Poems from Here with Maine Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum

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.

Why Do You Ask?

Mar 3, 2017

Today’s poem is “Why Do You Ask” by Kate Barnes.  Kate was Maine’s first poet laureate and the author of 4 books of poems.  She was the daughter of two writers, Elizabeth Coatsworth and Henry Beston.  Kate grew up in Massachusetts and spent summers at her parents’ Chimney Pond Farm in Nobleboro.  

What Now, Praying?

Feb 24, 2017

Today’s poem is What now, Praying? by Kimberly Cloutier Green. Kimberly is the author of a poetry chapbook, What Becomes of Words and a full length collection The Next Hunger.  She lives in Kittery Point, Maine and served as Poet Laureate of the City of Portsmouth, NH. 

A House-Moving

Feb 16, 2017

Today’s poem is “A House-Moving” by Deborah Cummins. Deborah Cummins is the author of an essay collection, Here and Away: Discovering Home on an Island in Maine, and two collections of poetry, Counting the Waves and Beyond the Reach. She lives in Deer Isle and Portland.


Feb 9, 2017

Sally Bliumis-Dunn's poems have appeared in Paris Review, Plume, Prairie Schooner, The Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-day, and The Writer's Almanac.  She lives with her husband John in Harpswell.

Between Stars

Feb 3, 2017

Today’s poem is by Martin Steingesser.

Martin is the author of three books of poems, most recently Yellow Horses, and he has been speaking and performing his poems and teaching poetry workshops for children and adults throughout Maine and Vermont since the early 1980s.  

The Lady And The Tramp

Jan 27, 2017

Today’s poem is "The Lady and the Tramp" by Bruce Guernsey, who lives in Charleston, Illinois and Bethel, Maine. He taught for many years at Eastern Illinois University and "From Rain: Poems 1970-2010" a book of his selected poems, was published in 2012.


Jan 19, 2017

Today’s poem is “Bread” by Jonathan Aldrich. He taught liberal arts at Maine College of Art for 25 years.  His new and selected poems will be published by the University of Indiana this year.  

Starting the Subaru At 5 Below

Jan 12, 2017

Usually in this series I've read poems by poets other than myself, but because today we donated our Subaru to Maine Public Radio (it had 173,173 miles – a luck lottery number, I would think), I wanted to read this poem I had written a while ago, not about that Subaru, but about another Subaru that had a long and fruitful life.  

The Facts Of Catching

Jan 6, 2017

"Today’s poem is “The Facts of Catching” by Carl Little. He’s the author of Ocean Drinker: New & Selected Poems as well as many books about art, including Art of Acadia (with his brother David) and Eric Hopkins: Above and Beyond.

Goodbye To The Old Life

Jan 4, 2017



Today’s poem, “Goodbye to the Old Life”, is by Wesley McNair. Wes is the author of nine books of poems, most recently The Lost Child: the Ozark Poems and 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. He also served as Maine’s poet laureate.

Worry Bone

Dec 23, 2016

Today’s poem is Worry Bone by Gibson Fay-LeBlanc. Gibson’s first book of poems was Death of a Ventriloquist. He’s Portland’s poet laureate and edits the Deep Water poetry series that appears in the Maine Sunday Telegram.


Dec 16, 2016

Today’s poem is by “Winter” by Marianne Boruch. Marianne is the author of Xx books of poetry, most recently Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing, two collections of essays and a memoir. She directs the graduate writing program at Purdue University. In the 1980s she taught at the University of Maine at Farmington, and wrote this poem in Maine.

Poem For St. Francis

Dec 9, 2016

Today’s poem is by Sylvester Pollet. Sylvester, who died in 2007, taught writing at the University of Maine. He was also the editor of the Backwoods Broadsides Poetry series—publishing 100 issues over 12 years.


Nov 26, 2016

Today’s poem is “Grandfather” by Gary Lawless. Gary grew up in Belfast and owns Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick. He’s theauthor of 17 books of poems, most recently Caribou Planet. Gary began writing poetry in high school when he writes that he “discovered that it was right to write about your own life, what you saw and heard around you. I found that poetry rises out of the world around us, and belongs to everyone.”

A Little Bit Of Timely Advice

Nov 23, 2016

Today’s poem is by Mekeel McBride. She is a professor of English at the University of New Hampshire and published six books of poetry, most recently Dog Star Delicatessen, New and Selected Poems 1970-2006.  Mekeel wrote the poem “A Little Bit of Timely Advice” at a time when she felt that wasn’t going to write again.