Monday, April 5, 2010

Lincoln goings on here and there

It’s now been more than 200 years (201, actually) since Abraham Lincoln’s birth on Feb. 12, 1809, but events celebrating his life and legacy are far from over. Whether they’re billed as Lincoln Bicentennial events or just Lincoln-related happenings, you can find a bit of the sixteenth President here, there and everywhere.

I’m afraid I’ve let many of my loyal Lincoln Buff 2 blog followers down in recent months as I tried to catch my breath from more than a year of Lincoln events, blogging and Twitter - and attempted to get back to a more normal semblance of life. I’ve had nearly a non-presence in the blogosphere, but have attempted to flutter around in the twittersphere.

I’ve caught my breath a bit now, so it’s time to catch you up on some upcoming Lincoln-related events.

Here are some of the things you won’t want to miss in April 2010. Be sure to click on the hyperlinks (where available) to learn more about the events. The best thing about them? These three are all free!

April 7, Illinois College, Jacksonville, Ill.

White House correspondent Helen Thomas will make a trek to the same college on the prairie where Lincoln delivered his “Discoveries and Inventions” speech 151 years ago. Thomas will deliver the Phi Alpha Lecture, speaking on the American presidency at 7 p.m. in Rammelkamp Chapel. She’ll also be inducted as an honorary member of Phi Alpha Literary Society, which named Lincoln an honorary member in 1859. The event, open to the public, is free.

April 11 – Decatur Public Library, Decatur, Ill.

Dan Guillory, professor emeritus at Millikin University, and author of “The Lincoln Poems,” will present “Housepoems,” original poetry in honor of National Poetry Month at 2 p.m. in the Madden Auditorium of the Decatur Public Library on Sunday, April 11. The reading is free and open to the public.

The collection includes humorous and meditative poems on subjects as diverse as food, cats, birds, wild animals, death, weather, gardening, marriage, cars, friendship and the general passage of time. The poems are the product of a “poetry diary” project.

Guillory has won awards or grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Academy of American Poets, and the American Library Association. He is the author of seven books and one audio book. His newest work, “People and Places in the Land of Lincoln,” will be released in May.

April 13 – Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C.

Harold Holzer, co-chair of the United States Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, and author of more than 30 books on Lincoln, will speak about “Why Lincoln Matters—To History, To Our Presidents, and Us.” I can tell you from experience, this is an interesting presentation. You’ll hear how Lincoln’s appeal and legacy, which have provided inspiration for more than a century and a half, continue to move and guide yet today. And best of all, this event is free, too!

Among my first book reviews in the late 1990s was a piece about one of Holzer’s early Lincoln books. When the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum opened in 2005, I got to meet him and a number of other Lincoln scholars. I’m still in awe at the support I get from this fantastic group of men and women, as many of them have stepped up to mentor me over the last few years. And I continue to be thankful for Harold Holzer’s encouragement and support.

More to come
I’ve got news of other Lincoln-related events coming down the pike, so come back in a few days. I won’t stay away so long next time. Ann

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