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.

Pie #317

Jul 12, 2019

Today’s poem is “Pie #317" by Rebecca Irene. She recently received her MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work is published in Burningword Literary Journal, Amaryllis, Balancing Act 2 and elsewhere. She lives in Portland, where she supports her word-addiction by waitressing.

Pool Girl, West Bathhouse, Jones Beach State Park, 1961

Jul 5, 2019

Today’s poem is “Pool Girl, West Bathouse, Jones Beach State Park, 1961” by Kathleen Sullivan. She is a psychotherapist; for over fifty years, she has helped people rewrite the stories of their lives. She began writing in her 60s because she feared her work had silenced her own voice. She then got an MFA at the Stonecoast Writers Program at the University of Southern Maine to make up for lost time. 

Walden Pond

Jun 28, 2019

Today’s poem is “Walden Pond” by Michael Alpert. Michael was born in Bangor, where he still lives. He has worked as a writer, editor, visual artist, and book designer for most of his adult life. Currently, Michael serves as Director of the University of Maine Press., as President of the Greater Bangor Area Branch of the NAACP, and as Chair of the Board of Ethics for the City of Bangor.

What is lost

Jun 21, 2019

Today’s poem is “What is lost” by Lee Sharkey from her book Walking Backwards. She’s the author of twelve books of poems, most recently Equations, leads a creative writing workshop for adults recovering from mental illness and serves as Senior Editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal. She was the winner of last year’s Maine Poetry Postcard contest.

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why

Jun 14, 2019

Today’s poem is “What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why (Sonnet XLIII) 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.