FARMINGTON — “Dirt Road Home,” a collection of poems that illuminate topics such as mixed ancestry, poverty, nature, and family, in words both tough and tender, by Cheryl Savageau, will the be next topic for the New Commons Project. An Abenaki poet, Savageau tells stories with her books and poetry about unrecognized women and the working class in Abenaki culture.

The following events will run through Oct. 30:

• Keynote event: Cheryl Savageau, Poetry Reading will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, UMF Emery Community Arts Center, 111 South St.
Savageau’s poetry retells Abenaki stories, often focusing on the unrecognized lives of women and the working class. Her work is also enriched by the landscape and ecology of New England. In addition to “Dirt Road Home,” she is the author of “Home Country” (1992), “Mother/Land” (2006) and the children’s book “Muskrat Will Be Swimming.”

• Sabine Klein, author of “Norridgewock: Massacre and Memory” is scheduled from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, at the UMF Emery Community Arts Center, 111 South St.
Dr. Klein, UMF associate professor of English, will host a critical discussion of the deaths of approximately 80 Abenaki during a British massacre in Norridgewock in August 1724.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Savageau is a poet of Abenaki and French Canadian decent. She attended school at Clark University in Worcester where she later graduated and continued to study writing. She has been awarded Writer of the Year for her children’s book, “Muskrat Will Be Swimming,” and has also received multiple Fellowships in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, according to the release.

The New Commons Project is a public humanities initiative of the University of Maine at Farmington, Maine’s public liberal arts college, in partnership with the Maine Humanities Council. It is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The project’s 12 topics so far have been submitted by people from around the state and represent some of the principles and cultural values that fascinate Maine citizens.

For more information, or to submit a nomination for the next round of selections to be announced in 2019, visit

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