College Celebrates Shakespeare’s Birthday with Annual Sonnet-Reading Marathon

April 25, 2022

By Annelise Ciccone ’22

man reads at podium outsideOn Friday April 22, the college welcomed back to the print-shop porch a favorite tradition led by English Professor and Executive Director of the Gregory J. Grappone ’04 Humanities Institute Gary Bouchard. In honor of Shakespeare’s 458th birthday, 154 Anselmians recited sonnets from 10 a.m.- 4p.m. 

Held in-person for the first time since 2019 on the balcony of the print shop, Bouchard was eager to restore the “great Anselmian tradition to its proper place.”

The event began with Bouchard remembering Anselmians who have participated and are no longer with us. The sonnet readings then began in earnest with Ms. Carol Vachon and Fr. John Fortin, O.S.B., ’71 who each read for the 34th time, both having read a sonnet since the event started in 1989. 

The 154 sonnets of Shakespeare were recited by a variety of people: alumni, current students, professors, and monks in a number of different ways. Professor Jimenez recited Sonnet 9 in Spanish and Professor Rong recited Sonnet 44 and Sonnet 52 in Chinese. Some Sonnets were recited virtually while others were recited in Shakespearean attire. 

The day was filled with laughter and good company along with cake provided by Davison Dining Hall. If you missed it, catch the livestream on Facebook.


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