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, the Maine Arts Commission, and the Expansion Arts Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. 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.

Landfill Orchids

Nov 24, 2017

Today’s poem is Landfill Orchids by Colin Cheney. Colin Cheney is the author of Here Be Monsters, a National Poetry Series selection. He is creator and co-host of the podcast Poet in Bangkok, and an editor of Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art. Colin teaches at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies at the Maine College of Art.

Before It Was A Farm

Nov 17, 2017

Today’s poem is Before it was a farm by Richard Miles. He lives in Washington County and works as a stone mason. He co-founded, with Peter Sears, the Aspen Writers' Conference in 1974, taught English at The University of Arizona and Creative Writing at the University of New Mexico. He’s the author of “Boat of Two Shores” and a letterpress chapbook “Child & Other Poems.”

The Wall

Nov 10, 2017

Today’s poem is “The Wall” by Doug Rawlings. Doug was drafted in 1969 and served in the central highlands of Vietnam from July 1969 to August 1970.  He worked for 27 years at the University of Maine at Farmington.  In 1980, along with three other veterans, he began Veterans for Peace, now an international organization with 130 chapters and NGO status at the United Nations.

Winter's Kitchen

Nov 3, 2017

Today’s poem is Winter’s Kitchen by Rosa Lane. She was raised in Pemaquid Beach with ancestral and generational roots steeped in lobster fishing. As poet and architect, Rosa splits her time between her home in South Portland and the San Francisco Bay Area. She is author of Tiller North, winner of the 2017 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Award in the poetry book category. She’s also author of Roots and Reckonings, a poetry chapbook, published in 1980 with a partial grant from the Maine Arts Commission.

Unexpectedly, A Love Poem

Oct 28, 2017

Today’s poem is Unexpectedly, a Love Poem by Robin Merrill. Robin is a wife, homeschooling mother, writer, editor, and poet from Madison. Her poems have appeared in hundreds of publications, including Flint Hills Review, The Cafe Review, and Stolen Island Review, and three have been featured on The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor.


Oct 20, 2017

Today’s poem is “Transportation” 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, which came out this spring.

First Car

Oct 12, 2017

Today’s poem is “First Car” 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 Psalms, his 12th poetry collection.


Oct 5, 2017

Today’s poem is “Muchness” by Tony Hoagland. He teaches at the University of Houston and is the author of 5 books of poetry, most recently Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty (2010). Before moving to Texas, he lived in Waterville for 8 years and taught at Colby and the University of Maine Farmington.

A Mess Of Clams

Sep 29, 2017

Today’s poem is “A Mess of Clams” by Robert P Tristam Coffin, who was born in 1892 and spent his early childhood on a salt water farm on Great Island in Harpswell.

Island Stars

Sep 22, 2017

Today’s poem is "Island Stars" by Alison Hawthorne Deming. Alison lived in Portland for many years and is a long-time summer resident of Grand Manan Island. Her most recent books are the poetry collection Stairway to Heaven (Penguin 2016), the essay collection Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit (Milkweed 2014), and Death Valley: Painted Light, a collaboration with photographer Stephen Strom (George F. Thompson 2016). Alison is professor of Creative Writing at the University of Arizona.

Coming Home

Sep 15, 2017

Today’s poem is “Coming Home” by Elilzabeth Tibbets. She’s the author of two books of poems, Perfect Selves (Oyster River Press) and In the Well (Bluestem Press). She lives in Hope and worked as a nurse.

My Father, My Hands

Sep 8, 2017

Today’s poem is “My Father, My Hands” by Richard Blanco. Richard is the author of three books poems, most recently Looking for the Gulf Motel and a memoir, The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood. Richard read his poem “One Today” at President Obama’s second inauguration.

Charlotte's Web

Sep 1, 2017

This is the time of year for Maine’s agricultural fairs.

It's August

Aug 25, 2017

Today’s poem is “It’s August” by the late Vermont poet David Budbill. David was the author of ten books of poems, as well as novels, plays short stories, and a libretto for opera. His last book of poems Tumbling Toward the End, was published posthumously in 2017.

Back Road Country

Aug 18, 2017

Today’s poem is “Back Road Country” by Marsden Hartley. Widely recognized as one of America’s great painters, Hartley also published three books of poetry in his lifetime.