Maine’s most famous full-time resident is, without question, the writer Stephen King. The Bangor-based master of horror has based nearly all of his books in Maine, frequently setting the story in a fictional town called Derry, or an imaginary island by the name of Castle Rock. As such, Mainers have suffered through many films based on King’s novels featuring actors butchering the famous Maine accent; however, he has probably done more to increase the visibility of Maine than anyone else in the world. Stephen King is not the only famous Maine resident in the arts, though. Here are a few other famous writers and artists you may not have known lived in Maine.Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is a famous 19th century poet who was born in the Portland, Maine area and attended Bowdoin College, in Brunswick. Some of Longfellow’s most famous works include “Paul Revere’s Ride” and “Evangeline.” Other poems pay tribute to famous poets of the past, including Keats and Milton. Today, Longfellow is honored in Maine each year on his birthday, with recitals of his work in schools and public spaces throughout the state. Another poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay, grew up in the town of Camden, Maine. She became an iconic figure of the early 1900s for her poems that honored the independent female spirit, such as “First Fig,” with its well-known verse: “My candle burns at both ends;/ It will not last the night;/ But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends–/ It gives a lovely light!” In 1923, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her poetry. The famous writer Elwyn Brooks White, better known as E.B. White, lived on a farm in the town of Brooklin, Maine, for twenty-eight years of his life. He was a well-known essayist and fiction writer, and authored the writing reference text The Elements of Style, which is still commonly used today. Perhaps his best-known accomplishments, however, are two of his classic children’s novels — Stuart Little, and Charlotte’s Web. Abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, but she moved to Brunswick, Maine, with her husband Calvin Ellis Stowe, who was a professor at Bowdoin College. Beecher Stowe is well-known for her classic novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was published in 1852 and had a remarkable effect in swaying opinion against slavery; President Lincoln referred to her as the “little lady” who started the Civil War. One of America’s most famous painters, Andrew Wyeth, is from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, but he spent summers in the town of Cushing, Maine. Many of his haunting paintings feature the landscape of Maine. The Farnsworth Art Museum in the town of Rockport has a wide variety of Wyeth’s paintings on display. Linda Greenlaw, lives on Isle au Haut, Maine, she is America’s only female swordfishing captain, is author of three New York Times bestselling books about life as a commercial fisherman: THE HUNGRY OCEAN (1999), THE LOBSTER CHRONICLES (2002) and ALL FISHERMEN ARE LIARS (2004). She is the winner of the U.S. Maritime Literature Award in 2003, and the New England Book Award for nonfiction in 2004. Time Magazine called her 2005 RECIPES FROM A VERY SMALL ISLAND, co-authored with her mother Martha Greenlaw, a "must-have cookbook". Additionally, she’s written two mysteries: SLIPKNOT (2007) and FISHERMAN’S BEND (2008).Linda is featured in the hit Discovery Channel series Swords: Life on the Line. The second season of Swords will premier in August 2010. Greenlaw’s latest book SEAWORTHY: A SWORDFISH BOAT CAPTAIN RETURNS TO THE SEA is a chronicle of her return to swordfishing after ten years as a lobsterman and marks her return to non-fiction and high-seas adventure. Greenlaw first came to the public’s attention in Sebastian Junger’s THE PERFECT STORM, where Junger called her “one of the best captains … on the entire east coast.” She’s also been featured on Good Morning America, Today, CBS Sunday Morning, The Martha Stewart Show, and National Public Radio. Beginning in 1952, Rachel Carson spent her summers at Southport Island, Maine, where she studied the beach and tide pools for The Edge of the Sea in 1955. A Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge near Carson's summer home was renamed the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge (shown in photo at left) in 1969 to honor the memory of this extraordinary woman. What makes the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge a special place? Find out in this short video. (Windows Media format) The beauty and remoteness of Maine has served as an incredible inspiration for these artists and hundreds of others over the generations. There is no doubt that Maine’s lakes, oceans, and forests will lead thousands of others to create works of art in the coming years. In the meantime, check out some work by these talented individuals — though Stephen King is great, there’s more to Maine than him. View Larger Map
Edna St. Vincent Millay’s famous poem, “Renascence,” which was written about Camden, Maine. Photo by Bethany Jean.
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