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.


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.


Nov 8, 2019

Today’s poem is “Harvesting” by Sonja Johanson.  Her latest chapbook is  Trees in Our Dooryards (Redbird Chapbooks) and recent work has appeared in American Life in Poetry and the Bellvue Literary Review.  Sonja is a graduate of College of the Atlantic, and divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine.

First Deer

Nov 1, 2019

Today’s poem is “First Deer” by Paul Corrigan. He is a retired Baxter Park Ranger whose poems have appeared in Yankee, the Maine Times and Maine Speaks - a Maine studies anthology in which "First Deer" appeared. Paul performs with North Country Strings, reading from his book At the Grave of the Unknown River Driver published by North Country Press.


Oct 25, 2019

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

Today’s poem is “Beset by Dementia, My Father Travels Through Time” by Mike Bove. His first book of poems, Big Little City, was published by Moon Pie Press in 2018. He lives with his family in Portland, Maine and teaches in the English Department at Southern Maine Community College.


Oct 11, 2019

Today’s poem is “Personal” by Tony Hoagland. He was the author of eight books of poetry, most recently Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God (2018). He lived in Waterville for eight years and taught at Colby College and the University of Maine Farmington. Tony Hoagland died in 2018.

Restless Mind

Oct 4, 2019

Today’s poem is “Restless Mind” by Dave Morrison.  Dave was born outside of Boston and spent the early part of his life playing in rock bands in Boston and New York City. He lives in Camden and just released Refuge, his 13th poetry collection.

The Little Birds Keep Singing

Sep 27, 2019

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


Sep 20, 2019

Today’s poem is “Obligations” by Russell Libby, from his book Balance A Late Pastoral. He worked at Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association for many years, and through that organization he was able to work with others to strengthen their commitment to many environmental issues. Russell lived a little more than half his life on Three Sisters Farm in Mount Vernon, Maine and died in 2012 at the age of 56.  


Sep 13, 2019

Today's poem is "Genie" by Carl Little. He's the author of Ocean Drinker: New and Selected Poems (2006), as well as many books about art, including Paintings of Portland (2018), written with his brother David, and Philip Frey: Here and Now (2018). He lives on Mount Desert Island.

The Abandoned Orchards of Maine

Sep 6, 2019

Today’s poem is “The Abandoned Orchards of Maine” 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.

Girl at the Blue Hill Fair

Aug 30, 2019

Today’s poem is “Girl at the Blue Hill Fair” by Marnie Reed Crowell. Marnie is a naturalist and author of a half-dozen books, including Greener Pastures and Great Blue, Odyssey of a Heron. Her poems appear in the anthology Take Heart- More Maine Poems and accompany photographs from Audubon members in Sky of Birds.