was a student at Bowdoin, and reflect on trade policy between the 1820s and today.
The lecture begins at 4 p.m. and will be held in Thorne Hall’s Daggett Lounge. Admission is free.
On Feb. 22, the Pejepscot Historical Society will conduct free tours of Longfellow’s home from noon to 3 p.m. Attendees should arrive at the Chamberlain Museum at the corner of Maine and Potter streets.
Here is the schedule for other Longfellow Days events:
• Feb. 7 – A screening of the silent film “A Man There Was” at 11 a.m. at the Eveningstar Cinema. Admission is $8.
• Feb. 8 – “Poets in the Community II,” featuring readings by Moonpie Press poets Jim Mello, Alice Persons and Jim Glenn, 1 p.m. in the Fireplace Room of the Curtis Memorial Library. Admission is free.
• Feb. 15 – “Poets in the Community III,” featuring readings by Herb Coursen, Anne Oleson and Joyce Pye, 1 p.m. in the Fireplace Room of Curtis Memorial Library. Free.
• Feb. 18 – “The Translator’s Art,” featuring foreign language faculty from Bowdoin and Bates College, will discuss the cultural sensitivity required of translators at 12:15 p.m. in the Morrell Room of Curtis Memorial Library. Free.
• Feb. 21 – “Sophisticates Abroad” is a reader’s theater performance featuring Bowdoin graduate Amy Waterman. Free.
• Feb. 22 – “Chapel Concert,” featuring the Bowdoin Brass Ensemble, Moving Spirit Dance and organist Ann Hertzler performing music and themes of world peace, 3 p.m. at the Bowdoin Chapel. Donations benefit Longfellow Days.
Longfellow Days is a joint program between the Brunswick Downtown Association and Bowdoin College.
For more information call 729-4439.