Monson Memories Online Submissions
Monson Memories: A Bicentennial Writing Project
We want your Monson stories!
In celebration of our towns 200th anniversary, Monson Arts, in partnership with Monson Historical Society, is looking for folks willing to share their experiences of Monson and the surrounding area. This memoir project will culminate in an anthology featuring the myriad voices who’ve contributed to the culture and atmosphere that make Monson special.
We are looking generally for work between 500-1000 words, but welcome any writing that relates to your time in the area. If what you have to say can be captured in a sentence or two – amazing! If it’s a poem –excellent! Your story doesn’t even have to be a story, it can be an excerpt from a journal, a list of animals you saw at camp last summer, or a random thought scratched into a piece of birch bark. Whatever it is, we’d love to see it. What matters is your voice, and the connection you find to this place called Monson.
Your can drop work in person at the Monson Arts Gallery, or submit via email to MonsonMemories@monsonarts.org , please put Monson Memories in the subject line.
The strongest link to the past is through direct experience. Even though many Monson folks have dispersed to near and far off lands and cities, they were formed by Monson, and they hold a multitude of untold stories in their DNA. Whether these formative experiences are active within them or only rise to the top when they come back to visit family and friends, Monson expats hold a valuable perspective: their connection to Monson is held in stark contrast to the memories they created after they left. Time and distance reveal a different truth to those who didn’t stay as permanent residents, a truth perhaps both hazy and romantic but also separated out, clearer, the actions and characters more fixed, stories they’ve told when they where asked, “where are you from,” and whose answer we would love to hear as part of this Monson Memories project.
Hunting, Fishing, ATV, Snowmobilers, etc
The northwoods of Piscatuquis County are the star of the show in these parts. The abundance of open land for multi-use recreational purposes has been an area tradition dating to before the founding of the state. Outdoor enthusiasts across all disciplines have hunkered down in tree blinds, floated on lakes with rod and reel in assorted boats, and rumbled up and down the network of motorized trails in all seasons, interacting with the highland wilderness and enjoying a relationship with this land. And the long tradition of sporting men and women in the region has given rise to the tradition of the northwoods “tall tale.” Whether it’s the story of the one that got away, a family memory of grandpa’s 300 yard twilight shot, up hill with a crosswind, that gets 20 yards longer with every telling, or a handed down tale of coldest, windiest and most unproductive ice fishing trip in a generation, we’d love to have you share them with us, the more outlandish the better!
Seasonal Community Members
Camp folks, or “those summer people” have always made Monson more lively in the warm months. Away from the city grind and routines, people come here to find solace in the rural character and natural beauty. Whether it’s life on the lake or adventures in the woods, this escape to Monson has been a source of calm, inspiration, and rejuvenation. And for most people relating to Monson this way, Camp has also been a time of family, of getting together with your clan and rejoicing in (and arguing about!) your shared history. This time spent in and around Monson is often filled with fond memories that stand-out, ready to be shared.
Monson Arts Residents
Our new artist and writer friends are the latest addition of individuals outside the area coming in, spending time in Monson, and being inspired by its character. These different perspectives offer locals a chance to see themselves and their home in a creative light, one filled with natural curiosity and freshness. Insightful and empathic, Monson Arts Residence don’t just spend a month here sequestered in their studios, they kayak on Lake Hebron, walk downtown and shop at the General Store, they go for hikes at Borestone, they think and reflect, leaning into the opportunity the residency offers, forming understandings of this time and place.
AT Hikers have long brought a sense of adventure to Monson, and tales of the trail are embedded in our history, inspiring the imaginations of the locals and visitors alike. In turn Monson is a respite for hikers, whether it’s a zero day at Shaw’s, grabbing tall boys and pizza at the gas station, or getting a resupply from the post office and jumping right back on the trail. Members of the AT community have found moments of rest and relaxation here and woven themselves into the fabric of our community.
Again, if you’re inclined to contribute to the project, you can drop written work in person at the Monson Arts Gallery, or submit via email to MonsonMemories@monsonarts.org , Please put “Monson Memories” in the subject line.