About the Program
Building the ARTS Community
Poems From the Hoot
Meet the Poet Laureate
Esther Buffler Residency
Poets Laureate - Past
Board of Trustees
Former Poets Laureate
What a Poet Laureate does:
Essay in The Wire.
John-Michael Albert's website
Ambushed by Poetry: Brick
Project's Facebook page
Mark DeCarteret, Portsmouth's seventh poet
laureate, has had work in such reviews as AGNI, Boston Review, Chicago Review,
Conduit, Cream City Review, failbetter, Hotel Amerika, Phoebe, Poetry East,
Salamander, Sonora Review, and Third Coast, as well as the anthologies American
Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon Press), Places of Passage:
Contemporary Catholic Poetry (Story Line Press), Thus Spake the Corpse: An
Exquisite Corpse Reader 1988-1998 (Black Sparrow Press) and Under the
Legislature of Stars: 62 New Hampshire Poets (Oyster River Press) which he also
co-edited. His latest chapbook Flap will be published by Finishing Line Press in
Mark's acceptance remarks
Read The Museum of Childhood,
poem by Mark DeCarteret
Read about Mark's project: Wish You Were Where - The
Elizabeth Knies Strong
|Elizabeth Knies, sixth poet laureate, is
the author of The New Year and Other Poems; Streets After Rain; From the
Window; and White Peonies. She taught ESL, writing, critical thinking
and literature in New Hampshire, Maine, Japan, Missouri, Colorado and
Massachusetts, and has worked as a reviewer and an editor. Her most
enduring literary connection is with the Skimmilk Farm poets,
commemorated in Ken Browne’s documentary, “Mondays at Skimmilk: 30 Years
of Writers at Work.”
one of Elizabeth's poems
Read about her "Surprised by Joy" project
Mimi White, poet and teacher, was poet laureate from 2005-2007. She has
been working for over twenty-five years with students of all ages to help them
create original and authentic work, be it poetry, memoir or non fiction writing.
Mimi White has worked in a variety of settings including schools, libraries,
prisons, residencies for the elderly, and universities. She has been a member of
the faculty at the University of New Hampshire, Northern Essex Community
College, and Lesley University. Her poems have been published in dozens of
journals. They include Poetry, Harvard Review, West Branch,
The Seattle Review, Yankee and Rivendell. Her book of poems,
"The Last Island" was published in 2008.
Read some of Mimi White's poetry
Read about her What is Home project
Read more about Mimi.
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John's project as poet laureate was to pair artists and
poets to create a combined work, displayed in various public locations in
Portsmouth. Find out where here.
John Perrault practices law, teaches
literature, and writes. His The Ballad of Louis Wagner and other New England Stories in Verse,
published by Peter Randall, is being distributed by University Press of
John’s poetry has appeared in The Café Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Commonweal,
Poet Lore and elsewhere. His new collection of poems, Here Comes the Old Man Now, is published by
River Press. He was poet laureate of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 2003-2005.
John is available for readings, concerts, and writing workshops. He also
presents a ballad program for libraries, historical societies, schools
and other non-profit organizations through the New Hampshire Humanities
Council entitled "The Ballad Lives." For information, please go to
www.nhhc.org -type in "John Perrault" and follow the links. He is
also on the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts Touring Roster. Go
-click on "arts & artists" and follow links. John's website is at www.johnperrault.com He may be
contacted directly at
his overtime work
he watches words
rattle down the line
minding the verbs
how they vibrate
minding the sound
of the nouns
scooping out duds
for the bin--
by John Perrualt
all night he labors
under the overhead lamp
making little black widgets
according to type
stacks them in stanzas
labels the tops
wraps them up ready
to ship out
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Maren C. Tirabassi is author or editor of eleven books. New this
year are Daybook For New Voices with her daughter Maria I.
Tirabassi, Transgendering Faith - Identity, Sexuality and
Spirituality with Leanne McCall Tigert and The Artist's Hand
a book and CD collaboration with singer/songwriter Bryan Sirchio.
Celebrating its “first anniversary” is the holiday spoken word CD --
Sticky Mittens and Angel Feet with Yankee humorists Neil English and
Portsmouth Poet Laureate from 2001-2003 her first project was
the book Portsmouth Unabridged - New Poems for an Old City which
boasted more than ninety local poets from age nine to one hundred. Her
second year she ran a “Humor in Poetry”’ festival. Maren teaches poetry
in a wide range of settings and travels as a facilitator for United
Church of Christ (Congregational) workshops and conferences.
|Bang and Spangle in
fourth of July
I am little proud to be american,
as we pursue our unjust war
against people starved by our embargo,
whose tyrants we created,
eat our grotesque carb-less meals,
drive our belugas, choose for president
the madman with the
stuffed god in his pocket.
Circling the tattered remains of parade
are boys on decorated bicycles
while girls with glow circles in their hair
sit on blankets.
One old man with a slice of blueberry pie
held like a blue-mouthed ducks bill
is entertaining a toddler
wearing chocolate ice cream.
| by Maren C. Tirabassi
I find my place on the hill
above this little New Hampshire town
and pray that it is not willingness
to be deceived
that makes us stare into the night
at shooting stars,
but something deeper
a waiting to be surprised by beauty,
by hope for tomorrow.
I will start by believing in fireworks,
and just maybe I can fumble
back to the country.
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Robert is a
"recovering poet laureate" and longtime resident of Portsmouth who has,
on occasion, distributed copies of his poems to people he met on his
walks around town.
One of Robert's undertakings as poet laureate was to
bring poems out into the street and we can now enjoy various works
around the city and in the parking garage. In 1997, during his tenure,
the Poetry Hoot was born. He is a graduate of the
University of New Hampshire. Robert says he is "an apple picker,
currently celebrating his salad days."
Hear America Singing.
I hear you can tell the trees apart
by the sound of the wind in their branches:
The sighing of the pines is nothing
at all like the wind in the willows.
Elms in full foliage gently
rustle, aspen are easily rattled.
All under the leaves of life they tend:
Oaks to creak at a higher pitch
and maples more apt to tap
imperiously at your window.
And I have heard the news and so have you,
so let us talk of things indifferent.
And the wind will tell the trees apart
by the rumors passing through.
Robert Dunn Links
"Our Friend," in
honor of Robert Dunn
letter arrived days
Robert E. Dunn
obituary, Sept. 3,
one of its voices,"
4, Portsmouth Herald
"So long, brilliant
Penny Poet," Sept.
7, Seacoast Sunday
Dunn," Sept. 10, The
Robert Dunn," Sept.
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by Esther Buffler
Published in ONLY NOW, 1999
A great pile of things;
coming up at 90
can be even more;
Amazingly memory does.
Esther came to poetry later in life from a long career in story telling and
professional theater. She devoted the last 25 years of her life to
writing, teaching and sharing her talents in New Hampshire.
She staged a touring production about American women poets,
was poet in residence at star island and promoted poetry in local
schools. She published five collections of poetry including Only
She produced the audio CD compilation "High
on Poetry with Esther Buffler and Friends" highlighting the best of
the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program of 1998. Her last book, It's All
Ahead, is published by Phineas Press and is available at RiverRun
book store. Esther died in August, 2002 at the age of 93. Currently a
fund in her memory supports an annual poetry residence in the
"High on Poetry - With Esther Buffler and Friends"
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