Before Mark Twain, there was Lydia Sigourney. She was Hartford's best-known writer in the first half of the 19th Century; in fact, according to Trinity College Professor Paul Lauter, she was the best-known American poet of the century, after Longfellow. Eventually, however, her work was dismissed as too sentimental. In the 20th Century she became forgotten, even in Hartford, which had named Sigourney Street after her.
Lauter seeks to revive Sigourney's reputation, arguing that many of her poems--especially those dealing with Native Americans--remain significant. In addition, he points to her participation in the movement to stop the removal of Cherokees from Georgia, noting that the work of those in the anti-Removal movement helped spark both abolitionist and early feminist activity.
At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16, at the Faculty Club in Trinity's Hamlin Hall, Lauter will present, "Teaching Lydia Sigourney?", a talk on various ways of teaching Sigourney. It's free and open to the public. For more information, see the news release published on the Trinity website.