McLean, Ragle to hold joint poetry reading

GUILFORD — Poets Don McLean and Tom Ragle will read “Our Favorite Poems,” their second collaborative reading, on Thursday, Nov. 19, at Guilford Community Church at 7 p.m.

Admission is by a donation in any amount, to benefit the work of the Community Church.

This program follows Ragle and McLean's initial program of sonnets last May at the church. On this occasion, each reader has chosen from his favorite poems, spanning four centuries.

Ragle served as president of Marlboro College from 1958 to 1981. He holds degrees from Harvard and Oxford University.

He served for many years on the board of Write Action, a nonprofit organization formed to nurture, encourage, and promote the literary arts in the larger Brattleboro community. His collection of poems, Take this Song, Poems in Pursuit of Meaning, was published in 2013 under his pen name, Lee Bramble.

McLean holds a degree from Boston University. He has taught courses in New England literature at Community College of Vermont, and is known for his public readings of the works of Guilford Federalist-era poet, Royall Tyler.

For four decades he has annually read works of Hardy, Dickens, Truman Capote, Dylan Thomas, and other authors during Friends of Music's Christ Church Christmas program. Last year, he organized Guilford's celebration of the centenary of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas's birth, with readings and a performance of Thomas's Under Milk Wood. In 2013, McLean published the book Sparks, the collected writing of his mother, Jean Stewart McLean, on the 50th anniversary of her death.

The November reading will include works of British and American poets. English poets represented will include Donne, Gray, Wordsworth, Keats, Hardy, and Hopkins. American poets include Whitman, Brinnin, and Vermont poets, featuring the work of South Newfane's William Mundell.

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