Vincent Ferrini, Gloucester’s beloved poet laureate, couldn’t be around to mark his 100th birthday this week; the famed proletarian poet passed away in December 2007 at the age of 94.
But his legacy and his presence were very much in evidence Saturday, when Gloucester’s arts community and others gathered to honor him and salute his works through a “Poets Cabaret” presentation at Maritime Gloucester, and a panel discussion focusing on his works earlier in the day at Cape Ann Museum.
The lively cabaret – complete with an oversized artistic depiction of Ferrini himself by Cape Ann filmmaker and artist Shep Abbott — included an array of poetry, music, dance and multimedia presentations that drew upon a wide sweep of Gloucester and Cape Ann artists such as singer-songwriter Willie “Loco” Alexander, Kate Tarlow Morgan and singer/actor Gordon Baird.
The Cape Ann Museum presentation was sponsored by the Gloucester Writers Center, which was celebrating a birthday of its own, and holds a special commitment to Ferrini’s legacy.
The Writers Center opened its doors in 2010 and is based in what had long been Ferrini’s modest East Gloucester home.