A Theatrical Journey Through Maine's Lesbian History
Sarah Orne Jewett, Rachel Carson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, May Sarton
Using poems, love letters, and diary entries, Gage presents a dramatic lecture on Maine authors with histories of lesbian relationships. Focusing on aspects of their lives that have been traditionally downplayed, distorted, or closeted, this lecture opens dialogue about issues for contemporary lesbians:
The need for acceptance: Jewett and her life partner Annie Fields attended séance’s to gain approval from the spirits of a dead father and a former husband.
Lesbian sexuality: May Sarton continued to have lesbian affairs into her seventies, and wrote erotic poems about the sensuality of old women.
Strategies of resistance: Rachel Carson carried on an intimate correspondence with her neighbor on Southport Island during the writing of Silent Spring.
Compulsory heterosexuality: Vincent Millay’s wealthy benefactress sent her a letter threatening withdrawal of patronage unless Vincent curbed her flagrant lesbian behavior at Vassar.
- 2012, York Diversity Forum, York, ME.
- 2009 New England Diversity Lecture Series, University of New England, Biddeford, ME.
- 2009 "Road Trip: Maine's Lesbian History Goes a Long, Long Way Back," Portland Phoenix, June 27.
“… a great addition to our University of New England Diversity Lecture Series… Carolyn’s storytelling, depicting the private lives of some of Maine's most famous lesbian women—Sarah Orne Jewett, May Sarton, Rachel Carson, Edna St. Vincent Millay—interspersed with excerpts and scenes from her new play Greetings from Lesbos Maine offered a compelling presentation. How sad such a huge component of these women's lives is omitted or glossed over in our history and recollection of their lives…”--Donna Gaspar Jarvis, Director, UNE Office of Multicultural Affairs & Diversity Programs.
"We all so appreciated your knowledge, talent, and enthusiasm. And, it meant a lot to many of the women who were there. Amazing to understand--again--how important it is to value and recognize people who are too often left at the margins." -- Susan Mullens, York Diversity Forum.