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.

Go with the Sun

Feb 26, 2021

Today’s poem is “Go with the Sun” by Jacqueline Moore. She was born in Greenwich Village in 1926 and has lived in London, Warsaw, and Boston, where she studied poetry with Seamus Heaney. She lived for many years off the grid in a cabin in Morrill, Maine. She now lives in Portland. Her most recent collection of poetry is Chasing the Grass (Littoral Books, 2019).


Feb 19, 2021

Today’s poem is “Solemnity” by Myronn Hardy.  He is the author of, most recently, Radioactive Starlings, published by Princeton University Press (2017).  His poems have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Baffler, Rhino, and elsewhere.  He teaches at Bates College.

Late Tension

Feb 12, 2021

Today’s poem is “Late Tension” by Audrey Bohanan. Her latest book is Any Keep or Contour (2019) and her poems have recently appeared in Birmingham Poetry Review, The Hopkins Review, and Sewanee Theological Review.  She lives in South Berwick, Maine.

Today’s poem is “Loon Stabs Eagle through the Heart the Same Week George Floyd is Murdered” by Meghan Sterling. She’s the co-editor of the anthology, A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis, and her work has been published in Rattle, Balancing Act 2, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Literary Mama and Enough! Maine Poet's Protest.  Meghan’s debut full-length collection of poetry is forthcoming from Terrapin Books in 2021.  She’s associate poetry editor for the Maine Review and lives in Portland with her family.

I Wrote This Poem for You

Jan 29, 2021

Today’s poem is “I Wrote This Poem for You” by Reza Jalali. He’s a former refugee from Kurdistan, Iran, writes fiction and poetry. He teaches at the University of Southern Maine.

Our home is this country

Jan 22, 2021

Today’s poem is “Our home is this country” 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.

Dear ghosts, in winter my camp on the hill becomes

Jan 15, 2021

Today’s poem is "Dear ghosts, in winter my camp on the hill becomes" by Julia Bouwsma. Julia lives off-the-grid in the mountains of western Maine, where she is a poet, farmer, editor, and small-town librarian. She is the author of two poetry collections: Midden (Fordham University Press, 2018) and Work by Bloodlight (Cider Press Review, 2017) and received the 2019 and 2018 Maine Literary Awards for Poetry. Her poems and book reviews have appeared in Poetry Daily, Poetry Northwest, RHINO, River Styx, and other journals. She’s the Director of Webster Library in Kingfield, Maine.

Our Blood Aligns Toward Something

Jan 8, 2021

Today’s poem is “Our Blood Aligns Toward Something” by Colin Cheney. He is the author of Here Be Monsters and co-creator of the podcast, Poet in Bangkok. He teaches at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

Breathing in the Rain

Jan 1, 2021

Today’s poem is “Breathing in the Rain” by Amira Al Sammrai. She wrote it at The Telling Room in Portland, as a member of the Young Writers & Leaders program, which brings together teens from many countries, including her native Iraq. Amira is the mother of two young children and currently lives with her family in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her poem is featured in the Telling Room "best" youth poetry collection, A New Land.

Winter Friends

Dec 18, 2020

Today’s poem is “Winter Friends” by Robert P. Tristram Coffin, who was born in 1892 and spent his early childhood on a saltwater farm on Great Island in Harpswell.  He graduated from Bowdoin, where he later taught for many years.  He published forty books in his lifetime and received the Pulitzer Prize.  

Winter Haiku

Dec 11, 2020

Today’s poem is “Winter Haiku” by Kristen Lindquist. Kristen lives in her hometown of Camden. She received her MFA from the University of Oregon. She's the author of three collections of poetry, including the chapbook INVOCATION TO THE BIRDS, TRANSPORTATION, and TOURISTS IN THE KNOWN WORLD: NEW & SELECTED POEMS.

The Avon Woods

Dec 4, 2020

Today’s poem is “The Avon Woods” by Anna Wrobel, who lived in Maine’s western mountains and now lives in Westbrook.  She was raised in the Bronx by two WWII refugees, one a resistance leader, one a Soviet soldier, both from a town in central Poland.  She’s the author of three books of poems, most recently The Arrangement of Things (Moonpie Press 2018) and her poems and essays have appeared  in Off the Coast, Café Review, and Jewish Currents.


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.