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.

Today’s poem is “Beset by Dementia, My Father Travels Through Time” by Mike Bove. His first book of poems, Big Little City, was published by Moon Pie Press in 2018. He lives with his family in Portland, Maine and teaches in the English Department at Southern Maine Community College.


Oct 11, 2019

Today’s poem is “Personal” by Tony Hoagland. He was the author of eight books of poetry, most recently Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God (2018). He lived in Waterville for eight years and taught at Colby College and the University of Maine Farmington. Tony Hoagland died in 2018.

Restless Mind

Oct 4, 2019

Today’s poem is “Restless Mind” by Dave Morrison.  Dave was born outside of Boston and spent the early part of his life playing in rock bands in Boston and New York City. He lives in Camden and just released Refuge, his 13th poetry collection.

The Little Birds Keep Singing

Sep 27, 2019

Today’s poem is “The Little Birds Keep Singing” by Martin Steingesser. Martin is the author of three books of poems, Yellow Horses, Brothers of Morning, and The Thinking Heart: the Life & Loves of Etty Hillesum


Sep 20, 2019

Today’s poem is “Obligations” by Russell Libby, from his book Balance A Late Pastoral. He worked at Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association for many years, and through that organization he was able to work with others to strengthen their commitment to many environmental issues. Russell lived a little more than half his life on Three Sisters Farm in Mount Vernon, Maine and died in 2012 at the age of 56.  


Sep 13, 2019

Today's poem is "Genie" by Carl Little. He's the author of Ocean Drinker: New and Selected Poems (2006), as well as many books about art, including Paintings of Portland (2018), written with his brother David, and Philip Frey: Here and Now (2018). He lives on Mount Desert Island.

The Abandoned Orchards of Maine

Sep 6, 2019

Today’s poem is “The Abandoned Orchards of Maine” by Pam Burr Smith, who lives in Brunswick and works as a mental health therapist. She is the author of two books of poetry, Heaven Jumping Woman (Moon Pie Press, 2011) and Near Stars (Blackberry Books 2019). Her poems are in the anthologies Take Heart and Port City Poems.

Girl at the Blue Hill Fair

Aug 30, 2019

Today’s poem is “Girl at the Blue Hill Fair” by Marnie Reed Crowell. Marnie is a naturalist and author of a half-dozen books, including Greener Pastures and Great Blue, Odyssey of a Heron. Her poems appear in the anthology Take Heart- More Maine Poems and accompany photographs from Audubon members in Sky of Birds.

Letter Nostalgia

Aug 23, 2019

Today’s poem is “Letter Nostalgia” by Ellen M. Taylor. Ellen is the author of a chapbook, Humming to Snails, and two collections of poetry, Floating, and Compass Rose.  She teaches at the University of Maine at Augusta, where she chairs the annual Plunkett Maine Poetry Festival, and lives in Appleton, ME. 

Hymn to the Comb-Over

Aug 16, 2019

Today’s poem is “Hymn to the Comb-Over” by Wesley McNair. Wes was Maine’s fourth poet laureate and is the author of ten books of poems, most recently The Unfastening. He’s currently professor emeritus and Writer in Residence at the University of Maine Farmington, where he directed the creative writing program for many years.

Today’s poem is “A rabbi, a minister, and a priest walk into a bar—” 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.


Aug 2, 2019

Today’s poem is “Watermelon” by Susan Deborah (Sam) King. She is the author of five full length collections of poetry and one chap book, including Bog Orchids, about her summer home on Great Cranberry Island, and One-Breasted Woman, about her experience with breast cancer.


Jul 26, 2019

Today’s poem is “Bittersweet” by Jim Glenn Thatcher. He’s a high school drop-out with a BA in History, extensive graduate work in Modern Intellectual History, and an MFA in Creative Writing. He grew up in the only house on a dirt road in the Adirondacks, spending most of his time in what he later came to call “books, woods, and the mind.”  Jim is the author of the chapbook The Ur-Word and the full-length collection Lesser Eternities. He currently teaches English at Southern Maine Community College Midcoast.

Swimming With My Father

Jul 19, 2019

Today’s poem is “Swimming with My Father” by Carolyn Locke. Carolyn Locke is a graduate of Bates College and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. A Maine resident and high school teacher for many years, she is the author of the haibun Not One Thing: Following Matsuo Basho's Narrow Road to the Interior and three books of poetry— Always This Falling, The Place We Become, and most recently The Riddle of Yes (June 2019).

Pie #317

Jul 12, 2019

Today’s poem is “Pie #317" by Rebecca Irene. She recently received her MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work is published in Burningword Literary Journal, Amaryllis, Balancing Act 2 and elsewhere. She lives in Portland, where she supports her word-addiction by waitressing.