Jane Ulrich, Guilford Poets Guild member has written a terrific summary of our final event, which was published in the Guilford Courier (here is a link). And here is the article as it appeared:
Guilford poets, past and present, were recently honored in an event held in conjunction with the 375th anniversary of Guilford, and co-hosted by the Guilford Free Library and the Guilford Poet’s Guild. Winners of the the Guilford High School Poetry Contest sponsored by the Guilford Poets Guild were announced and awarded prizes, presentations were made on Guilford’s past poets, and Gordy Whiteman was awarded the position of First Poet Laureate of Guilford.
The student winners and their winning poems are: Emma Nanamaker, “Blue Heron,” first prize; Pierre Weber, “The Bear House,” second prize; Ana Blanchet, “Sheltered,” third prize; Josh Stern, “A Sonnet for Guilford,” runner-up; Katie Ellman-Aspnes, “Sunset,” runner-up; and Annie Jonathan, “Where We Come From,” the Gordy Whiteman Prize.
Gwen Gunn gave a brief history of notable poets who have lived in Guilford, reading short selections from the work of S. Ward Loper, Harry Durant, Andrew Benton, Carrie Chatfield, and Mary Bishop Bullard, going back in time to the most famous, Fitz-Greene Halleck.
Julianna Harris spoke about Fitz Green Halleck, a well-known American poet of the early 1800s, who was born in Guilford and who is buried at Alderbrook Cemetery. He was read by Abraham Lincoln in the White House, met Charles Dickens, and his statue on the Literary Walk in Central Park stands alongside such luminaries as Shakespeare, Burns, and Sir Walter Scott.
The evening culminated in the award of the title Poet Laureate of Guilford to Gordy Whiteman, presented by First Selectman Joe Mazza and the Board of Selectmen.