Poems from Here with Maine Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum

Fridays on Maine Public Radio at 1:55 pm & 7:55 pm | Maine Public Classical 11:55 am & 4:55 pm

Each Friday, Stuart selects a poem by a Maine or regional poet and shares with us how language has the power to move and surprise us. Poems from Here creates a momentary community of speaker and listeners, where vibrant language slows time down and helps us to pay attention to our world.

Poems from Here is presented in collaboration with the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, the Maine Arts Commission, and the Expansion Arts Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. Special thanks to Robert M. Chute and family along with Phil Steele and Francesca Galluccio-Steele for making Poems from Here possible. Additional support is provided by The New Writing Series at the University of Maine.

Early October

16 hours ago

Today’s poem is “Early October” by Gibson Fay-LeBanc. Gibson’s first collection of poems, Death of a Ventriloquist (UNT Press, 2012), won the Vassar Miller Prize and was featured by Poets and Writers as one of a dozen debut collections to watch. He completed a three-year term as the Poet Laureate of Portland in 2018. 

Performing at the Fryeburg Fair

Oct 5, 2018

Today’s poem is “Performing at the Fryeburg Fair” by Gretchen Berg. Gretchen is a performance artist, educator and writer. She is the lead teaching artist for Portland’s Side x Side, works in rural Maine schools through the Local Stories Project, and teaches performance courses at Bates College. 

The Clearing

Sep 28, 2018

Today’s poem is “The Clearing” by Richard Foerster. His eighth book of poems, Boy on a Doorstep: New and Selected Poems, will be published by Tiger Bark Press in the spring of 2019. Richard has worked as a lexicographer, educational writer, typesetter, teacher, and editor of the literary magazines Chelsea and Chautauqua Literary Journal. Since 1986, he has lived on the coast in southern Maine.


Sep 21, 2018

Today’s poem is “Nope” by Adrian Blevins from her third book of poems, Appalachians Run Amok. She is also the author of Live from the Homesick Jamboree and The Brass Girl Brouhaha; two chapbooks; and Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean, a co-edited collection of essays by contemporary Appalachian poets and writers. She teaches at Colby College.

New England Asters

Sep 14, 2018

Today’s poem is “New England Asters” by Lynn Ascrizzi. She’s an artist, poet, freelance writer and gardener who lives with her husband, Joe, in a house they built in the woods of Freedom, Maine. Her work has been published in magazines and anthologies, including Take Heart: Poems from Maine

To Mother on the Anniversary of Your Death

Sep 7, 2018

Today’s poem is “To Mother on the Anniversary of Your Death” by Linda Aldrich. She has published two collections of poetry, Foothold (Finishing Line Press, 2008) and March and Mad Women (Cherry Grove Collections, 2012). Linda lives in Portland and teaches English at Southern Maine Community College. She co-hosts the monthly Local Writers at the Local Buzz reading series with Marcia Brown.

Ode to Autumn

Aug 31, 2018

Today’s poem is “Ode to Autumn” by Sally Bliumis-Dunn. Her poems have appeared in Paris Review, Plume, Prairie Schooner, The Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-day, and The Writer's Almanac. “Ode to Autumn” is from her third full-length collection, ECHOLOCATION, which was published by Plume Editions, MadHat Press in March 2018.

Bird Woman

Aug 24, 2018

Today's poem is “Bird Woman” by Elizabeth Tibbetts. Her book In the Well won the Bluestem Poetry Award. She has a new book called Say What You Can forthcoming from Deerbrook Editions. Elizabeth is a nurse who lives in Hope.

The Errand

Aug 17, 2018

Today’s poem is “The Errand” by James Schneider. He lives in Brunswick and has published poems in various online and print journals including Verse Wisconsin, Abraxas #49, and Third Wednesday. Although he has spent most of his life in Wisconsin, where he was a lawyer, he now lives near Bowdoin College, which he attended long ago. 

Grandparents' Conundrum

Aug 10, 2018

Today’s poem is “Grandparents’ Conundrum” by Doug Rawlings. In 1980, along with three other veterans, he began Veterans for Peace, now an international organization with 130 chapters and NGO status at the United Nations.  He worked for 27 years at the University of Maine at Farmington. He’s recently come out of retirement to teach a Peace Studies course there. 

Words with Friends

Aug 3, 2018

Today’s poem is “Words with Friends” by Gibson Fay-LeBanc. His first collection of poems, Death of a Ventriloquist (UNT Press, 2012), won the Vassar Miller Prize and was featured by Poets & Writers as one of a dozen debut collections to watch. He completed a three-year term as the Poet Laureate of Portland in 2018. 

Seeing Mercer, Maine

Jul 27, 2018

Today’s poem is “Seeing Mercer, Maine” by  Wesley McNair. Wes was Maine’s fourth poet laureate and is the author of ten books of poems, most recently The Unfastening. He’s currently professor emeritus and Writer in Residence at the University of Maine Farmington, where he directed the creative writing program for many years.

What Do You Do for Pleasure?

Jul 20, 2018

Today’s poem is “What Do You Do for Pleasure?” by Peter Harris. Peter is the author of two books of poetry, Blue Hallelujahs and Freeing the Hook. For many years he taught American literature and creative writing at Colby College.

Rites of Passage

Jul 13, 2018

Today’s poem is “Rites of Passage” by Karen Lie-Nielsen. She lives in midcoast Maine and her writing has appeared in Maine magazine, The Comstock Review, Poetry East, and at Wordgathering.com. Her chapbook Handbuzz and Other Voices centers on her experiences growing up with deaf parents.

The Echo

Jul 6, 2018

Today's poem is "The Echo" by Carl Little. He's the author of Ocean Drinker: New and Selected Poems (2006), as well as many books about art, including Art of Acadia (2016), written with his brother David, and Eric Hopkins: Above and Beyond (2011).