Poems from Here with Maine Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum

Fridays on Maine Public Radio at 2:55 pm | Maine Public Classical 10 am & 1 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.


Nov 27, 2020

Today’s poem is “Signage” 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.

Heavy Traffic

Nov 20, 2020

Today’s poem is “Heavy Traffic” by Richard D’Abate, who grew up in New York City and moved to Maine in 1971.  He lives in Wells and was the director of the Maine Historical Society.  Richard is the author of a book of poems To Keep the House from Falling In (Ithaca House Press) and his poems recently appeared in Agni Magazine. 

The Last Shave

Nov 13, 2020

Today’s poem is “The Last Shave” by Laura Bonazzoli. She is a freelance editor and writer living in Rockport, Maine. Her poetry has appeared in The Aurorean, Connecticut River Review, Frost Meadow Review, Reed Magazine, Steam Ticket, and many other journals, and in Balancing Act 2: An Anthology of Poetry by Fifty Maine Women from Littoral Books. She has also published short stories and creative nonfiction and is working on a novel.

Even Keeled

Nov 6, 2020

Today’s poem is “Even Keeled” by Douglas “Woody” Woodsum. He’s taught at two universities and five public schools and published poetry in dozens of literary magazines and journals. With his students, he has published twelve annual anthologies of oral history, folklore, and creative writing.


Oct 30, 2020

Today’s poem is “Home” by Dawn Potter who is the author of eight books of prose and poetry. She directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching and leads the high school writing program at Monson Arts. She lives in Portland.


Oct 23, 2020

Today’s poem is "Tidying" by David Sloan.  He’s a graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Poetry Program and teaches at Maine Coast Waldorf High School in Freeport.  His poetry has appeared in numerous journals and he received Maine Literary awards in 2012 and 2016. He’s the author of two books of poems, The Irresistible In-Between and A Rising, both from Deerbrook Editions.

Shorebirds in October

Oct 16, 2020

Today’s poem is “Shorebirds in October” 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.

My Shadow Follows

Oct 9, 2020

Today’s poem is “My Shadow Follows” by Rita Joe, who was a Micmac poet and songwriter. She was born on Cape Breton Island and lived in East Bay, Nova Scotia until her death in 2007.  She was the author of Poems of Rita Joe, L’nu and Indians We’re Called, Songs of Eskasoni, and We are the Dreamers Recent and early poems (Breton Books).  She was awarded the Order of Canada.  She began writing poetry after her children came home from grade school with homework that she thought was derogatory in its depiction of native people.


Oct 2, 2020

Today’s poem is “Succoth” by Roberta Chester. She’s the author of the book Light Years and taught English and Technical writing at the University of Maine, College of the Atlantic and at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  Succoth is a biblical religious holiday, a harvest festival that also commemorates the 40 years the Israelites spent in the wilderness on their journey from Egypt to Israel.

Against Prognostication

Sep 25, 2020

Today's poem is "Against Prognostication" 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.

Flat Stones

Sep 18, 2020

Today’s poem is “Flat Stones” by Jefferson Navicky. He was born in Chicago and grew up in Southeastern Ohio. He is the author of the poetic novel, The Book of Transparencies, and the story collection, The Paper Coast. Jefferson is the archivist for the Maine Women Writers Collection and teaches English at Southern Maine Community College. He lives in Freeport.

Grief Arrives in its Own Time

Sep 11, 2020

Today’s poem is “Grief Arrives in its Own Time”, which I wrote following the death of my brother Howard on September 11, 2001.  Today is the 19th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, which changed my family and our country.  His death, and the shock of his death, brought such deep grief to our family. The clear blue skies of early September are a marker for me every year. I came to realize that grief has its own way of guiding us through our mourning.  We can’t anticipate its arrival or departure.

Mary's Garden

Sep 4, 2020

Today’s poem is “Mary’s Garden” by Margaret Haberman, who has lived in Maine since 1986. She spent over 20 years in Bethel now lives in the outer reaches of Hope. She works professionally as a sign language interpreter and writes poetry in the places in between. 

One Night the Wind Got Wild, Then Wilder, And

Aug 28, 2020

Today’s poem is “One Night the Wind Got Wild, Then Wilder And,” by Betsy Sholl, who was Maine’s third poet laureate. She has published nine books of poetry, most recently House of Sparrows, New & Selected Poems (University of Wisconsin Press 2019). She lives in Portland, Maine, and teaches in the MFA Program of Vermont College.

Asleep on the Farm, a Puzzle in 500 Pieces

Aug 21, 2020

Today’s poem is “Asleep on the Farm, a Puzzle in 500 Pieces” by Richard D’Abate, who grew up in New York City and moved to Maine in 1971.  He lives in Wells and was the director of the Maine Historical Society.  Richard is the author of a book of poems To Keep the House from Falling In (Ithaca House Press) and his poems recently appeared in Agni Magazine.