Saturday, May 13, 2023
Sunday, April 30, 2023
Our panel of judges carefully read and evaluated the poems – 76 in total – inspired by the theme:
“Let Anne Be Your Muse”.
The poetry and history of Anne Dudley Bradstreet herself was the theme. The contestants of all ages in North Andover took this theme to heart. Some wonderful poetry was written.
The judges themselves were inspired by all the poems that were submitted. The judges all remarked - North Andover is a creative place!
Finalist – G. C. “Anne was the first person to write poems.” [ABECC]
Winner – I. J. “A Painting of a Tunnel” [NAMS]
Finalist – T. N. “Springs Embrace” [NAMS]
All award winners and finalists will read their poems at the Anne Bradstreet Poetry Contest Awards Ceremony on the Town Common on Saturday, May 6 at 1:00 PM on the band platform. (rain date Sat May 13)
Thank you to all who entered. See you on Saturday May 6th on the NA Common.
Mark Bohrer North Andover Poet Laureate
Karen M. Kline Chair, North Andover Poet Laureate Committee
Sunday, April 16, 2023
To all North Andover Community members -
If you were thinking of submitting a poem to this year's contest, you can still do so. We've extended the submission deadline through Sunday April 16.
Thanks to all who submitted poems so far to this all-ages community poetry event.
Anne Bradstreet herself is this year's theme: "Let Anne Be Your Muse". Look to Anne's poetry and history for inspiration.
Here are the rules, which has links to her poetry & story:
2023 Anne Bradstreet Poetry Contest - Rules and Info
Saturday, March 11, 2023
In honour of Anne Bradstreet, the North Andover
Our town is the home of America's first published poet, Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672). Anne arrived here at the very founding of the town in the early 1640's with her husband and their young children. She made her life in the frontier settlement. She made her mark in the world of poetry right here in North Andover. Her first collection, "The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America", published in 1650, was widely read in America and England, an uncommon achievement for a woman in the post-Elizabethan English world. Anne lived and raised her family - and wrote her poetry - right here. Anne is an inspiration to all of us on the Poet Laureate Committee, and why we named the contest after her.
Let Anne Be Your Muse
- Write a poem inspired by Anne’s poetry or her history
- Poems can be any style, free verse or rhyming
- See where Anne’s words and life can take you!
- Open to all who either live, work or go to school in North Andover
- Submit in one of 5 age categories: Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5, Middle School, High School, Adult
- The poems can be any style. They can be rhyming or free verse. Write a poem however the theme speaks to you.
- The top three in each category will be invited to perform their poems on the North Andover Common
- Include the poem from Anne or the event from her history that you are using as your inspiration
- By submitting a poem, the author / parent / guardian gives the North Andover Poet Laureate Committee the right to publish the poems online and on the FB North Andover Poets page, and in a collected book of poems for the event.
- Parents/guardians of school age children have the right to approve what identifying information for school age children is published: 1) the name, school, and grade, 2) initials, school and grade, or 3) only school and grade is published.
- The poem copyright remains with the author.
- Email to: email@example.com
- Subject: Age Category (Grade 1-2, Grade 3-5, middle school, high school, adult)
- Body: your name, email address, mailing address, age category, poem
- If sending an attached document, include the name and other information in each document
- Those without email address, ask an adult in the household with email to submit
- April 15 Final date to submit poems
- April 29 Winners and finalists announced
- May 6 Award ceremony on the North Andover Common - Winners and finalists will read their poems. (May 13 rain date) Last year we had more than 120 people in attendance!
The contest and poetry celebration is sponsored by the
Saturday, March 4, 2023
https://allpoetry.com/classics/alpha/Anne Bradstreet (free account login required)
To sing of Wars, of Captains, and of Kings,Of Cities founded, Common-wealths begun,
I am obnoxious to each carping tongue
Who says my hand a needle better fits.
A Poet’s Pen all scorn I should thus wrong,For such despite they cast on female wits.
If what I do prove well, it won’t advance,
They’ll say it’s stol’n, or else it was by chance.
Under the cooling shadow of a stately Elm
Close sate I by a goodly Rivers side,
Where gliding streams the Rocks did overwhelm;
A lonely place, with pleasures dignifi’d.
I once that lov’d the shady woods so well,
Now thought the rivers did the trees excel,
And if the sun would ever shine, there would I dwell.
First page of her books as published in 1650 and 1678.
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Tracing Anne's life from England to North Andover
Anne’s home once stood near the Parson Barnard House, on the other side of present day Osgood Street.
Anne Dudley Bradstreet was born to Dorothy Yorke Dudley and Thomas Dudley in 1612 in
Her father was a steward at the estate of the Earl of Lincoln. The estate
housed a large library to which Bradstreet was given access. Under her father's
guidance and that of many tutors, Anne received a comprehensive literary education.
At the age of sixteen, she married Simon Bradstreet.
In 1630, the young couple and the Dudley family embarked for America under the leadership of Puritan John Winthrop. The family settled in Massachusetts Bay. Anne and Simon Bradstreet were among the founding families of Boston and Cambridge.
In the early 1640’s Anne was pregnant with their 6th child. Simon moved the family from Ipswich to Andover, in what is present day North Andover, with the Stevens, Osgood, Johnson, Farnum, and Barker families, and founds a frontier settlement. During the coming years, Simon was often away from Anne in service to the colony’s government, including Simon serving as governor of the colony. Anne gave birth to eight children between 1633 and 1652.
As she attended to her household duties and raised her children, she also found time to write poetry. Her poetry often focused on the themes of family, morality, salvation, nature, love, and religion.
1650 Her book of poems, The Tenth Muse, Lately Sprung Up in America was published in England. Bradstreet's poems garnered considerable success and established her as the first American poet. Although Bradstreet was a prolific writer, The Tenth Muse was the only collection of her poetry published during her lifetime.
1666 The Bradstreet home burned down in a fire. Anne and family escaped with their lives, but lost their possessions. including their library of 800+ books. Anne wrote a poem about it. A side note: The Bradstreets had twice as many books in their library as Rev. John Harvard did when, in 1639, he donated his 400 book library to Harvard.
1672 Anne Bradstreet died of consumption (tuberculosis) at age 60. Details of her illnesses and condition at time of death are recorded by her son, Simon. There is no record of where she was buried. However, based on Simon’s note that his mother was buried 3 days after her death, with no other comment, it is most likely she was buried in the Old Burial Ground on Academy Road at North Andover.
1678 A second edition of her poems and writings titled “Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning” was published in Boston – one of the earliest volumes of poems printed in America.
It's worth nothing that neither of the original editions of her poems had Anne’s name on the cover page. Credits were given to “a Gentlewoman of Those parts” and “a Gentlewoman in New-England”. No portrait of Anne Bradstreet exists. This stained glass is in St. Botolph's Church in Boston, Lincolnshire, England and was created in 1948. The picture of Anne sitting at her desk (above) is from the19th century, by Edmund H. Garrett.
However her journals, written in her own hand, survive. Those journals are the property of the North Andover Historical Society.
Her poems and writings still speak to us today.
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Anne Bradstreet: She Walked The Same Land
Anne’s home once stood near the Parson Barnard House, on the other side of present day Osgood Street. We really can “walk the same land” as she did, just by walking the old cemetery on Academy Road, or by walking on Court Street, the first street in North Andover.
Announcing 2023 Anne Bradstreet Poetry Contest In honour of Anne Bradstreet, the North Andover Poet Laureate Committee is announcing t...
An intro to Anne's poetry with links to her poems plus selected verses from some of her famous poems (including a guide and worksheet ...
Tracing Anne's life from England to North Andover Anne’s home once stood near the Parson Barnard House, on the other side of present day...