UMF hosts U.S. debut of creative literary and film works, Oct. 22

  • October 10, 2019

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UMF hosts U.S. debut of creative literary and film works, Oct. 22

Featuring Jeffrey Thomson’s “Half/Life” and Amy Neswald’s “Blink” 


FARMINGTON, ME  (October 9, 2019)—A dual U.S. debut of creative works by UMF faculty members Jeffrey Thomson and Amy Neswald will be hosted by the University of Maine at Farmington in the Performance Space in the Emery Community Arts Center at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 22. Pat O’Donnell, UMF professor of English, will introduce the authors.

The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the UMF Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.

This curtain raiser introduces the e-book for “Half/Life,” (Alice James Books 2019) a book of new and selected poems by Thomson—poet, author and UMF professor of creative writing. The poems in his new collection radiate a love for life, the world and the temporal nature of existence. Roots of memory and nostalgia become the architecture of the mind as Thomson explores the past to better grasp the future.

Neswald—writer, filmmaker and UMF faculty member—will preview her short film, “Blink,” based on Thomson’s Half/Life poem of the same name. Her film was screened at the 2019 O Bheal International Poetry-Film Festival in Cork, Ireland, where it was short-listed for an award and will appear in O Bheal’s poetry-film touring programme, at a number of Irish film and literary festivals and screened throughout the year.

Thomson’s poem was influenced by the story of the death of Antoine Lavoisier, an 18th century chemist executed during the French Revolution. Condemned to the guillotine, he tells his assistant that as a final experiment he would blink as many times as he could before his head leaves his body.

 Following the Emery events, a hard-copy party/launch will take place at the Homestead in downtown Farmington at 6 p.m. Wes McNair, American poet, writer, former Maine Poet Laureate and UMF professor emeritus, will introduce Thomson, who will do a short reading and book signing.

More on the Authors

Jeff Thomson is a poet, memoirist, translator, and editor, and is the author of multiple books including the memoir fragile, The Belfast Notebooks, The Complete Poems of Catullus, and the edited collection From the Fishouse. Alice James Books will publish Half/Life: Poems Selected and New in October 2019. He has been an NEA Fellow, the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, and the Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow at Brown University.

Amy Neswald is a writer and filmmaker. She currently teaches screenwriting at the University of Maine in Farmington. Her fiction has been published in The Rumpus, Green Mountain Review, and The Normal School and her films have received festival play in the U.S. and abroad.


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Media Contact:Jeffrey Thomson, UMF professor of creative writing,



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April Mulherin

224 Main St
Farmington  ME  04938