Tag Archives: Westbrook College

A poem for spring

spring on Long Island 10In the heart of Westbrook College (University of New England), a quintessential New England college campus, lies a treasure: The Maine Women Writers Collection.

Founded in 1959 by Grace Dow and Dorothy Healy to honor, preserve, and make available the writings of Maine women who have achieved literary recognition, the Collection has over 8,000 volumes on more than 500 Maine women. The Collection also includes correspondence, photographs, personal papers, manuscripts, typescripts, artifacts, and audio recordings that provide insight into the lives and writing of both well-known and obscure authors.

(from the MWWC website: http://www.une.edu/mwwc/collection/index.cfm)

When I worked at Westbrook College’s Abplanalp Library the poet May Sarton had recently died, and her entire library, along with sound recordings and photographs came to the college library. I was able to sort through all her library, many of which had a bookmark or something similar tucked away in each book, linking May to the author.

For more on May Sarton’s collection at the Maine Women Writers Collection see:http://www.une.edu/mwwc/research/featuredwriters/sartonm.cfm

In memory of May Sarton, as well as celebrating the first day of spring on Thursday (although we’re still in the midst of cold and snow), I offer to you this poem by May Sarton:

Always it happens when we are not there–

The tree leaps up alive into the air,

Small open parasols of Chinese green

Wave on each twig. But who has ever seen

The latch sprung, the bud as it burst?

Spring always manages to get there first.
Lovers of wind, who will have been aware

Of a faint stirring in the empty air,

Look up one day through a dissolving screen

To find no star, but this multiplied green,

Shadow on shadow, singing sweet and clear.

Listen, lovers of wind, the leaves are here!

College administrators turned mystery writers

What do college administrators in Maine do after they retire? Well, apparently a few turn to writing mystery novels that take place in small towns.

William D. Andrews, former president of Westbrook College, had turned out two mystery novels (“Stealing history” and “Breaking ground”) that take place in a fictional town in Western Maine (appears to be based on Bethel), with the Julie Williamson, the director of the historical society, as the protaganist.

Earl H. Smith is a retired dean of Colby College. His first book came out last year: “The Dam Committee” also takes place in a small town, based in the Belgrade Lakes Area. It  brings to light the politics and eccentricities of town committee and community folks. And yes, there is a dead body!

Anyone who lives in a small town will recognize some of the character types in these books. The Long Island Community Library carries “Stealing History” and “The Dam Committee,” examples of what retired academics do with a little more time on their hands.