Acadia National Park Poet Laureate to Read From Work on Thurs., May 11

Acadia National Park Poet Laureate Christian Barter and Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing Jeffrey Thomson will read from their new books and answer questions about their work at The Bateau/Jesup Reading Series at the Jesup Memorial Library May 11. The free event takes place at 7 p.m.

Christian Barter’s award-winning book-length poem, Bye-Bye Land (BOA Editions Ltd. 2017), is a medley of voices in dialogue with each other––overheard, remembered, and internal––that represents a mind at work as it considers the destructiveness of human nature, the hypocrisy and artifice of the American dream. The winner of the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, Bye-Bye Land mixes voices from personal conversations, political speeches, Guantanamo detainees, news reports, and famous poets to capture a world of disrupted beauty and unrealized potential.

Barter is the author of two previous books of poetry: In Someone Else’s House, winner of the 2014 Maine Literary Award; and The Singers I Prefer, a Lenore Marshall Prize finalist. He is an adjunct professor of writing at COA, has been a resident fellow at Yaddo and The McDowell Colony, and has been a Hodder Fellow in poetry at Princeton University. For more than 25 years, he has worked as a stone worker, rigger, arborist, equipment operator, and supervisor at Acadia National Park, where he is currently serving as the first-ever Poet Laureate.

Jeffrey Thomson, award-winning poet and memoirist, is celebrating the launch of his new book of poems and prose, The Belfast Notebooks (Salmon Poetry 2017). The Belfast Notebooks traces a poet’s journey deep into a country where “the wine tastes of jasmine and history” as it evokes layers of violence, memory and community. Ranging across Northern Ireland through Italy, Spain, Morocco and back home to Maine, the poems from Thomson’s fifth full-length collection engage myth and classical art just as easily as they riff on rock music and street murals.

“The weave of the writing is seamless, the vision moving, the stakes nothing short of how we can live together,” Barter says.

Thomson is a poet, memoirist, translator, and editor, and is the author of multiple books including his 2015 memoir, Fragile, the poetry collections Birdwatching in Wartime, The Complete Poems of Catullus: an Annotated Translation, and From the Fishouse. He has been an NEA Fellow; the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland; and the Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow at Brown University. He is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of Maine at Farmington.

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