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Annual Gilbert Byron Day

Gilbert Byron Day is observed annually on the second Sunday of October during the annual Pickering Creek Harvest Hoedown. In addition to the many other family oriented activities of the day, visitors will have the opportunity to visit Byron’s home. The small self-built house, pictured above, has been relocated from San Domingo Creek near St. Michaels to the Pickering Creek Audubon Center where it is undergoing restoration. With only his pet dogs for companions, Byron spent nearly half of his life in this house. It was here that he produced what is likely the largest collection of writing about the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay Regions authored by a single person. His published work includes 14 books; scores of poems; more than 170 short stories and general interest articles; and over 2,000 area newspaper columns.

During the Hoedown, the Gilbert Byron house will be open to visitors where they will have to opportunity to learn about the life and literary work of this “Voice of the Chesapeake.” Information: pickeringcreek.audubon.org/

 

 

Gilbert Byron Day Celebrated Chesapeake Thoreau

Byron Birthday 2016 - Jack Baker

Pictured is Jack Baker of the Gilbert Byron Society who provided tours of the Gilbert Byron House at Pickering Creek Audubon Center in Easton during the annual Gilbert Byron birthday celebration.

Over 30 people attended the recent annual birthday celebration in honor of local author and poet Gilbert Byron at Pickering Creek Audubon Center in Easton.  Friends and community leaders gathered to do readings and share stories about Byron, who lived from 1903 to 1991.

In addition to tours of the Gilbert Byron House, Jack Baker of the Gilbert Byron Society provided a brief talk on the significance of Gilbert’s life, particularly in how he has preserved the culture of the Eastern Shore’s native waterman culture in his writing.  Poetry readings by guest readers included Jim Dawson of Unicorn Bookshop; Nancy Andrew of Habitat for Humanity; Dave Harper, Associate Professor of English, at Chesapeake College; Margaret Gary, friend of Gilbert Byron; Kelley Malone, retired Easton Town Council member, poet and friend of Gilbert Byron; and Megan D’Arcy, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. Also sharing his memories of Byron was Dennis Forney, publisher of the Lewes, DE Cape Gazette.

Byron Birthday 2016 - Jack Baker with Mark Scallion

Pictured left to right are Jack Baker, Gilbert Byron Society, presenting Mark Scallion, Pickering Creek Audubon Center Director, a painting of the Gilbert Byron House by Robert Horvath, the recently retired director of the Talbot County Free Library, in appreciation of his support in preserving Byron’s memory as “The Chesapeake Thoreau.”

Kelley Malone commented, “Gilbert’s poetry and fiction honor the greatness of this quiet land and preserve important aspects of the culture that has shaped Eastern Shore living in a way no other writer has—it was a joyful day celebrating and introducing to others Gilbert’s work with those who have never heard of Byron’s poetry and fiction.”

The Gilbert Byron Society has begun planning to sponsor an Annual Gilbert Byron Poetry Contest for middle school students from Talbot County. The contest’s purpose is to keep alive Gilbert’s passion for teaching poetry that, as a Maryland Arts Council ”Poet-in-Residence,” he shared with 4th and 5th graders  in Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot public schools for nine years. For further information, visit gilbertbyron.org or email Jack Baker at airmail4@gilbertbyron.org.

 

The Gilbert Byron Society is a nonprofit organization working through the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. Individuals interested in making a donation to the Society or contributing to the cash prizes for the upcoming Poetry Contest can visit mscf.org or call 410-820-8175. Donations may also be sent to The Gilbert Byron Society, c/o The Mid-Shore Community Foundation, 102 East Dover Street, Easton, MD  21601.

 

Gilbert Byron Day to Celebrate the Chesapeake Bay on July 9

Gilbert and Edna

Local author and poet Gilbert and his wife Edna Byron are pictured here with the original one room cabin at Old House Cove near St. Michaels in August 1942. This year, the annual birthday celebration in Gilbert Byron’s honor will be held on July 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Pickering Creek Audubon Center in Easton where the cabin is now located. Friends will gather to do readings and share stories about Byron, who lived from 1903 to 1991.

According to Jacques “Jack” T. Baker, Jr., who wrote the book, “Gilbert Byron: A Life Worth Examining,” local author and poet Gilbert Byron had much in common with the writer Henry Thoreau. Known as “The Chesapeake Thoreau,” not only did Byron live in a house on a wooded cove, delighting in the simple life, but he also shared a birthday with the acclaimed writer – the two were born on July 12. This year, the annual birthday celebration in Gilbert Byron’s honor will be held on July 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Pickering Creek Audubon Center in Easton.  Friends will gather to do readings and share stories about Byron, who lived from 1903 to 1991.

In addition to tours of the Gilbert Byron House, Jack Baker of the Gilbert Byron Society will provide a brief talk on the significance of Gilbert’s life, particularly in how he has preserved the culture of the Eastern Shore’s native waterman culture in his writing.  Jack Baker comments, “Gilbert always said that if he didn’t think it was worthwhile, he wouldn’t have done it. That includes taking Thoreau’s philosophy to heart and living a simple minimalist life.”

There will be a formal poetry reading with guest readers including: Jim Dawson of Unicorn Bookshop; Nancy Andrew of Habitat for Humanity; Dave Harper, Associate Professor of English, at Chesapeake College; and Kelley Malone, retired Easton Town Council member, poet and friend of Gilbert Byron. There will be a showing of a DVD about Byron’s life and a period for questions and answers. Refreshments will be served.

This coming fall, the Gilbert Byron Society will also sponsor the First Annual Gilbert Byron Poetry Contest for middle school students from Talbot County. The contest’s purpose is to keep alive Gilbert’s passion for teaching poetry to children as a visiting poet in many Maryland public schools. Further information will be forthcoming.

For further information about the event, visit gilbertbyron.org or email Jack Baker at airmail4@gilbertbyron.org.

The Gilbert Byron Society is a nonprofit organization working through the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. Individuals interested in making a donation to the Society or contributing to the cash prizes for the upcoming Poetry Contest can visit mscf.org or call 410-820-8175. Donations may also be sent to The Gilbert Byron Society, c/o The Mid-Shore Community Foundation, 102 East Dover Street, Easton, MD  21601.

 

Students Visit Gilbert Byron House

ChesapeakeCollegeStudents

 

Students in David Harper’s English class at Chesapeake College visited the Gilbert Byron House at Pickering Creek in early September. They participated in a field learning experience about “The Thoreau of the Chesapeake.” As part of the InspirED initiative, the students used iPads to document the cabin and Byron artifacts. As part of the first college course offered on Gilbert Byron, students read the works composed in the dwelling.

Class members are pictured here along with author and Gilbert Byron Society Founder, Jacques Baker.

 

Are you interested in becoming more involved with the Gilbert Byron Society? If so, please contact  Jacques Baker.

Upcoming Events
  • An Afternoon with Gilbert Byron, Bayleigh Chase, Easton. July 25, 3:30 - 5:30 pm
  • Second Sunday in October - Annual Gilbert Byron Birthday Celebration at Pickering Creek - Read more...

A Life Worth Examining

Biography of Gilbert Byron's life and work as an author and observer of the 20th Century Chesapeake and Delaware Bay regions.

 

Contact Jacques Baker for more information or to purchase.

 

College Days

Also available: College Days, a story about student life at Washington College in the 1920's.

 

Mission Boy

Published by Secant Publishing