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.

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.

Signage

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.

Home

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.

Tidying

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.

Pages