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The Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program
is dedicated to building community through poetry by appointing and supporting an outstanding local poet as Poet Laureate for the city, sponsoring events that feature area poets and authors from outside the New Hampshire Seacoast, and encouraging a love of poetry among people of all ages.

The Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program presents a variety of events throughout the year: readings, celebrations, publications. These events are announced in the Portsmouth Herald and our eNews letter. Click below to sign up for it. And check us out on Facebook!

    Sign up for PPLP eNews

March Poetry Hoot

Wednesday, March 4th: 7 to 9pm. Doors open around 6pm.

    Come hear two fine poets. Our featured readers are Hope Jordan and Dawn Potter.

    If you missed February's Hoot (we had some problems with our web server), Bill Burtis and Nancy Jean Hill were excellent. Excellent! A good time was had by all. And an excellent time lies ahead as well the first Wednesday in March!


Hope Jordan's poems have been published in such journals as Many Mountains Moving and Green Mountains Review; and her fiction appeared in the anthology Scream When You Burn.


A trustee of the NH Writers Project, she has attended the Chenango Valley Writers Conference at Colgate University and is a long-time member of the Yogurt Poets, a writing group based in Concord, NH. She was the first official poetry slam master in New Hampshire, and coached the inaugural NH Poetry Slam Team in 2007.

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Dawn Potter directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, held each summer at Robert Frost's home in Franconia, New Hampshire. She works extensively as a visiting writer in the schools and as a freelance editor for literary and academic presses.

Her poems and essays have appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal, the Sewanee Review, the Threepenny Review, and many other journals in the United States and abroad.

In addition Dawn sings and plays fiddle with the band Doughty Hill.


To get a good seat come early and enjoy some of Dave Hadwen's fine food at Cafe Espresso.

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A reminder: Nominations for our 10th! Poet Laureate are now open. See the sidebar for details.
Or download the pdf

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And from Kimberly Cloutier Green: The Maine Poetry Express Stops at Rice Library:
     Maine Poet Laureate Wes McNair will make a “whistle stop” at Rice Public Library in Kittery Thursday March 5, from 6-8pm.

     The evening of poetry includes readings by McNair and Mekeel McBride as well as several guest readers. It is part of the 2015 run of “The Maine Poetry Express,” a project of Poet Laureate McNair, with support from the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance.

Poet Laureate Selection: 2015


Nominations are now open

Hard to believe though it may be it is time to begin selecting our next (10th!) Poet Laureate. The selection process is described  below and on the next page. Included are:
>> how to nominate someone to be Poet Laureate
>> eligibility requirements
>> information for nominees, including deadlines and required information
>> selection guidelines and process
>> responsibilities of the Laureate

General background information:
*  PPLP Board members are ineligible for nomination until a year has passed since she or he has left the Board. The Board goes to great lengths to insure a fair and open process. While some members of the Board might make excellent Laureates, no current or recently past Board member is eligible.
*  As long as a nominee meets eligibility requirements, anyone can nominate anyone.
*  Once a nomination has been received each nominee is asked if s/he wishes to be a candidate. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, nominees withdraw. The selection process is confidential. After a nomination is received our communication takes place with the nominee only; we do not comment on the status of any nominee.
*  Becoming Portsmouth Poet Laureate is a great honor. It's also a lot of hard work: enjoyable, exciting and hard work. An effective nomination takes into account your nominee's time and energy availability.
*  The selection process relies entirely on information packets nominees submit; there are no interviews. This process was developed by Nancy Moore Hill and the original Board. We keep to that original selection process. No Board members serve on the Selection Committee.

*  Names may be submitted to the PPLP Board by letter or e-mail.

*  Nominations should include the full name of nominee and current contact information and should briefly describe why the nominee would be a good choice to be the “public face of poetry in Portsmouth” and to help PPLP “build community through poetry.” Self-nominations are acceptable. 

Eligibility Requirements:
     In addition to being willing to take on the responsibilities of the Laureateship, a nominee must live in one of the eligible towns and/or work (at least half-time) in Portsmouth.
*  Eligible towns include: Portsmouth, Dover, Durham, Greenland, Kittery, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, North Hampton, Rye, and Stratham.
Nomination information > continues on page 2.

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Note: A complete printable version of this selection process information (pdf) is available.

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Questions? Call PPLP Co-chair Susan Kaufmann at (603) 431-9348.

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>> To receive our eNewsletter announcements follow the link above.

>> Meet the current Poet Laureate.
Learn about our previous Laureates here.

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The Poetry Hoot season takes place on the 1st Wednesday of each month from September through June at Cafe Espresso in Portsmouth. Keep writing poems and keep on sharing them at the Hoot!


Read Poems!  Poems from the Hoot Where we review poems by PPLP Poetry Hoot readers such as SL Manning and other local poets.

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