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.

Her Color

May 5, 2017

Today’s poem is Her Color by Sheila Gray Jordan. Sheila lives year round on Chebeague Island and is the author of three collections of poems, Winter Wall, The China in the Sea and, most recently, Blue Ceiling. She directed the Ohio Poetry Circuit at Kenyon College in Ohio.

A Quiet Life

Apr 28, 2017

Today’s poem is A Quiet Life by Baron Wormser. Baron  grew up in Baltimore and in 1970 he moved to Maine with his wife Janet. For twenty-five years he worked as a librarian for SAD 59 in Madison, Maine and homesteaded off-the-grid on 48 acres. He’s published ten books of poetry, the most recent is Unidentified Sighing Objects. He now lives in Montpelier, Vermont.

His Holiness

Apr 21, 2017

Today’s poem is His Holiness by William Carpenter. Bill was the first faculty member at College of the Atlantic where he still teaches literature and writing. He’s the author of three books of poems and two novels, the most recent is Wooden Nickel (Little Brown).

What He Thought

Apr 14, 2017

Today’s poem is What He Thought by Heather McHugh. Heather lived for a time in Eastport and now lives on the northwest coast. She’s the author of 8 books of poems and the recipient of a McArthur “Genius” grant. She’s also a noted translator of poetry. She recently collaborated with Adam Larsen on a documentary film called Undersung—an hour-long close-up portrayal of four caregivers and their families.

The Word

Apr 7, 2017

Today’s poem is The Word 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 in 2010. Before moving to Texas, he lived in Waterville for 8 years and taught at Colby and the University of Maine Farmington.


Mar 31, 2017

Today’s poem is Balloon by Haines Sprunt Tate. Haines Sprunt Tate was born in Virginia in 1965. She attended Oberlin College and later obtained an MA in creative writing from Hollins University.


Mar 24, 2017

Today’s poem is “Wildflowers” by Betsy Sholl, who was Maine’s third poet laureate. She has published eight books of poetry, most recently Otherwise Unseeable (University of Wisconsin Press 2014). She lives in Portland, Maine, and teaches in the MFA Program of Vermont College.


Mar 17, 2017

Today’s poem is “Niagara” by Richard Foerster. He’s the author of seven books of poetry, most recently River Road from Texas Review Press. 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.

A Piano At Evening

Mar 10, 2017

Today's poem is by Thomas Carper, who lives in Cornish and taught poetry and creative writing for many years at the University of Southern Maine. He's published three books of metrical verse, Fiddle Lane, From Nature, and Distant Blue.

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.