Friday, April 27, 2012

Sarton Centennial Pays Tribute to Renowned Writer

The May Sarton Centennial is just two weeks away. The author, who would have been 100 years old on May 3, was born in Belgium. At age 2, she fled to England with her family when the Germans invaded, and they moved to Massachusetts the next year. The famous wrier of more than fifty books settled in York in her later years. The York Selectmen just proclaimed May 3 as May Sarton Day, and the celebration is filling up fast with participants.
Some of the highlights in the May Sarton Centennial Schedule:
Opening Reception with Symposium presenters, appetizers, wine and a Birthday Cake for May Sarton. From 4 to 7 p.m. at the Parsons Center.
Two days of presentations by friends, filmmakers and scholars on Friday and Saturday.
Rare screening of the film “Mrs Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing.”
A Poetry Celebration and Clambake on Saturday Night at Fosters Clambake in York with Poets Laureate, music, and great food. Tickets available separately for $40 each.
Educators can earn 1.5 CEUs while attending the Symposium.
Walking tour of York Village for attendees.
Sunday service at South Church Unitarian Universalist with a focus on May Sarton in Portsmouth. Public Welcome.
Raffle of a unique collection of books and film inspired by the Centennial and donated by the Symposium presenters. Tickets are $10 each or three for $20. Tickets can be bought when registering, through PayPal now or at the event. Drawing is during the dinner on Saturday, May 5. Winner need not be present to win.
Special Sarton exhibit of photos, letters, rare books, art work and other artifacts will be on display at the York Public Library and Parsons Center. Some items, including a framed print by York artist and May Sarton friend, Beverly Hallam, are for sale to support the Symposium.
The books have all been donated by the Board of Trustees of the York Public Library as its contribution to the symposium. Hallam, a longtime friend of Sarton’s, personally donated her print, as well. Hallam and Sarton were neighbors in York. Wild Knoll, Sarton’s home, is on the same property as the house where Hallam still lives today.
A limited edition print by Hallam, entitled “Keukenhof Gardens 11,” is one of only three made. Hallam has had a long and distinguished career as an artist and is a pioneer in the use of acrylics and the airbrush. In recent years Hallam has been experimenting with the use of shape and color in computer-generated prints.
Rounding out the sale is a framed photo interpretation of Sarton’s gravestone in Nelson, New Hampshire, created by tombstone artist Walter Skold.
All of the items are currently on view at York Public Library. They are part of a larger exhibit that includes photos and letters on loan from the Maine Women Writers Collection at the University of New England, and copies of rare and personal writings on loan from the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library. Several “Broadsides,” limited edition beautifully crafted poems written by Sarton and given to friends on special occasions, are on loan from the Maine State Library
The public is also welcome to attend the opening reception on May Sarton’s birthday, Thursday, May 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Parsons Center, and a presentation at the First Parish Church on Friday morning, May 4, at 9 a.m. and on Saturday morning, May 5, at the same location at 10:15. All other Symposium presentations require a Symposium ticket. A complete ticket is $90, or you may choose to attend only the Symposium for $50. Please see for details.