Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library Executive Director Deborah Kelsey will be retiring in late June to spend more time with her family and explore personal pursuits. 

"It has been a privilege and honor to serve the city of Gloucester. I have completed most of what I set out to do when I became the Sawyer Free Library director almost six years ago. Together with the dedicated library staff and volunteers, we have worked effectively to reposition the library to be a place of learning, innovation, and creativity, to nurture and strengthen the community," Kelsey said. 

Within those six years, Kelsey has helped the library look forward to a renovated building, through securing a $9 million MBLC grant.

"It was her vision, dedication, knowledge, and hard work," said John T. Brennan, president of the Library Board of Trustees. "We will be forever in her debt for her outstanding efforts to give Gloucester the 21st century library our community deserves, and we wish her only the best."

The library's board, in coordination with the city of Gloucester, will begin planning the search for a new library director in mid-summer. 

"Now it is time for a new leader to bring their energy, passion, and commitment to realize the vision for the library: To foster the values of place, belonging, and connection in the Gloucester community," Kelsey said.

Marathon reading

A marathon reading of Charles Olson’s “Maximus Poems” started Friday at 5 p.m. in the Gloucester Writers Center’s Maud/Olson Library at 108 E. Main St. in East Gloucester.

Friday was the 50th anniversary of the death of Olson (1910-1970), a postmodern American poet who made Gloucester his home. The city became an inspiration for “Maximus Poems,” his masterwork. Organizers had no estimate of how long it will take to read the epic poem.

“Anybody is welcome to come help us read. As the event will take quite some time, the door is open, and we expect people will come and go as needed,” said Amanda Cook, a program development director. “We also will be live-streaming the event on our Facebook page so people can listen in around the world.”

Those interested can go to

Olson is considered one of the major poets of the 20th century. The Gloucester Writers Center is steward to a special collection, a library of more than 4,000 volumes — a copy of every book that Olson owned, read or referred to in his work — housed at the Maud/Olson Library.

More information is available at

Local artists on show 

Several Gloucester artists have their works on display in public spaces around Cape Ann and further afield.

About 20 artworks by Paul Cabot Neily are on display in the Matz Gallery at Sawyer Free Library, 2 Dale Ave., during business hours this month. All are for sale. Neily, a 10-year resident of the city, is also a jewelry designer, furniture maker and musician. He has a studio at 157 Main St. in Essex.

The most recent paintings by Gloucester artist, writer, musician Mike Cangemi are part of the new artist exhibition that opens Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Marblehead Arts Association, located in the King Hooper Mansion, 8 Hooper St. in Marblehead There will be a free public reception from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 12, with an opportunity to meet and speak with the artists. Refreshments will be served. Coinciding with the exhibit will be a themed display, "Trees," a MAA Artist Member Exhibit.

Donna Ardizzoni's photo work is being featured on the walls of Santander Bank, 17 Union St. in Manchester for the month. 

BankGloucester is hosting a free public reception for North of Boston artist Susan Drennan this Saturday, Jan. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in its lobby at 160 Main St. in Gloucester. Light refreshments will be available. A collection of Drennan’s paintings will be on display at the bank through March 14. Drennan, who has a studio in Lowell, is currently completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting and a minor in curatorial studies at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly. Her award-winning artwork can be found in private collections in Massachusetts, Florida, New Hampshire and Japan.

Christmas tree collection

The city will pick up Christmas trees next week, Jan. 13 to 17, on residents' regular trash day. Public Works requests that the tree be at the curb no later than 7 a.m., as the trees are collected first thing. Also please make sure the tree is free of decorations, lights and stands. Trees in plastic bags will not be collected.

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