2022 Poetry Without Paper Award Ceremony Celebrating 20 years of Creativity

The Sawyer Free Library hosted the 2022 Poetry Without Paper Contest winners Thursday evening, June 9th.

Children’s Librarian Christy Rosso, PWP Winners Olivia Hogan Lopez, Kathleen Rowe Joyce, Jack Frishsen, Emma Wilt, Esme Sarrouf, Riley Cavanaugh, Aleena Brown and PWP Judge John Ronan

The award-winning students read their poetry to a standing-room-only crowd filled with friends and family and then recognized for their achievements. John Ronan, former Poet Laureate of Gloucester, and Christy Rosso, the Sawyer Free’s Children’s Librarian, presented the awards. Ronan, who serves as one of the contest judges and co-conceived the contest 20 years ago, stated, “I believe that there are probably future Nobel Poet Laureates among tonight’s winners. The caliber of creativity and writing this year was outstanding. We should be proud of all the students that participated.”

The Sawyer Free Library’s Poetry without Paper Contest has celebrated thousands of local students’ outstanding writing for the past 20 years while engaging the community’s youth in the art form and encouraging them to use poetry as a creative expression.  

Winners were chosen from each age group: high school, middle school, and elementary school. First-place winners in all categories received $150 Cape Ann gift certificates, second-place winners a $100 gift certificates, and third-place winners a $50 gift certificate with Honorable Mention awarded a poetry book. All winning poets receive a certificate and an invitation to appear on 1623 Studio’s production, The Writer’s Block with John Ronan.

The 2022 Winning Poets:

High School:      

First Place: “Tears of the Chrysanthemum” by Olivia Hogan-Lopez, GHS, 12th Grade

Middle School:    

First Place:   “Ascending like Icarus” by Emma Wilt, O’Maley, 8th Grade

Second Place:  “The Wrong Picture” by Esme Sarrouf, Homeschool, 8th Grad

Third Place:  “Cracked, but Never Broken” by Aleena Brown, O’Maley, 7th Grad

Honorable Mentions:  “The Owl” by Riley Cavanaugh, O’Maley, 7th Grade

“Where I’m From”, Emily Rattray, O’Maley, 7th Grade

Elementary School     

First Place:  “Magical Books”, Kathleen Rowe-Joyce, West Parish, 3rd Grade

Second Place: “Fifth Grade”, Gabriella McKearney, Plum Cove, 5th Grade

Third Place:  “Friends” by Elizabeth Olson, Beeman, 5th Grade

Honorable Mentions: “Lost” by Bianca Numerosi, Plum Cove, 4th Grade

“Gravity” by Jack Frithsen, West Parish, 2nd Grade

Celebrate Black Music: A Soul Conversation at the Sawyer Free Library with Schuyler Traughber

On Thursday, June 16 from 5:30 – 7:00pm, the Sawyer Free Library is hosting a presentation by local author and long-time music industry insider Schuyler Traughber on Soul Music’s history in pop culture focusing on a “Study of the Soul Music Environment” by Harvard Business School for CBS/Columbia Records in 1972. “The Harvard Report” has contributed to a powerful era, musically, while controversially contributing to the demise of Stax Records in the mid-1970s and Motown being sold to Boston Ventures/MCA Records in the 1980s, enriching corporate America’s distribution-control of Black Music.

 Schuyler Traughber has worked as a road musician, arranger, producer and label executive for We Produce/Stax Records, CBS Records, Motown Records as well as U.S. Business Rep for King Records/MCA, Tokyo. After fifteen years as a Music Business/Management faculty member at Berklee College of Music, in Boston, Sky currently resides in Gloucester and is co-author of an upcoming book: “POWER 101, The Harvard Report, Soul Music, & The American Dream.”

The event will take place on the Main Floor of the Library, located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. It is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5555. 

Sawyer Free Library to host Nick Sullivan, author of  “The Blue Revolution” on Wednesday, June 15 at 6 pm

The Sawyer Free Library will be presenting an engaging and informative evening with Nick Sullivan -the author of The Blue Revolution on Wednesday, June 15, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

The New Bedford author will discuss his research and ideas on the “Blue Revolution, the rapid development of aquaculture in recent years. He will offer a new way of thinking about fish, food, and oceans by profiling the people and policies, transforming a challenged seafood industry into one that is fueled by fishermen, locavores, and local seafood supply chains interested in sustainable, traceable, quality seafood. He will share how the practices of 30 years ago that perpetuated an overfishing crisis are rapidly changing and the global challenges to preserving healthy oceans.

Sullivan is a writer and editor who examines the impact of business and technology on international development. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Maritime Studies Program and a Senior Fellow at the Council on Emerging Market Enterprises, both in the Fletcher School at Tufts University. The Blue Revolution is his fourth book.

The event will take place on the Main Floor of the Library, located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. It is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5555.  

Gloucester Marine Railways with Viking Gustafson

On Thursday, June 9 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., learn more about Gloucester Marine Railways at the Sawyer Free Library.

Marine Railways Director Viking Gustafson will give a presentation on the marine railways in Gloucester in the Library’s Friends Room this Thursday evening.  She will then offer a tour of the railways on site in Rockport on Saturday, June 11, at 10:00 a.m.  

Both the presentation and the tour are free and open to the public. The Sawyer Free Library is located at 2 Dale Avenue. For more information visit, SawyerFreeLibrary.com or 978-325-5500.

Book Launch Celebration for ‘Sea Gull and the Sea Captain’ at the Sawyer Free Library and Cape Ann Museum

From New York Times, bestselling author and National Book Award Nominee Sy Montgomery comes the sweet, brightly illustrated true story of a seagull and a sea captain who became friends over the course of four summers. 

To celebrate the release of THE SEAGULL AND THE SEA CAPTAIN, the Sawyer Free Library, Cape Ann Museum, and The Book Store of Gloucester are hosting a celebration on Saturday, June 4, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. The afternoon will feature the book’s author Sy Montgomery, illustrator Amy Schimler-Safford, and special guest Gloucester’s own, Schooner Lannon Captain Heath Ellis, who was the true-life inspiration for the story! 


Heath, the president of Schooner Sails, made headlines in 2019 when he made friends with a seagull who would visit him on his sailboat! Author Sy Montgomery heard this news and was inspired to write a picture book which became THE SEAGULL AND THE SEA CAPTAIN.


This Saturday, June 4, at 1:00 pm, Author Sy Montgomery will do a reading and a book signing at the Sawyer Free Library, located at 2 Dale Avenue. Copies of the book will be available for sale. After the reading, participants are invited to the Cape Ann Museum at 2:00 pm for a ‘The Seagull and the Sea Captain’ -themed kids art activity. It promises to be a fun-filled afternoon for everyone! 

For more information, visit SawyerFreeLibrary.org or call 978-325-5500. 

Book Launch on Saturday, June 4 at Sawyer Free Library

“Ask A Muslim Anything” with Robert Azzi at Sawyer Free Library

On Thursday, June 2 at 6:00pm, join Robert Azzi at the Sawyer Free Library, for a conversation about being a practicing Muslim in small-town New England. The Exeter-based photojournalist, who is an Arab-American Muslim, has put together the program called “Ask a Muslim Anything” that he hopes will help reduce misunderstandings between people of different faiths.  As a part of it, he visits area communities to provide space for open questions about his faith, offering one man’s perspective and experience. Is there a question you’ve always wondered about Islam but never had the opportunity to ask? This is your chance.

Ask a Muslim Anything: Thursday, June 2 from 6:00 – 8:00pm at the Sawyer Free Library located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. The event is free and open to all to attend. For more information, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5500.

Winslow Homer: American Passage – an evening with curator and author William R. Cross at the Sawyer Free Library

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library is pleased to welcome curator and local author William R. Cross for a discussion of his book Winslow Homer: American Passages on Thursday, May 26 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  

Cross’ newly published book Winslow Homer: American Passage is a definitive biography of the painter. It studies Homer in the context of how his life as an artist was shaped by the turbulent, dramatic political times he lived through, from the Panic of 1837 to the Civil War and Reconstruction. Filmmaker Ken Burns (The Civil War) comments that curator/author William Cross “has done an admirable job bringing to life this most American of painters. Finally, Winslow Homer’s brilliant work and fascinating life are united in one volume.” 

During this special presentation, Cross will discuss Homer and his art, illustrated with slides of images and photos collected from his research.  

William R. Cross is an independent scholar and a consultant to art and history museums. He served as the curator of Homer at the Beach: A Marine Painter’s Journey, 1869–1880, a nationally renowned 2019 exhibition at the Cape Ann Museum on the formation of Winslow Homer as a marine painter. Bill is a graduate of Yale College, magna cum laude, and received an MBA at Harvard Business School.  He and his wife live on Cape Ann. 

Winslow Homer: American Passage will be available for sale at The Bookstore of Gloucester, located at 61 East Main Street in Gloucester, for those interested in having it autographed at the event. 

This event is free and open to the public at the Sawyer Free Library, located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. Registration is not required. For more information, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org

Dementia Communication: Using Art and Art History to Connect presentation with Siobhan McDonald 

 On Saturday, May 21 from 2:00 – 4:00pm, the Sawyer Free Library will be concluding its series Of Sound Mind with a presentation by artist, teacher, and author Siobhan McDonald.

Siobhan is passionate about helping seniors with memory loss to connect with loved ones and caregivers through conversation and sharing their personal stories. She will share how providing visual arts workshops to seniors with memory challenges inspired her interactive book designed for entertainment, understanding, comfort, and connection: Hilda’s Story: New Bedford, MA.

Get a nostalgic glimpse into the true-life story of Hilda, the child of immigrant parents, as she grows up during the years following World War II in a historic city on the coast of Massachusetts. Experience the decades through the wonder of invention and love of family.

Hilda’s Story: New Bedford, Massachusetts is meant to be shared, and your interaction with your listener can become as meaningful as the story itself. This Picture Book style hardcover (11″ x 8.5″ / 40 pp.) is a wonderful resource for families and caregivers but can also be offered for someone to enjoy at their own pace.

Caring for a senior who is dealing with dementia or other health issues can be challenging, but also joyful and rewarding. Come learn more about this important topic. The event is free and open to the public. For more information visit SawyerFreeLibrary.org or call 978-325-5550.

Gloucester Genealogy Group – first meeting at Sawyer Free Library this Saturday

The Gloucester Genealogy Group will have its first meeting on Saturday, May 21 from 10 am – 12 pm at the Sawyer Free Library.

Local History Librarian, Julie Travers, will walk you through the very first steps for beginning your genealogy search using online resources available through the library. After a tutorial, you will be able to practice creating a family tree chart of your own. Beginners and experts are welcome to attend, as there will be time for sharing your own research after the tutorial. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop, however, the library will have several available for use during the workshop.   

The Gloucester Genealogy Club’s monthly meetings will consist of tutorials, how-to’s, and special presentations and events by expert genealogists. Keep an eye out for future meetings. 

This first meeting will take place in the Friends Room of the Sawyer Free Library located at 2 Dale Avenue. For more information visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-978325-5553.