The Olive Tree
Maine author Miriam Colwell
Maine author Miriam Colwell, who turns 90 in July, has spent more than half her life wondering if her fourth novel, “Contentment Cove,” would ever see the light of day. This and other topics were part of the discussion when Colwell visited Fogler Library this summer for a reading and book signing. Miriam Colwell was born in 1917 and raised by her grandparents when her mother died and her father fell ill with tuberculosis. She lived in the tranquility of Prospect Harbor until being shepherded into an exciting life in the arts through her companionship with Colwell wrote “Contentment Cove” back in the 1950s. The books tells the story of what happens to an isolated Down East community when the influx of summer residents and new residents forever alters the lives of the natives and the character of the village – a topic that remains as relevant today as when the book was written.
“The more things change, the more they remain the same,” she said, reciting a line from her book. “It was a long time ago, but certainly when I wrote it, it illustrated the changing demographic on the coast of Maine. And it seems that issue remains timely and topical still today.”
An attentive audience of over 40 people attended the event. The University Bookstore was on hand selling copies of the book.
The second annual Earth Day Dinner
The second annual Earth Day Dinner in Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Dr. Edith Marion Patch was held on Sunday, April 22, 2007 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the Thomas Lynch University Club at Fogler Library
There was a special exhibit of archival materials related to Edith Patch and her work in the Library’s Special Collections department. This exhibit gave visitors a unique glimpse into the many facets of Patch’s life and work.
The food was prepared by the Friends of Edith Patch. All the recipes were from the patch cookbook, which was on sale at the event. The menu selections included: Shrimp and Crab Dip, Indian Peanut Dip with Fresh vegetables and crackers, Crumby Chicken, Black Beans and Rice, Potato Casserole, salads, and a variety of breads.
Several members of the University of Maine campus community gathered to share readings focused on the earth, fair trade, and the environment. The event, titled “Going (G)Local: writing and reflecting on the earth,” is part of the campus Works in Progress series, a cross-disciplinary program that features writers reading and discussing their work.
"The idea of "(g)locality" is one that comes to us from Africa, and has resonated across the world,” notes Passman, Associate Professor in the UMaine Department of Modern Languages and Classics. “It emphasizes community and commonality, while celebrating our differences. It is a 21st century idea, and I'm glad we are bringing it to the University of Maine."
Passman and Kathleen Ellis, poet and adjunct faculty in English and Honors, from Gary Snyder's acclaimed epic poem, Mountains and Rivers Without End. They were joined by several English department students, including David Attean, Alyssa Franzosa, Matt Kaczowka, Ben Lizanecz, Tricia Lyons, Nate Rutter, and Jennifer Smick.
Additional readings included those of UMaine Peace Studies instructor and Zen Buddhist monastic, Hugh Curran, who shared some of his work, as did Mimi Killinger, Honors College instructor and author of the recently published book The Good Life of Helen K. Nearing. Undergraduate student Sarah Bigney also shared reflections on her time spent in Chiapas, Mexico, researching for her honors thesis on the impact of fair trade on coffee farmers.
Going (G)Local was held in the Special Collections Department on Thursday, April 5, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
The Edge of Art
New Media faculty Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito visited Fogler on April 11th to talk about their book, The Edge of Art. The book explores diverse examples of what art can be and where it can be found and asks us all to ponder the question, what is art?
According to Blais and Ippolito, art's recent eruption in fields as diverse as artificial life, computer games, and community activism reveals a seismic shift in the role it plays in society. No longer content to sit on a pedestal or auction block, these works infiltrate stock markets, sway court cases, and network bedrooms, reaching across the globe to expand the edge of art.
But is every instance of creativity equally valid as art? The answer is no, though the reason has little to do with the traditional rationales for defining art, be they to distinguish high and low culture or to validate creative programs in academic settings. Art may be temporarily out of place, but society needs to make a place for it. Because society needs art to survive.
In an age when technology seems increasingly to have a mind of its own art offers an important check on technology's relentless proliferation.
What functions can art deploy to help us defend ourselves against technology's assault? The biological body defends itself from foreign invasion via the immune system, more specifically through the action of antibodies. Perhaps the kind of art we need in such an age is one that can support the social body as antibodies support the individual one.
Only by expanding art's definition to encompass the sweeping powers accorded media in the digital age can art rise to the new challenges society faces in the 21st century.
Home | Olive Tree