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Noah Webster House and West Hartford Historical Society to Host Poetry Read-In

Cover of 'Rare Grasses.' Courtesy image

Poet Laureate Emeritus Maria Sassi will read works by J. I. Abbot and Nancy Clarke Otter at Noah Webster’s birthplace in West Hartford.


Join Poet Laureate Emeritus Maria Sassi for an afternoon of poetry at Noah‘s house!

On Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, from 1-4 p.m., the public and poets alike are invited to listen to readings from J.I. Abbot and Nancy Clarke Otter. Following the readings by Abbot and Otter, there will be an open mic for any poets wishing to share their work.

Poetry Read-In at Noah Webster‘s house is hosted twice annually by Maria Sassi, West Hartford poet laureate emeritus, prize-winning poet, and playwright.

The event is free and open to the public (donations gratefully accepted) and takes place at the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society, 227 S. Main Street, West Hartford, CT 06107.

J.I. Abbot is Professor of English and Philosophy at Tunxis Community College in Farmington, CT. A poet, singer-songwriter, comic, essayist, and translator with a focus on the links connecting the philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, and poetics, Abbot completed a MFA in Literary Arts at Brown University and a BA in Languages and Literature at Bard College. His collection of poems, An Argument of Dreams, will be published in 2019 by La Bohème, an affiliate of the literary and political journal Peripheral Surveys (PS+). His writings have appeared in Abstract magazine, o·blēk, The Jerusalem Post, Modern Poems on the Bible, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Parabola, and Philosophy and Breaking Bad (Palgrave, 2016).

Nancy Clarke Otter teaches English at a public high school in Hartford, CT, where she also lives. Her poems have appeared in The Wallace Stevens Review, Ekphrasis, Crosswinds, Earth’s Daughters, Perch, and Blue Collar Review. Her poem “Hart Crane” appeared in the Naugatuck River Review and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Another poem, “Fortune’s Rest,” won first place in the 2014 Connecticut Poetry Society contest. She received an honorable mention in CALYX’s Lois Cranston poetry contest for her poem “Chattel Is.” Two of her poems appear in an anthology, Forgotten Women, published by Grayson Press. She holds a MFA from Goddard College, as well as degrees from UC Santa Cruz, Hunter College, and Wesleyan University.

Maria Sassi taught creative writing at the Hartford College for Women, and the University of Hartford. Her lecture, Our American Poet Laureates, has been presented at schools, libraries, and literary organizations around Connecticut and New York. Her book of poems, Rooted in the Stars, is in its second printing and now is in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. What I See is a folio of prize winning ekphratic poems. Her latest book Rare Grasses is published by Antrim House.

The museum would like to thank the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Greater Hartford Arts Council for their continued support.

The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society is a cultural destination where citizens can learn to understand and appreciate the past. The museum preserves the birthplace of Noah Webster, the founding father, educator, author, and lexicographer who taught generations of Americans what it means to be American. This National Historic Landmark is also a repository for West Hartford history, the community that molded Noah Webster’s future and is still thriving over 250 years later. The historic house and exhibit spaces are open daily 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. For information on the museum’s extensive school and public programs, please visit www.noahwebsterhouse.org or call 860-521-5362.

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