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.

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.

Water Pail

Feb 22, 2019

Today’s poem is “Water Pail” by Megan Grumbling. Her first book, Booker’s Point, was the winner of the 2017 Maine Book Award for Poetry and the 2015 Vassar Miller Prize. She is also the librettist of the spoken opera Persephone in the Late Anthropocene, a co-creation with the late composer Denis Nye, which premiered in 2017 at SPACE Gallery.

Poetry Walk

Feb 15, 2019

Today’s poem is “Poetry Walk” by Sharif S. Elmusa, who lives in Arrowsic, Maine and Washington, D.C. He is co-editor of the anthology Grape Leaves: A Century of Arab-American Poetry and author of the poetry collection Flawed Landscape. His poetry and translations from Arabic have been published widely in anthologies, print magazines and online, both in the U.S. and internationally. He is Palestinian by birth, American by citizenship. 

The Rare Book Publisher Gives a Talk 

Feb 8, 2019

Today’s poem is "The Rare Book Publisher Gives a Talk" by Jefferson Navicky. He is the author of the poetic novel, The Book of Transparencies, and the story collection, The Paper Coast. He is the archivist for the Maine Women Writers Collection and teaches English at Southern Maine Community College. 


Feb 1, 2019

Today’s poem is “inukshuk” by Jeri Theriault. She’s the author of three chapbooks and a full length collection, Radost, my red. Her teaching career included six years as the English department chair at the International School of Prague. She also taught at Deering and South Portland High Schools and at Waynflete School. 


Jan 25, 2019

Today’s poem is “Mill” 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, most recently Tourists in the Known World: New & Selected Poems. 

Night Out

Jan 18, 2019

Today’s poem is “Night Out” by Paul Nelson. He lives and writes in Sequim, WA, though he calls himself a “Downeaster at heart,” having called home an old saltwater farm in Machiasport for nearly 40 years. His ninth book of poetry, Learning to Miss, was published in 2018, as was his first book of fiction, Refrigerator Church, a book of stories spanning 60 years of local experience in Maine.

The Sounds of Fish

Jan 11, 2019

Today’s poem is “The Sounds of Fish” by Michelle M. Faith. She is a retired editor and teacher who moved to Camden several years ago after many years on Boston’s North Shore. Her poetry has been published in Art New England, U.S. Catholic, Goose River Anthology, Sandy River Review, and other publications. 


Jan 4, 2019

Today’s poem is “Leaving” by David Sloan. David is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Poetry Program. He teaches at Maine Coast Waldorf High School in Freeport. His debut poetry collection, The Irresistible In-Between, was published by Deerbrook Editions in 2013.