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.

Memorial Day

May 29, 2020

Today’s poem is "Memorial Day" by Lynn Ascrizzi.  She is an artist, poet, freelance writer and gardener who lives with her husband, Joe, in a house they built in the woods of Freedom, Maine. Her work has been published in magazines and anthologies, including Take Heart: Poems from Maine, Take Heart: More Poems from Maine and the online quarterly, El*ix*ir Journal.

Remembering Luck

May 22, 2020

Today’s poem is "Remembering Luck" 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.

I hang my mother's laundry

May 15, 2020

Today’s poem is “I hang my mother’s laundry” by Jeri Theriault. She’s lives in South Portland and is the author of four books of poems, most recently Radost, my red (Moon Pie Press 2016) Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies such as French Connections: An Anthology of Poetry by Franco-Americans and Three-Nations Anthology.

River Love Salmon Fight Song in Two Parts

May 8, 2020

Today’s poem is “River Love Salmon Fight Song in Two Parts" by Jefferson Navicky and Megan Grumbling.  Jefferson is the author of poetic novel, The Book of Transparencies, and the story collection, The Paper Coast. He is the archivist for the Maine Women Writers Collection, teaches English at Southern Maine Community College, and lives in Freeport.  Megan Grumbling’s 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.

Night Wind in Spring

May 1, 2020

Today’s poem is “Night Wind in Spring” by Elizabeth Coatsworth.  She wrote poems, short stories and children’s stories.  In 1931 she received the Newbury Medal for her children’s book The Cat Who Went to Heaven.  Elizabeth lived with her husband, the writer Henry Beston, at Chimney Farm in Nobleboro.

Old Pianos

Apr 24, 2020

Today’s poem is “Old Pianos” by Marcia F. Brown. She is the author of four books of poetry, editor of the anthology, Port City Poems, Contemporary Poets Celebrate Portland, Maine, and an essay collection for book groups.  Marcia served as Portland’s poet laureate and since 2011 she has hosted a monthly reading series featuring local authors and poets in her home town of Cape Elizabeth, ME.

My Ocean as the Blind Man Sees It

Apr 17, 2020

Today’s poem is “My Ocean as the Blind Man Sees It” by Annaliese Jakimides.  Her poems and essays have been published in many journals, magazines, and anthologies, including the Beloit Poetry Journal, Utne Reader, and This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women. After 27 years on a dirt road in Mount Chase, population 193, she now lives in downtown Bangor.

Some Words on Birds and Borders

Apr 10, 2020

Today’s poem is “Some Words on Birds and Borders” by Dennis Camire. Dennis teaches writing at Central Maine Community College and at the University of Maine at Augusta. He also edits the poetry series for The Mainer. Born and raised in Biddeford, he currently lives in an A-frame in West Paris Maine.

Moving Among the Creatures

Apr 3, 2020


Today’s poem is “Moving Among the Creatures” by Daniel Hoffman, who was the author of over twenty books, including poetry, criticism, and a memoir. He spent many summers in Brooksville, Maine and was appointed US poet laureate in 1973. 

Bells, Bells

Mar 27, 2020


Today’s poem is “Bells, Bells” by Linda Aldrich. She has published two collections of poetry, Foothold (Finishing Line Press, 2008) and March and Mad Women (Cherry Grove Collections, 2012).  Linda lives in Portland and teaches English at Southern Maine Community College. She is currently serving as Portland’s poet laureate.

Trying to Tell Us

Mar 20, 2020


Today’s poem is "Trying To Tell Us" by Deborah Cummins.  She’s the author of two poetry collections and a collection of essays that was a finalist for the 2013 Maine Book Award in Non-Fiction. Her poems and essays have been featured in nine anthologies and numerous journals and magazines.


Mar 13, 2020

Today’s poem is “Thirst” by Mary Tracy. She helped found Friends School of Portland and served as its Director of Studies and middle school language arts teacher. Her greatest pleasure was helping students discover that they could write well and powerfully. Her work has been published in Balancing Act 2, by Littoral Books.

Pruning Time

Mar 6, 2020

Today’s poem is “Pruning Time” by Richard Taylor. Richard grew up in rural New Hampshire and was a  member of the 1964 Olympic Nordic Ski Team.  He taught German, Latin, and English at Gould Academy for 20 years, and his first book, The Absence of Strangers, was published by Goose River Press in 2017.


Today’s poem is "In February: After a complaint to my acupuncturist before getting on her table." by Jennifer Lunden. Her poems have been published in Sweet, Peacock Journal, Poetry Canada Review, and The Café Review, and she was the recipient of the 2019 Literary Arts Fellowship from the Maine Arts Commission.


Feb 21, 2020

Today’s poem is “Traces” by Margaret Yocom.  She lives in Farmington and Rangeley and is the author of  ALL KINDS OF FUR: Erasure Poems & New Translation of a Tale from the Brothers Grimm (Deerbrook Editions, 2018);  A folklorist, she founded the Folklore Studies Program at George Mason University where she taught for 36 years.