Three students to compete in Poetry Out Loud finals

Three Portland-area students will compete in the state Poetry Out Loud finals on Friday in Waterville. In this contest, 11 high school students compete. The winner will represent Maine at the national finals April 26-27 in Washington, D.C.

Paige Meserve of Thornton Academy in Saco; Caleb Shomaker of Sanford High School; and Aaron Bartlett of Gorham High School will compete with eight others in the state finals.

More than 4,000 students from nearly 40 Maine high schools started the competition.

Award-winning poets Lee Sharkey, Dawn Potter, Jeffrey Thomson and Leonore Hildebrandt will judge the competition. The finals begin at 5 p.m., and are free; no reservations or tickets are required. Doors open at 4:45 p.m.

The program will begin with introductions from Maine’s first lady Karen Baldacci, and will include entertainment from hip-hop emcee Sontiago.

The 11 students will perform classical and contemporary poetry from memory. The winner will receive $200, and the winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The second place finalist will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. The state champion also will receive a trip to compete in the national finals in Washington in April.

This year’s other finalists are Erica Lance, Leavitt Area High School in Turner; Emma Bailey, Messalonskee High School in Oakland; John Booth, Gardiner Area High School; Mary Montalvo, Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham; Will Whitham, Bangor High School; Jorgi Young, Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield; Rosie Ditre, Maranacook Community High School; and Jacob Simonds, Rangeley Lakes Regional School.



Architalx presents annual lecture series on design

Each spring, the Portland-based group Architalx presents a lecture series by architects, engineers and designers from around the world, addressing contemporary design issues. The lectures are designed to expand public awareness of design and the environment.

The 22nd lecture series begins in March and continues through April at Hannaford Hall in the Abromson Center, 88 Bedford St. at the University of Southern Maine.

The series begins March 30 with ”The Art of Bridge Design: The Best in Integrating Architecture and Engineering,” a collaboration among eight professional and nonprofit organizations in Maine. At the program on March 30, David Scott, principal of the firm ARUP, and Spiro Pollalis of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design will present the topic.

Their discussion is timely because the project to replace the Veterans Memorial Bridge linking Portland and South Portland is under way.

Following the discussion on March 30, the lecture series moves to Thursdays and includes:

April 8: Shane Coen of Coen + Partners, Minneapolis and New York;

April 15: John Patkau of Patkau Architects, Vancouver, B.C., Canada;

April 22: Susanne Tick of Susanne Tick Inc., New York;

April 29: Einar Jarmund of Jarmund/Vignaes, Norway.

All talks begin at 6 p.m., and doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets cost $8 in advance, $10 at the door. For information, visit www.architalx.org.



Rare books expert will talk about collecting at USM

The Baxter Society will present Mark Diminuation, chief of rare books and special collections at the Library of Congress, at 7:30 p.m. March 10 at the Glickman Library of the University of Southern Maine in Portland. His talk is titled ” Good, Bad, and Indifferent, Old, New, and Worthless: Thomas Jefferson and the Mind of the Eighteenth Century Collector.”

The Baxter Society is a group of book lovers, named in honor of Portland mayor and philanthropist James Phinney Baxter. For information, visit www.baxtersociety.org.



UMaine Farmington stages Lee Blessing’s ‘Two Rooms’

University of Maine at Farmington presents Lee Blessing’s ”Two Rooms” as its spring 2010 Theatre UMF production. Named in 1988 by Time magazine as Best Play of the Year, ”Two Rooms” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. March 11-13; and 2 p.m. March 14, in the UMF Alumni Theater.

Set in the 1980s, Blessing’s hostage drama tells the story of a couple’s persistent love against a backdrop of global unrest. Directed by Jayne Decker, UMF instructor and director of the Sandy River Players, Blessing’s play is a political drama and a story about love and hope.

Tickets cost $6 for adults, $5 for students and $4 for seniors. Tickets are available at the time of the performance and can be reserved by calling the Theatre UMF box office at 778-7465. The student cast includes: Adam Randall of Braintree, Mass.; Brittney Blais of Garland; Sarah O. Blenes of Salisbury, Mass.; and Ian Davis of Belgrade.



Decorated Maine author to read at Bates College

Normand Beaupré, a Maine author who writes in French and English, visits Bates College to read from his work at 7 p.m. March 11, in Skelton Lounge, Chase Hall, 56 Campus Ave.

Beaupré has written 11 books. Among his notable earlier works is ”Le Petit Mangeur des Fleurs” (”The Little Flower Eater”; Les Editions JCL, 1999), a novel based on the author’s early life in Biddeford.

For ”La Souillonne, monologue sur scène” (Llumina Press, 2006), Beaupré created a dramatic monologue by a character adapted from ”Le Petit Mangeur.”

The piece was performed in Paris, Dijon and Angers, France, by Maine actress Marie Cormier, as well as in Lamèque, New Brunswick, and Lewiston and Biddeford.

Beaupré taught Francophone and world literature for 30 years at the University of New England, retiring in 2000. An avid traveler, he spent two sabbaticals in Europe, an important source of inspiration for his writing. He earned a bachelor’s degree as a double major in French and English at St. Francis College, an institutional forerunner to UNE. He received a master’s and a doctorate in French literature from Brown University.

He was decorated with the Order of Arts and Literature by the French government in 2008 for his outstanding contribution to French culture.



Artist, academic first to hold COA visual arts chair

College of the Atlantic announced the hiring of Catherine Clinger as the inaugural holder of the Allan Stone Chair in the Visual Arts. Clinger has a doctoral degree in art history from the University of London and a master’s in art history from University College London. She is currently a visiting scholar at Montreal’s McGill University.

Clinger is both an artist and an academic, and has expertise in European and American art from the 18th through 20th centuries. She is also schooled in Romanticism and critical theory, and bridges these pursuits to the emerging field of ecological humanities. Clinger will join the COA faculty in the fall of 2010.

The Allan Stone Chair in Visual Art was established in 2008 by Stone’s widow and daughters.



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