Join our virtual and lively celebration of National Poetry Month featuring poems ranging from Morven's resident Poet Annis Boudinot Stockton, Ornithology, Conservation, Morality, contemporary poets and more. Writing activities and surprise beverage recipes included, too!
The series kicks off with Dr. J. Drew Lanham on Tuesday, April 20 at 2:00 p.m.
Coloring the Conservation Conversation
Dr. Lanham will discuss what it means to embrace the full breadth of his African-American heritage and his deep kinship to nature and adoration of birds. The convergence of ornithologist, college professor, poet, author and conservation activist blend to bring our awareness of the natural world and our moral responsibility for it forward in new ways. Candid by nature — and because of it — Lanham will examine how conservation must be a rigorous science and evocative art, inviting diversity and race to play active roles in celebrating our natural world.
On Monday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. Jeffrey Gray, Professor Emeritus at Seton Hall and Mary McAleer Balkun, Professor of English at Seton Hall University and scholar of early American literature present
Women, Poetry, and War
“Women, Poetry and War,” begins with an account of the topic in colonial times and ends with a discussion of the same topic in the 21st century.
The early American poets Annis Boudinot Stockton and Phillis Wheatley provide unique perspectives on the American Revolution and its major figures. While they could not have been more different—Stockton was married to Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence - Morven's first resident, and a woman of privilege, and Wheatley was an enslaved person—both women found ways to participate in the events of the day through their poetry and even their correspondence. An analysis of their work offers us a fuller and more complex understanding of the war, women’s position relative to it, and the national mythology they helped to create.
While it is a great leap from the 18th century to today, poets now, like poets of that earlier time, are highlighting language in ways characteristic of the genre, even though not always using meter or rhyme. Maxine Kumin and Naomi Shihab Nye, for example, are using found materials and transforming them, an approach that would not have occurred to poets of previous centuries. Meanwhile, a poet like Sharon Olds shows how one can write about catastrophe by turning away from it, though not in denial. American poets over the past three centuries have processed trauma and loss in understandably different ways, and yet the continuities are remarkable.
Morven Museum & Garden