NHPR's Rewind: The Frost You Didn't Know & The Poetry Capital of New Hampshire
Northern New Hampshire is known for its beautiful mountains and hiking opportunities, or its ski areas that draw crowds from all over New England in the winter. However, the North Country is home to more than recreational resorts. Nestled in the heart of the White Mountains is a thriving arts community that holds poetry in high regard.
The Frost Place in Franconia, founded in 1976, now exists as an educational center for poetry. Before that, it was both home and workspace to esteemed poet Robert Frost. As a memorial piece for Frost’s birthday on March 26th, New Hampshire Daily aired a segment in which Arthur Jensen, a friend of Frost’s and emeritus professor of English at Dartmouth College, remembered the late poet. Jensen shed light on a side of Frost that the public doesn’t usually see, including a conversation that occurred mere weeks before Frost’s death.
Less than ten miles away from The Frost Place is another important location in New Hampshire’s poetry history. Residents of Bethlehem felt so strongly about their ties to the art form that they not only formed a town poetry council, but also put a decision on whether or not to claim Bethlehem as the “Poetry Capital of New Hampshire” to town vote in 1987. Robbie Hoenig reported on the lead up to the town meeting where the title would be put to the test among Bethlehem residents.
Though the town’s motto has since been changed to “Star of the White Mountains,” the push by poetry lovers in 1987 did succeed, and the spirit of the written word lives on in the region.