Marblehead flower lovers wait for spring

“Celebrating the Wildflowers of Marblehead and New England” features an exhibit of photographs by Dennis Curtin through March 31 at the Abbot Public Library.
“Celebrating the Wildflowers of Marblehead and New England” features an exhibit of photographs by Dennis Curtin through March 31 at the Abbot Public Library.

LET IT BLOOM: The Abbot Public Library in Marblehead looks forward to spring with “Celebrating the Wildflowers of Marblehead and New England” in March.

The event features an exhibit of photographs by Dennis Curtin in the library’s Virginia A. Carten Gallery from March 3 through March 31. Curtin is a local naturalist, author, and photographer.

The exhibit coincides with the annual meeting of the Marblehead Conservancy on March 25. The mission of the conservancy is to protect, acquire, and enhance the town’s natural resources for the enjoyment of the community and future generations.


Mark Richardson, director of horticulture at the New England Wild Flower Society, will present an illustrated talk at the meeting. He discusses how gardeners in coastal regions can make decisions, in their own gardens, to help preserve and strengthen local ecosystems.

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Richardson studied ornamental horticulture at the University of Rhode Island, while helping run an ornamental plant nursery, before finding his passion in public horticulture.

He oversees the society’s botanic garden, Garden in the Woods, and its native plant nursery operation, Nasami Farm.

The public is invited to the conservancy’s meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. at the library

Call 781-631-1481 or visit


WORDS OF PEACE: Six years ago, Paul G. Saint-Amand — a Vietnam-era veteran and English professor at Northern Essex Community College — combined his passion for writing with his belief in nonviolence by launching a Peace Poetry Contest at the college. It has become an annual event that draws poems from hundreds of people throughout the Merrimack Valley and beyond.

The submission deadline for this year’s contest is March 15.

It is open to students in grades kindergarten through 12, from both public and private schools, as well as adults affiliated with the schools, and Northern Essex students. The works must be original poems on the subject of peace.

Saint-Amand, who has taught at the college for seven years and has made it his personal mission to promote peace, said: “As an educator, I want to fuel children’s imaginations toward peace. A lot more has been written about war than about peace.”

Saint-Amand is coordinating the contest with the help of Northern Essex students who are designing posters and award certificates, judging entries, and hosting a public reading.


About 80 poems and accompanying artwork are selected for publication in a small book of poetry to be published in the spring. Selected poets are invited to take part in the poetry reading, on the college’s Haverhill campus on May 2.

Entries can be submitted to or NECC Peace Poetry Contest, 100 Elliott St., Spurk 317H, Haverhill, MA 01830-2399.

For more information, contact Saint-Amand at 978-556-3307 or

WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Sona Datta is the new curator of Indian and South Asian Art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. She previously was at the British Museum in London, where during her eight-year tenure as art historian and curator she specialized in the visual culture of South Asia. At Peabody Essex, she plays a pivotal role in shaping the museum’s program in South Asian art, primarily through innovative exhibitions, interpretation, and programming, as well as strategic collection enhancement and research. . . . Cathryn Mercier of Melrose has been named to the board of trustees of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst. The mission of the nonprofit museum is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. It was founded by Eric Carle, an author and illustrator of children’s books, and his wife, Barbara, in 2002. Mercier is a professor of English at Simmons College, where she also directs the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature.

Items can be sent to