Anne Bradstreet: Founding Mother and First Poet
Memorial Hall Library will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the birth of poet Anne Bradstreet, early settler and founder of the new town of Andover.
On Sunday, September 23 at 2pm, Andover’s Susan Lenoe will enact Anne Bradstreet’s tumultuous life, one in which she raised eight children, wrote hundreds of pages of poetry, and supported her husband, Simon Bradstreet, in his public life as secretary and deputy governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
In 1630, eighteen-year-old Anne sailed with her husband and other Puritans, including John Winthrop, to the wild shores and forests of New England. In 1646, after living in several areas in the Massachusetts colony, including Cambridge and Ipswich, the Bradstreets made the Andover area their home until Anne’s death in 1672.
In the 17th century, most women could not even read, let alone write, yet Anne was one of the first poets in the New World and the first to be published. Bradstreet's poetry was often formal and scholarly in tone, chronicling such subjects as ancient history and allegory. Later writings were more personal, about motherhood, family and her inner struggles.
Anne Bradstreet’s life will unfold through a performance by Andover’s Susan Lenoe. Lenoe brings Anne Bradstreet vividly to life as she shares Bradstreet’s expressive poems with her listeners. Lenoe holds a degree in English and Drama from Barnard College in New York City. She is an actress and storyteller who has appeared at the Three Apples Festival, Sharing the Fire, the Bread and Roses Festival, Minnowbrook Storytelling Conference in New York State, and the prestigious Connecticut Storytelling Festival. She performs stories and one-woman shows throughout New England.
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Andover Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
Other September Programs at MHL:
A Journey to Historic Armenia II on Thursday, September 20 at 6:30 pm - Edward and Mary Ann Kazanjian will present in pictures, video, and music their 2,000 mile return journey to Historic Armenian lands in modern-day Turkey. Sponsored by the Friends of Memorial Hall Library and the Knights of Vartan.
The Friends of Memorial Hall Library Fall Book Sale will be September 28-30. Preview Night, September 26 from 6:30 to 8:30pm, $20 admission per person (free for Friends members). The regular sale hours are Friday, September 28 from 9am to 4:30pm, Saturday, September 29 from 9am to 4:30pm, and Sunday, September 30 from 1 to 4:30pm. Sponsored by the Friends of Memorial Hall Library.
Writers’ Group Forming on Thursday, September 13 at 7 pm - Memorial Hall Library is forming a monthly writers’ group for writers of adult fiction, nonfiction, and memoirs. This group will provide constructive advice and feedback on each other’s works in progress. Join us for the introductory meeting to discuss plans for this new group. The discussion will include meeting format, critique process, guidelines, and facilitation. The group will meet on the second Thursday of the month.
Conversational English Group Fall session begins on September 24, 10 am-12 pm. Weekly sessions for students who have studied formal English and would like to practice their speaking and listening skills. New members are welcome. To register during the summer, contact Emily Classon at 978-623-8401, x49. To register in September, contact Carolyn Fantini at 978-475-4602.
MHL’s Movie Night on Monday, August 27 and September 24 at 6:30 pm - Attend the movie, and enter to win the DVD.
All events are sponsored by the Friends of Memorial Hall Library. For more information, visit www.mhl.org, or call 978-623-8401, ext. 31 or 32. Programs are held at Memorial Hall Library, 2 North Main St., Andover, MA.