About Jeri Theriault: Theriault is a Franco-American poet who grew up in Waterville, Maine, and graduated from Colby College, later earning degrees from USM (MS in Instructional Leadership) and Vermont College
About Jeri Theriault:
Theriault is a Franco-American poet who grew up in Waterville, Maine, and graduated from Colby College, later earning degrees from USM (MS in Instructional Leadership) and Vermont College of Fine Arts (MFA in Poetry). Her teaching career spanned thirty-four years, including seven years in Prague, six of them as English Department chair at the International School of Prague. She now lives in South Portland with her husband, the composer, Philip Carlsen.
About Self-Portrait as Homestead:
SELF-PORTRAIT AS HOMESTEAD focuses on family and heritage, specifically the Franco-American culture Theriault experienced growing up in Waterville, Maine.
“Homestead” is a motif as suggested by street addresses (“12 Gold Street” and “2 Moor Street”). Homestead also becomes “household,” a woman’s place, as in “Route 201, Fairfield” and “Wife as Beekeeper: 1955.” In this sense, the collection alludes to the confinement by role, home and religion of the women characters, and their pushing against those constraints.
Particular details enrich the map suggested by street addresses: Theriault’s grandmother’s dishes, her father’s barber shop, her mother’s constant halo of smoke. Real people inhabit these poems.
The main character, a girl/woman, mother/grandmother, carries on, as Leslie Ullman says, reclaiming “the flare of self-ness that has been tamped in women over many generations.” SELF-PORTRAIT AS HOMESTEAD represents a woman’s journey. We might even call her a heroine, but she would balk at that designation.
This event is in partnership with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance and Longfellow Books.
(Tuesday) 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm