Katharine Lee Bates’s “America the Beautiful” resonates for many as the most patriotic and beloved American anthem. But poet, scholar, social activist, and Wellesley College professor, Katharine Lee Bates also loved to travel, thanks to her childhood in Falmouth. Her journeys from Cape Cod, to Wellesley, Oxford, Chicago, Colorado, Spain and Egypt, played big roles in influencing her writing of “America the Beautiful.”
Join us for a talk with author Melinda Ponder as she speaks about her new book “Katharine Lee Bates: from sea to shining sea” and Katharine Lee Bates on her travels on Saturday, April 7 at 3:00 pm.
Time: 3:00 -4:00 pm
Location: Falmouth Public Library, 300 Main Street, Hermann Meeting Room
No registration needed. Register on our registration page to receive a reminder email.
Melinda Ponder is also the author of Hawthorne and Women: Engendering and Expanding the Hawthorne Tradition and Hawthorne’s Early Narrative Art. Melinda Ponder first became intrigued with Katharine Lee Bates’ story when she attended Wellesley College and studied English— in the same English Department that Katharine Lee Bates established at the school decades earlier. She continued her academic career as a published literary critic with an M.A. in American Studies and a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Boston College. Currently, she is a Professor Emerita of English at Pine Manor College. Her essays and articles on Nathaniel Hawthorne and other American and British authors have appeared in Genre, The Chicago Tribune, The Essex Institute Historical Collections, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review. Having grown up in Indiana, she now lives in Cambridge, MA.
“How I loved this splendid biography! Melinda Ponder brings Katharine Lee Bates to life as never before. And what a fascinating, remarkable woman she was—so much more important in the history and literature of our country than I had realized.”
~Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize historian
“Finally, a full portrait of the wise and witty woman who wrote the words that best express our love for America. Melinda Ponder’s rich narrative is a timely reminder that intellect, integrity, and a rigorous respect for truth are the real pillars of patriotism.”
~Lynn Sherr, former ABC News correspondent and author of America the Beautiful: The Stirring True Story Behind America’s Favorite Song
“Katharine Lee Bates: From Sea to Shining Sea unfolds at long last the impressive life story and strikingly variegated career of the author of America’s unofficial national anthem. A limit-bumping thinker ahead of her time, sometimes even at odds with it, Katharine Lee Bates also had a remarkable gift for reaching the broader American public.”
~Lawrence Buell, Harvard University, author of New England Literary Culture and The Dream of the Great American Novel
“…[A] carefully researched and thoroughly entrancing life tale of a brilliant and accomplished woman whose many achievements have too long been eclipsed by the enduring success of America the Beautiful. … Ponder wisely sets this triumph in the context of a full and richly lived life.”
~Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life and Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast
“Melinda Ponder’s … beautifully written biography presents Katharine Lee Bates as, in her time, a “New Woman.” Readers will find that this life story of a beloved poet, patriot, and social reformer has much to say about our own time.”
~Barbara Kanellopoulos, The Falmouth Enterprise
“Congratulations to Melinda Ponder for telling the story of a poet who was also a true American hero…. is book is a stirring tribute to a brilliant and deeply patriotic American whose message we need to hear today.”
~Stephen Kinzer, historian and author, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire