Such an incredible day at the Everett Mill today! The Lawrence History Center welcomed nearly 200 people for a full day of scholarship and dialogue about the new immigration into Lawrence and similar communities. We’ll report out with more photos and stories from the day, but here’s one of our wonderful Lawrence focused roundtable discussion after lunch with panelists (l to r): Professor Llana Barber, SUNY at Old Westbury; Atty. Zoila Gomez, Eliana Martinez, Lawrence International High School; Victor Martinez, Lawrence CommunityWorks; Professor Robert Forrant, UMass Lowell/Lawrence History Center board of directors (moderator). More soon! (Photo and caption , 4/5/14, courtesy of Lawrence History Center on Facebook and Bob Forrant)
Today is the last day to register at the lower rate for the Immigration History Symposium this Saturday, April 5, in Lawrence, Mass., hosted by the Lawrence History Center. Panels, film, poetry, photography, smart people, fun people, at a great venue. Why pay extra---register today!(Registering now helps us order the correct amount of food, folks.) Please register here: http://www.lawrencehistorycenter.org/symposium Robert Forrant, Professor, UMass Lowell, 978-934-2904
UMass Lowell history professor and economic analyst Bob Forrant yesterday contributed an op-ed essay to the Eagle-Tribune newspaper of Greater Lawrence. In the piece, Bob makes a case for this being a turn-around moment in Lawrence based on positive facts, which are chipping away at the standard negative perception of Lawrence that is as rock-solid as the months-old snowbanks on our city streets in the river valley. Read the essay here, and adjust your glasses as you look downriver.
Note from the Eagle-Tribune: “A more detailed version of this essay is in MassBenchmarks, a joint publication of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the University of Massachusetts president’s office. Robert Forrant, a member of the History Dpartment at UMass Lowell, is on the editorial board of MassBenchmarks. vcwww.massbenchmarks.org “
Thanks to journalist John Collins and the Sun newspaper for reporting on artist Vassilios “Bill” Giavis’s gift of a print of one of his classic paintings to the Town of Dracut. The original painting was based on a poem of mine. Read the story here.
A Hundred Nights of Winter
It’s been so cold and bad
that it took until last week
to dismantle the public manger.
From my office window, through flurries,
I saw an orange dump truck
pull away in traffic
with Joseph, Mary, shepherds, and angels
standing crowded in the back
like a bunch of refugees.
After a hundred nights of winter,
I’m ready to get out.
—Paul Marion, (c) 1984, 2013
At her Lunchtime Lecture at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center this past Monday, Jane Brox distributed a list of “Works Mentioned” in her talk about “Reading, Writing, and Sense of Place.” The books about Sicily are included because Jane is preparing for a trip there in the fall. By starting her reading now, she feels the trip has already begun. Following are the books:
G. B. Edwards, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page (NY: NY Review of Books Classics, 2007)
Robert Frost, Complete Poems of Robert Frost (NY: Holt, Rhinehart Winston, 1969)
Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (NY: Penguin Classics, 1998)
Elizabeth Bishop, The Complete Poems: 1927-1979 (NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1984)
Carlo Levi, Christ Stopped at Eboli, trans. Frances Frenaye (NY: The Noonday Press, 1989)
Carlo Levi, Words are Stones: Impressions of Sicily, trans. Antony Shugaar (London: Hesperus Press Limited, 2005)
Danilo Dolci, Sicilian Lives, trans. Justin Vitiello and Madeline Polidoro (NY: Pantheon Books, 1981)
Mary Taylor Simiti, On Persephone’s Island: A Sicilian Journal (NY: Vintage Books, 1995)
See the latest in Merrimack Valley Magazine. Features include the Lowell Summer Music Series with Peter Aucella, the Lowell Film Festival, Micky Ward Charities, Shaw Farm in Dracut, and plenty more. This publication has become required reading “In the Merrimack Valley” (to take a phrase from my blogging colleague Marie).
If you’re interested in Lowell’s and the Merrimack Valley’s economic future, read this piece in the NYTimes today: Allison Arrief’s “The Future of Manufacturing is Local.” If you want more of this kind of writing, get the NYT daily.
When Marie posted about the food company on Phoenix Avenue producing soups and more in large quantities for resale, I had a similar thought about the prospect of jobs and manufacturing locally. The Food sector seems like a promising one for places like Lowell. Look at the profitable hummus mine and bakery yielding great local products for Cedar’s (Ward Hill) and Joseph’s (Lawrence) in the Merrimack Valley. With our international culture in this region, shouldn’t we have a more robust local food manufacturing sector?
Corey Sciuto on Facebook posted about a bioregional quiz, which prompted me to share this information about the online bioregional journal “The Bridge Review: Merrimack Valley Culture” that was published between 1997 and 2005. Five issues of the eclectic anthology were published. “The Bridge Review” branched off, so to speak, from the Flowering City Forum community dialogue site that grew from my work with then-UMass Lowell professors David Landrigan and Charles Nikitopoulos and Clementine Alexis of the Human Services Corp. of Lowell. The four of us collaborated for several years in the Building Community Through Culture program of the New England Foundation for the Arts. The web design work is by Ferney Lopez of the UMass Lowell web team. Editorial assistants included Matt Miller, Dave Robinson, and Nora Marchand. The five issues are a treasure house of creative and scholarly work from the region. You’ll see many familiar names on the Contents pages.