Whittier Amesbury Home Holds Tapestry of Voices Sunday

The Whittier Home Museum and Tapestry of Voices is having its 17th annual collaborative readings from the poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier Sunday, Aug. 16 from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Poetry readings will take place in the Victorian garden of the Whittier Home Museum, 86 Friend Street, Amesbury. Since 2015 is the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, this year’s readings will be devoted to Whittier’s significant involvement and dedication to the abolitionist and anti-slavery cause. Whittier produced two collections of antislavery poetry: “Poems Written during the Progress of the Abolition Question in the United States, between 1830 and 1838” and “Voices of Freedom” (1846). He was an elector in the presidential election of 1860 and of 1864, voting for Abraham Lincoln both times.

In honor of the the Civil War Sesquicentennial Chris Bryant, president of the Whittier Home, will read “In Peace” and one of Whittier’s most famous poems “Barbara Frietchie,” which focuses on simple patriotism and loyalty to the flag of the United States as symbol of freedom for all.

Other local Whittier aficionados include Bill Plante reading Whittier’s “Song of the Free”; Skye Wentworth “The Sentence of John L. Brown”; Edith Maxwell “One of the Signers”, “Landlocked” by Celia Thaxter and “Elizabeth, E.H.W., September 1864” by Lucy Larcom. The Whittier Home’s past president, Cynthia Costello, will sing “O Brother Man” in honor of the end of the Civil War being celebrated this year.

Harris Gardner, founder of the poetry organization Tapestry of Voices from Boston, will read The Answer”; Alfred Nicol “What the Birds Said”; Rhina P. Espaillat “The Clear Vision”; Lainie Senechal “Clerical Oppressors” and “Forgiveness”; Toni Treadway “How the Women Came to Dover” and “The Kansas Emigrants.”

An informal reception will follow the readings and light refreshments will be served. The Tapestry of Voices reading, free and open to the public, will take place in the garden at the Whittier Home. In case of inclement weather, the program will be held in the Whittier Home’s meeting room. For information, call Harris Gardner, (617) 306-9484 or the Whittier Home at (978) 388-1337.