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.

Poetry Walk

Feb 15, 2019

Today’s poem is “Poetry Walk” by Sharif S. Elmusa, who lives in Arrowsic, Maine and Washington, D.C. He is co-editor of the anthology Grape Leaves: A Century of Arab-American Poetry and author of the poetry collection Flawed Landscape. His poetry and translations from Arabic have been published widely in anthologies, print magazines and online, both in the U.S. and internationally. He is Palestinian by birth, American by citizenship. 

The Rare Book Publisher Gives a Talk 

Feb 8, 2019

Today’s poem is "The Rare Book Publisher Gives a Talk" by Jefferson Navicky. He is the author of the poetic novel, The Book of Transparencies, and the story collection, The Paper Coast. He is the archivist for the Maine Women Writers Collection and teaches English at Southern Maine Community College. 


Feb 1, 2019

Today’s poem is “inukshuk” by Jeri Theriault. She’s the author of three chapbooks and a full length collection, Radost, my red. Her teaching career included six years as the English department chair at the International School of Prague. She also taught at Deering and South Portland High Schools and at Waynflete School. 


Jan 25, 2019

Today’s poem is “Mill” by Kristen Lindquist. Kristen lives in her hometown of Camden. She received her MFA from the University of Oregon. She's the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Tourists in the Known World: New & Selected Poems. 

Night Out

Jan 18, 2019

Today’s poem is “Night Out” by Paul Nelson. He lives and writes in Sequim, WA, though he calls himself a “Downeaster at heart,” having called home an old saltwater farm in Machiasport for nearly 40 years. His ninth book of poetry, Learning to Miss, was published in 2018, as was his first book of fiction, Refrigerator Church, a book of stories spanning 60 years of local experience in Maine.

The Sounds of Fish

Jan 11, 2019

Today’s poem is “The Sounds of Fish” by Michelle M. Faith. She is a retired editor and teacher who moved to Camden several years ago after many years on Boston’s North Shore. Her poetry has been published in Art New England, U.S. Catholic, Goose River Anthology, Sandy River Review, and other publications. 


Jan 4, 2019

Today’s poem is “Leaving” by David Sloan. David is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Poetry Program. He teaches at Maine Coast Waldorf High School in Freeport. His debut poetry collection, The Irresistible In-Between, was published by Deerbrook Editions in 2013. 

The Gardener’s Gaze

Dec 28, 2018

Today’s poem is “The Gardener’s Gaze” by Sheila Gray Jordan. Sheila lives year-round on Chebeague Island and is the author of three collections of poems, Winter Wall, The China in the Sea and, most recently, Blue Ceiling. She directed the Ohio Poetry Circuit at Kenyon College in Ohio.


Dec 21, 2018

Today’s poem is “Dear” by Betsy Sholl, who was Maine’s third poet laureate. She has published eight books of poetry, most recently Otherwise Unseeable (University of Wisconsin Press 2014). She lives in Portland and teaches in the MFA Program of Vermont College.

The Library of the Forest

Dec 14, 2018

Today’s poem is “The Library of the Forest” by Jefferson Navicky. He is the author of the poetic novel, The Book of Transparencies, and the story collection, The Paper Coast. He is the archivist for the Maine Women Writers Collection and teaches English at Southern Maine Community College.

Least Said

Dec 7, 2018

Today’s poem is “Least Said” by Richard Miles. He lives in Washington County and works as a stonemason. Richard co-founded, with Peter Sears, the Aspen Writers' Conference in 1974, and he taught English at The University of Arizona and Creative Writing at the University of New Mexico. He’s the author of “Boat of Two Shores” and a letterpress chapbook “Child & Other Poems.”


Nov 30, 2018

Today’s poem is “Regeneration” by Carolyn Locke. Carolyn was a high school teacher for many years and she is the author of two books of poetry, Always This Falling and The Place We Become. She has also written a haibun, a traditional Japanese form that combines prose and haiku, called Not One Thing: Following Matsuo Basho's Narrow Road to the Interior.

In the middle of the spelling quiz

Nov 23, 2018

Today’s poem is “In the middle of the spelling quiz” by Mark Melnicove. Sometimes times, a pairing of Mark Melnicove's poems with artist Terry Winters' prints, was published in 2017 by Two Palms Press. He has just finished another poet-artist collaboration with Abby Shahn and her paintings of ghosts. He teaches English and creative writing at Falmouth High School.

And Now

Nov 16, 2018

Today’s poem is “And Now” by Martin Steingesser.  Martin is author of three books of poems, Yellow Horses, Brothers of Morning, and The Thinking Heart: the Life & Loves of Etty Hillesum.

Cuts of Cloth

Nov 10, 2018

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