Born December 17, 1807, Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier was one of six poets who contributed to the 1877 collection, Poems of the Old South, published as a fundraiser for the Meeting House after it was narrowly saved from the wrecking ball in 1876. Experience poems from that collection as read by local writers and performers, along with excerpts from the works of African-American poet Phillis Wheatley, who gained international fame with publication of her 1773 poetry collection. Plus, hear recent works responding to the building, its layers of history and lore, and the question, “What does this place have to do with ME?” Special guests will include January Gill O’Neil, executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and author of the 2016 poem “Old South Meeting House,” commissioned by the Academy of American Poets and funded by a National Endowment for the Arts Imagine Your Parks grant. This program is made possible with support from the Lowell Institute. Part of the Series Bibliophile Birthdays: Celebrating the Authors of OSMH FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, registration requested at http://osmhdec11-18.bpt.me
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