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 and the Maine Arts Commission. 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.


Feb 21, 2020

Today’s poem is “Traces” by Margaret Yocom.  She lives in Farmington and Rangeley and is the author of  ALL KINDS OF FUR: Erasure Poems & New Translation of a Tale from the Brothers Grimm (Deerbrook Editions, 2018);  A folklorist, she founded the Folklore Studies Program at George Mason University where she taught for 36 years.

The Lost

Feb 14, 2020

Today’s poem is The Lost by Richard Foerster. He’s the author of eight books of poetry, most recently Boy on a Doorstep: New and Selected Poems, which spans 40 years of his work. 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.


Feb 7, 2020

Today’s poem is "Sherene" 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. 

This Has Been a Test of the Emergency Broadcast System

Jan 31, 2020

Today's poem is "This Has Been a Test of the Emergency Broadcast System" by Jeffrey Thomson. He is a poet, memoirist, translator, and editor, and the author of multiple books including: Half/Life: New and Selected Poems from Alice James Books (October 2019). He is currently professor of creative writing at the University of Maine Farmington.


Jan 24, 2020

Today’s poem is “Mother” 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.  She’s the author of three collections of poems, most recently Echolocation (Plume Editions, MadHat Press).

Shuttering My Boy

Jan 17, 2020

Today’s poem is “Shuttering My Boy” by Annaliese Jakimides. Her poems and essays have been published in many journals, magazines, and anthologies, including Beloit Poetry Journal, Utne Reader, and This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women. After 27 years on a dirt road in Mount Chase, population 193, she now lives in downtown Bangor.

Amos in the Snow

Jan 10, 2020

Today’s poem is “Amos in the Snow” by Pam Burr Smith, who lives in Brunswick and works as a mental health therapist. She is the author of two books of poetry, Heaven Jumping Woman (Moon Pie Press, 2011) and Near Stars (Blackberry Books 2019). Her poems are in the anthologies Take Heart and Port City Poems.

The Tooth Fairy

Jan 3, 2020

Today’s poem is "The Tooth Fairy" by Dorianne Laux, who was born in Augusta, Maine. She is the co-author of the celebrated text The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry. Laux teaches poetry in the Program in Creative Writing at North Carolina State University and is a founding faculty member of Pacific University's Low Residency MFA Program. Her most recent book, Only As the Day is Long: New and Selected, was published in 2019. 

Love is Not All (Sonnet XXX)

Dec 27, 2019

Today’s poem is “Love is Not All” (Sonnet XXX) by Edna St. Vincent Millay, who was born in Rockland, Maine in 1892. She was one of the most popular writers of her time and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1923.

Something Bigger Out There

Dec 20, 2019

Today’s poem is “Something Bigger Out There” by Jen Ryan Onken, who has been teaching high school English for more than half her life.  She has taught overseas in Beirut, Alexandria, and Lesotho in Southern Africa-- but she now lives and teaches near Berwick, ME.  Her poems have been featured in Love's Executive Order and the women poets’ anthology, Lunation, published by Senile Monk Press.

Turning the Corner I Saw You

Dec 13, 2019

Today’s poem is “Turning the Corner I Saw You” by Mark Melnicove.  Mark is the author of two ekphrastic poetry collections—Sometimes Times, with printmaker Terry Winters, and GHOSTS, with painter Abby Shahn. He teaches English and creative writing at Falmouth High School.


Dec 6, 2019

Today’s poem is “Snow-flakes” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  He was born in Portland in 1807 and during his life was one of the best-known poets in United States, author of poems such as “Evangeline”, “Hiawatha”, and “Paul Revere’s Ride.”

Piano Lessons

Nov 29, 2019

Today’s poem is “Piano Lessons” by Baron Wormser. Baron grew up in Baltimore, and in 1970 he moved to Maine with his wife, Janet. For 25 years he worked as a librarian for SAD 59 in Madison, Maine and homesteaded off the grid on 48 acres. He was Maine’s second poet laureate. Baron has published ten books of poetry; the most recent is Unidentified Sighing Objects. He now lives in Montpelier, Vermont. 

Magnetic Resonant Image

Nov 22, 2019

Today’s poem is “Magnetic Resonant Image” by Ralph “Skip” Stevens who lives and writes on Little Cranberry Island.  He recently retired from the English faculty at Coppin State University where he taught online after moving to Maine.  He is the author of the collection At Bunker Cove.

On the Path to the Sea, Kennebunkport, Late October

Nov 15, 2019

Today’s poem is “On the Path to the Sea, Kennebunkport, Late October” by Marget Yocom.  She lives in Farmington and Rangeley and is the author of  ALL KINDS OF FUR: Erasure Poems & New Translation of a Tale from the Brothers Grimm (Deerbrook Editions, 2018);  A folklorist, she founded the Folklore Studies Program at George Mason University where she taught for 36 years.