James Elias Lewisohn

BAR HARBOR — James Elias Lewisohn, 81, died June 11, 2015, at his home.

He was born in Paris, France, the only son of opera singer Thelma Spear and novelist Ludwig Lewisohn.

James grew up in New York City. He graduated from Brandeis University. He was a poet and former professor of English at the University of Southern Maine, Portland. After the tragic death of his first wife, Roslyn, he spent 10 years at the Maine State Prison. He suffered public humiliation and sorrow during those years but managed to publish several books of poetry and teach other inmates so they could obtain their GED and learn to grow stronger through poetry. He maxed out in the 1980s, relocating to Bar Harbor. He was born Jewish but converted to Catholicism in prison and was devoutly Catholic thereafter. He counted activist Father Daniel Berrigan as one of his friends.

He was the father of five children. His youngest, Hope Anne, resides in Maine with her family. His former wife and longtime friend and editor, Jeanne, lives in Gorham.

He was quietly laid to rest in Bar Harbor.

May Jim, at long last, rest in peace!


Know when to pay your respects.