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.

Love is Not All (Sonnet XXX)

Jun 14, 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.


Jun 7, 2019

Today’s poem is “Students” by Rebecca Goodale. She creates unique and limited edition books, many of them with sculptural components.  Since 2000 she has been creating Artist’s Books about Maine’s rare plants and animals. Her books are in many private and public collections, including the Maine Women Writers Collection at UNE, the Library of Congress and the Fogg Museum Fine Art Library at Harvard University. She has been teaching part-time for the University of Southern Maine for 4 decades.

The McCarthy Hearings

May 31, 2019

Today’s poem is “The McCarthy Hearings” by Ira Sadoff. He’s published six collections of poetry, most recently True Faith (BOA editions) and is currently working on a new book called Country Living. He’s also published a novel, and a critical book on poetry and culture called History Matters. He taught at Colby College for 39 years.

First Encounter Beach

May 24, 2019

Today’s poem is “First Encounter Beach” by Alison Hawthorne Deming. Alison lived in Portland for many years and is a longtime summer resident of Grand Manan Island. Her most recent books are the poetry collection Stairway to Heaven (Penguin 2016), the essay collection Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit (Milkweed 2014), and Death Valley: Painted Light, a collaboration with photographer Stephen Strom (George F. Thompson 2016). Alison is professor of Creative Writing at the University of Arizona. 

The Rhubarb Route

May 17, 2019

Today’s poem is “The Rhubarb Route” 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.

Tide Mill Farm Seedling Sale

May 10, 2019

Today’s poem is “Tide Mill Farm Seedling Sale” by Valerie Lawson. With her partner, Michael Brown, she co-edited the literary journal Off the Coast for eight years. Last year she was the editor of Three Nations Anthology: Native, Canadian and New England Writers (published by Resolute Bear Press). 

The Yawn

May 3, 2019

Today’s poem is "The Yawn" by Kimberly Cloutier Green. Kimberly is a poet and teacher living in Kittery Point, Maine. She's the author of The Next Hunger (published by Bauhan Publishing/UPNE) and the ninth Poet Laureate of the City of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

Spring on the Ripley Road

Apr 26, 2019

Today’s poem is “Spring on Ripley Road” by Dawn Potter. Dawn directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, held each summer at Robert Frost's home in Franconia, New Hampshire. She is the author or editor of eight books of prose and poetry. Her most recent book is a poetry collection, Chestnut Ridge.

Spring Bear

Apr 19, 2019

Today’s poem is “Spring Bear” by Thomas R. Moore. He’s published three books of poems: The Bolt-Cutters (2010), Chet Sawing (2012), and Saving Nails (2016). He currently serves as Poet Laureate for Belfast, Maine. 

america the beautiful again

Apr 12, 2019

Today’s poem is “America the Beautiful Again” by Richard Blanco. Richard read his poem “One Today” at President Obama’s second inauguration.  His fourth book of poetry, How to Love a Country, was published this month.

Pocket Knife

Mar 29, 2019

Today’s poem is “Pocket Knife” by Bruce Willard. His poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Harvard Review, and Ploughshares, as well as on NPR’s Writer’s Almanac. He has two collections of poems: Holding Ground (2013) and Violent Blues (2016). A new book, Bond, will be published soon. 

Mother Tongue

Mar 22, 2019

Today’s poem is “Mother Tongue” by Mihku Paul. She is a Malecite writer and artist born and raised in Old Town. Her family is from Kingsclear First Nations, New Brunswick. Her first book of poetry, 20th Century PowWow Playland, was published in 2012 by the Greenfield Review Press. She is completing her second collection on water and transformation for Frog Hollow Press, Victoria B.C. She lives and works in Portland.


Mar 15, 2019

Today’s poem is “Bird” by Emily Blair Stribling. Her poems have appeared in The New York Quarterly, Chicago Review, Poets On, and she’s the author of the chapbook The Mercy of Light. She lives on a small farm in Brooklin, Maine. 

Maine Burial Plot

Mar 8, 2019

Today’s poem is “Maine Burial Plot” by Thomas R. Moore. He’s published three books of poems: The Bolt-Cutters (2010), Chet Sawing (2012), and Saving Nails (2016) and currently serves as Poet Laureate for Belfast, Maine. 

In Plain Air

Mar 1, 2019

Today’s poem is “In Plain Air” by Elizabeth Poliner. She is the author of a poetry collection, What You Know in Your Hands, and two works of fiction, As Close to Us as Breathing, and Mutual Life and Casualty. She teaches in the M.F.A. and undergraduate creative writing programs at Hollins University. A graduate of Bowdoin College, she frequently returns to Maine to write.