Guild hosts 'Distinctly American' poets exhibit
Poets Robert Frost and William Carlos Williams were "Distinctly American," as acknowledged in the title of a retrospective exhibit highlighting their lives and literary contributions 50 years after their deaths.
Timed just right for National Poetry Month, the exhibit opens at the Lancaster Literary Guild, 113 N. Lime St., with a reception from 5-9 p.m. during First Friday festivities downtown.
Williams, who also was a physician, is characterized as an experimenter in regard to the rhyming conventions of his time. His is a "brusque, colloquial style of 'Americanized' English."
Frost, though born in California, is branded "the poet of New England" and was a favorite of Massachusetts-born President John F. Kennedy. Frost wrote a poem for his inauguration ceremony and recited there.
nGuild Executive Director Betsy Hurley said she supervised interns Eliot White and Erin Wesser from Millersville University, who gathered the photos and wrote the accompanying text explaining the poets' lives, influences on them, and their influence on others.
The photos capture the poets in varied personal and professional capacities: Frost at Willoughby Lake in Vermont in 193 and meeting with the president of Dartmouth College in 1927; Williams in his garden in 1956 and accepting a Rutherford, N.J., Chamber of Commerce award.
Books of their poetry and their biographies are part of the exhibit, Hurley noted. Of special interest is "Robert Frost in Russia," an account by F.D. Reeve of Frost's journey to Russia at President Kennedy's invitation.
Copies of letters Frost and Kennedy exchanged during the Cuban Missile Crisis/Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961 also are included.
Another reception will be held 5-9 p.m. First Friday May 3. The exhibit runs through the end of May; call 431-4433 for additional visiting hours.n