• Maine Poet Laureate Wes McNair is returning to the Rumford Library on Thursday, Oct. 22, at 5:30 p.m., another in the 4th Thursday Poetry program sponsored by the Rumford Library Friends.

    McNair said, “This reading …will kick off my last tour as poet laureate, and I can’t think of a better place to do it.”

    The Oct. 22 program will be based on the themes of praise and celebration, opening the Thanksgiving time to participants.

    McNair’s goal, he says, is “put aside the worlds of conflicts and imperfections with poems inspired by one of poetry’s oldest themes: gratitude.”

    Since McNair’s poetry often moves his listeners to laughter, tears, or both, the audience can depend on experiencing a range of emotions at the event.

    The 4th Thursday poetry program is sponsored by the Friends of the Rumford Library and offered monthly throughout the calendar year, excepting the holiday months, November and December. Members of the 4th Thursday group come together to share their own or favorite poets’ works or to enjoy hearing special guests like McNair talk about poetry.

    “Hearing poetry read aloud is an entirely different experience from just reading it – a wonderful expeience,” notes Jane Shuck. She is President of the Library Friends and one of McNair’s many fans. “We’re delighted to have Wes McNair with us. His informal style and warmth, his wonderful stories, engage everyone.”

    Wesley McNair is easy to talk to, very approachable, and he is a renowned poet who has twice been invited to read at the Library of Congress. Recently, he was selected for a United States Artists Fellowship as one of America’s “finest living artists.”

    Among his many collected works are “The Lost Child,” which won the 2015 PENN New England Award for Poetry, “Talking in the Dark,” “The Ghosts of You and Me,” and “Lovers of the Lost,” all of which will be available for purchase and signing after the program, together with a new reprint of his classic chapter book, “Twelve Journeys in Maine,” with illustrations by the artist, Marjorie Moore.

    Light refreshments will be served. The 4th Thursday Poetry program is free and open to the public. For further information, call 364-3661.

    The Rumford Public Library Friends, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and expand the work of the Rumford Library. Among its projects are those protecting and maintaining the Carnegie Library building that is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Friends have won a $45,000 grant from the Stephen & Tabitha King Family Foundation for the restoration of the reference/reading room.

    This season is Friends Membership time. Membership forms are at the main desk. Annual membership fees are just $10.