Local Author And Artist Team Up To Spell Out The Wonders Of Havre De Grace In New Book


Published with the aid of a Creativity Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), the book is a community effort. (Image Credit: Lindsey Pope/ John Keaton)

HAVRE DE GRACE - A new picture book spells out the wonders of Havre de Grace, one letter at a time. Local author Lindsey Pope and artist John Keaton have teamed up to create "The ABCs of HdG: Fun and Facts In Havre de Grace, MD," a literary journey through the city's unique attractions, history, and community.

"I felt so at home and so comfortable here in Havre de Grace. It's like the perfect place," said Pope, whose book was officially released earlier this week. "This book is all about HdG, featuring local people, organizations, and history."

According to Pope, finding attractions for some letters is easy - A is for art, B for bald eagles, and D is for decoys - but others require creativity and flexibility to ensure the rhyme scheme remains intact.

"You start off, and you're like, well, lighthouse could either be C or L. So, really, you have some flexibility as you're writing," Pope said. "The lighthouse is C in the book, you know, because that's just what worked well for us, and then L is General Lafayette."

Published with the aid of a Creativity Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), the book is a community effort, reflecting the close-knit nature of Havre de Grace. Special thanks have been given to William T. Martin, the city's mayor, Lauri Orzewicz, the Director of Tourism, and many others who contributed to the book's creation.

"I made so many connections in the community, and everybody was so supportive of the book and everything," Pope said.

Beyond its appeal to local children, the book has been designed to be a treasure for all ages.

"We really wanted to appeal to all ages," noted Pope. "We wanted to highlight more of what's appealing for families and also what's appealing for tourists."

The book is replete with "Easter eggs" for locals - individuals or locations that may not be as well known to tourists.

"The easter eggs are the local people that we have," Pope explained. "We have the Christopher Xavier Boy Foundation featured, as well as a picture of a boy representing him in the Independence Day scene parade in the book. We also include the Harmer's Town Art Center logo on our zip code page."

Artist John Keaton, a Havre de Grace resident, filled the book with vivid illustrations. Known for themes that include the animal kingdom and the natural world, Keaton sees this book as an extension of his creative ethos.

According to his bio, "John thrives on the creative process and strives to inspire others. His works are bold, elegant, and highly refined examples of a jubilant spirit."

Pope, a resident of Havre de Grace who previously authored "Sheldon's Time" and "Stella's Dream," is thrilled to present her newest creation. The book is available online, but for those wanting a personalized copy, Pope will be selling and discussing her new book at the Havre de Grace Arts Festival on September 30. Pope plans to host another vendor booth at the Havre de Grace Autumn Fest on October 8. Copies can also be purchased directly from the author by reaching out via social media or email (lindseypopewrites@gmail.com).

"The ABCs of HdG" serves as a primer for the young and a nostalgic keepsake for those who know and love the city - standing as a testament to a community that has been, in Pope's own words, "so supportive" every step of the way.

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