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February 24, 2020
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Poet Laureate for Life

Published Oct. 23, 2019

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Thank you, Harbor News, for the wonderful article describing Old Saybrook Town Poet Laureate Pat O’Brien, and her inspiring, creative programs expanding the appreciation of poetry to townspeople of all ages [Oct. 3, “Saybrook’s Poet Laureate Expands Poetry All Over Town”]. I have come across the lovely, laminated poems in the book kiosks (“little free libraries”) in our town parks, and they certainly brighten my day. Harbor News has consistently kept us informed of poet O’Brien’s ardent activity, including Acton Public Library’s annual poetry competition and Poetry Night (featuring readings and awards), sponsored by the generosity of The Friends of the Acton Public Library.

I hereby suggest that Pat O’Brien be named “Town Poet Laureate for Life” (much the way the president appoints Supreme Court justices for life). She certainly deserves it, and town life is the richer for it. In the old days, my university had mandatory retirement for professors at age 68—when they were at the height of their intellectual powers. I was broken-hearted when, in 1970, my beloved drawing master, Professor Deane Keller (1901-1992) was forced to retire, and the Yale School of Art & Architecture was the poorer for it thereafter. Poets and artists alike only grow better with age!

Nathan M. Wise
Old Saybrook