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.

Moving Among the Creatures

Apr 3, 2020


Today’s poem is “Moving Among the Creatures” by Daniel Hoffman, who was the author of over twenty books, including poetry, criticism, and a memoir. He spent many summers in Brooksville, Maine and was appointed US poet laureate in 1973. 

Bells, Bells

Mar 27, 2020


Today’s poem is “Bells, Bells” 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 is currently serving as Portland’s poet laureate.

Trying to Tell Us

Mar 20, 2020


Today’s poem is "Trying To Tell Us" by Deborah Cummins.  She’s the author of two poetry collections and a collection of essays that was a finalist for the 2013 Maine Book Award in Non-Fiction. Her poems and essays have been featured in nine anthologies and numerous journals and magazines.


Mar 13, 2020

Today’s poem is “Thirst” by Mary Tracy. She helped found Friends School of Portland and served as its Director of Studies and middle school language arts teacher. Her greatest pleasure was helping students discover that they could write well and powerfully. Her work has been published in Balancing Act 2, by Littoral Books.

Pruning Time

Mar 6, 2020

Today’s poem is “Pruning Time” by Richard Taylor. Richard grew up in rural New Hampshire and was a  member of the 1964 Olympic Nordic Ski Team.  He taught German, Latin, and English at Gould Academy for 20 years, and his first book, The Absence of Strangers, was published by Goose River Press in 2017.


Today’s poem is "In February: After a complaint to my acupuncturist before getting on her table." by Jennifer Lunden. Her poems have been published in Sweet, Peacock Journal, Poetry Canada Review, and The Café Review, and she was the recipient of the 2019 Literary Arts Fellowship from the Maine Arts Commission.


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.