University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Inspiration in the Archives

Inspiration in the Archives: A Conversation about Poetry

May 8, 2024

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Maine Women Writers Collection

With poet and teacher Beth Alison Jones, & poet and archivist Jefferson Navicky

Facilitated by Dr. Jennifer Tuttle, Director of the Maine Women Writers Collection

FMI, please contact MWWC Curator Sarah Baker

Join us for an evening of poetry sprung from research in the Maine Women Writers Collection (MWWC). Beth Alison Jones will read from an in-progress series of poems called “We Don’t Talk About the War.” Inspired by the journals of Isabel Hoffses, a 19th century school teacher who suffered bouts of homelessness, poverty, and a debilitating mental illness, the poems explore a powerful and singular mental will that insists on its own freedom. The Civil War is the unmentioned backdrop.  

MWWC Archivist Jefferson Navicky will read poems inspired by his work at MWWC processing archival collections, assisting researchers, and communing with ghosts and other spirits that haunt the past’s detritus. 

The evening will be introduced and moderated by Dr. Jennifer Tuttle, MWWC Director & Dorothy M. Healy Professor of Literature at UNE.

Beth Alison Jones (she/her/hers) is a poet who lives and works in central Maine. A past recipient of an Isabella Gardner fellowship at MacDowell Colony, Beth recently received a Maine Arts Commission Springboard grant for her chapbook, “What It Means To Be A Half-Blind Horse.” Her work has appeared in many journals, including The Georgia ReviewWest Branch, Prairie SchoonerPoetry Daily, Shenandoah, River Styx, Cimarron Review and The Adirondack Review.  

Jefferson Navicky (he/him/his) is the author of four books, most recently Head of Island Beautification for the Rural Outlands (2023) as well as Antique Densities: Modern Parables & Other Experiments on Short Prose (2021), which won the 2022 Maine Literary Award for Poetry. His work has appeared in American Poetry ReviewSmokelong QuarterlyElectric LiteratureBeloit Poetry Journal, and Southern Humanities Review.

Jennifer Tuttle (she/her/hers) directs the MWWC as the Dorothy M. Healy Professor, teaches literature at UNE, and publishes literary criticism on archival studies, women’s writing, health humanities, and other subjects. She was the 2021-22 Ludcke Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UNE, was a longtime editor at Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, and co-founded UNE’s Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Program.