Throughout February — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s birth month — Brunswick will host cultural events spread across town that explore the poet’s life and the themes of his work. This year’s event is titled “Travel: Abroad and Within.” All events are free.

 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was inspired by traveling, whether internationally or close to home. His adventures shaped his writing, even when his subject had nothing to do with journeys or locales. In the poet’s mind, travel could happen over great distances or within our own thoughts.

Exhibition Excursion

Thursday, Feb. 2, 2-3 p.m. 

A docent-led tour of two Bowdoin College Museum of Art exhibits illuminating aspects of Longfellow’s time in Italy. “Antiquity & America: The Ancient Mediterranean in the United States” features sculpture and paintings that influenced artists like Longfellow. “In Light of Rome: Early Photography in the Capital of the Art World, 1842-1871″ reveals the eternal city’s impact on the development of early photography. Co-sponsored by the Pejepscot History Center.


Bowdoin College Museum of Art

The Coursen Readings, Part 1

Sunday, Feb. 5, 1 p.m. 

Many superb writers have graced Brunswick and its vicinity through the years. Twelve of them will be featured in a four-part Sunday series named for the late poet and Longfellow Days’ friend, Herbert Coursen. It kicks off with Maine poets Jen Walker Grace, Claire Hersom and Marcia Simmons. Refreshments will be served.

Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library

Parsing a Poem: Devilish Dante

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m.  

A literary and social event hosted by Gary Lawless, who guides us in exploring the First Canto of “Dante’s Inferno,” translated by Longfellow, as well as “Mezzo Cammin,” Longfellow’s sonnet written while grieving the sudden death of his first wife. Refreshments and cash bar.

OneSixtyFive, The Inn on Park Row 


Poetry reading with Wesley McNair

Friday, Feb. 10, 1 p.m. 

McNair, the Poet Laureate of Maine from 2011-2016, will read from his recently published volume “Late Wonders: New and Selected Poems.”

Unitarian Universalist Church, 1 Middle St.

Morning at the Movies

Saturday, Feb. 11, 10:30 a.m. 

Be transported back to Victorian America by “I Heard the Bells,” the 2022 film about Longfellow and the inspiring story behind the beloved “Christmas Carol.” Introduced by Tricia Welsch, Bowdoin College professor of cinema studies.

Eveningstar Cinema, 149 Maine St.

A Lyrical Service


Sunday, Feb. 12, 10 a.m.

Poetry is the focus of this ecumenical service, led by the Rev. Kharma Amos and with music from Jud Caswell. Visit the Bible that Longfellow signed and donated to his church in 1878.

Unitarian Universalist Church, 1 Middle St.

The Coursen Readings, Part 2

Sunday, Feb. 12, 1 p.m. 

Maine poets Cate Marvin, Jefferson Navicky, and Jonathan Pessant are featured. Refreshments available.

Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library


Poetry and Travel: Longfellow in Europe

Wednesday, Feb. 15, noon 

As a professor of modern languages, Longfellow toured Europe, expanding his worldview and his art. Gary Lawless, another continental traveler, speaks about Longfellow, poetry and the value of travel in strengthening the creative arts. This event is part of the Midcoast Senior College’s Winter Wisdom program.

Morrell Room, Curtis Memorial Library

Longfellow Trivia Challenge

Friday, Feb. 17, 1 p.m. 

We bet you know more than you think you do and, either way, you are sure to have fun. Trivia master Andrew Hamilton emcees, and there will be prizes.

Unitarian Universalist Church, 1 Middle St.


Tours of the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum

Saturday, Feb. 18, 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Longfellow Days and the Pejepscot History Center co-host visits to one of Longfellow’s residences in Brunswick – which later became the home of Maine Gov. and Civil War Gen. Joshua Chamberlain.

226 Maine St.

The Coursen Readings, Part 3

Sunday, Feb. 19, 1 p.m. 

Maine poets Dennis Camire, Jim Donnelly and Anna Wrobel are featured today. Refreshments offered.


Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library

Community Poetry Reading at The Highlands

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2 p.m. 

Local bard David Sloan will read from his work and host this informal poetry-sharing gathering for the community. Bring yours or favorites by others. Refreshments offered.

Georgetown Parlor, Maine Lodge, The Highlands, 30 Governors Way, Topsham

Community Poetry Reading at Thorton Oaks

Thursday, Feb. 23, 12:30 p.m. 

Poet David Sloan shares his own writing and hosts this informal verse-sharing session for the community. Bring yours or favorites by others. Refreshments.


Merrymeeting Room, Thornton Oaks, 25 Thornton Way (off Baribeau Drive)

The Coursen Readings, Part 4

Sunday, Feb. 26, 1 p.m. 

Maine poets Kara Douglas, Valerie Lawson and John Reinhart are on deck for our final Coursen Reading. Refreshments.

Fireplace Room, Curtis Memorial Library

Happy Birthday, Henry!

Monday, Feb. 27, 6:30 p.m. 

He’s a mere 216 today – and always deserving of a fuss. Ren Bernier hosts a popular poetry open mic and invites you to add your voice. Come share your poem or another’s that you love, and enjoy some delicious cake, courtesy of Union Street Bakery.

Unitarian Universalist Church, 1 Middle St.

More information is available online at or on the Longfellow Days Facebook page. Questions? Write to [email protected].

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