Berenice Abbott image of Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1930, gelatin silver print (Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum, gift of Mr. Ronald A. Kurtz, 1986.27.1)
Berenice Abbott image of Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1930, gelatin silver print (Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum, gift of Mr. Ronald A. Kurtz, 1986.27.1)
On Saturday, February 16, Farnworth Art Museum in Rockland in collaboration with Millay House Rockland and the English Department at the University of Maine will co-host a 127th birthday celebration for poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. The celebration will include poetry readings as well as a live performance featuring piano and soprano. Entitled “Take Up the Song,” the program will take place in the Farnsworth Library from 2 to 3 p.m.

The readings will include soprano Nancy Ogle and pianist Laura Artesani performing three Millay poems set to music by American composers. Local poets will read Millay’s poems as well as their own.

Born in Rockland on February 22, 1892, Millay was known both for her mesmerizing contralto voice when she read her work to large crowds and for the musicality of the poems themselves. At Vassar College from 1915 to 1917, she became the unofficial school songwriter. The Atlantic magazine called her “Hustler with a Lyric Voice.” According to her biographer Nancy Milford, “It was the honeyed easy depth, the emotional vibrance of her voice that held her audiences to her.”

The program will be followed by a reception, and the fee is $10; $8 for Farnsworth members. The snow date is Sunday, February 24, at 2 p.m. For more information or to register, visit www.farnsworthmuseum.org.