September 6th, 2017: Dennis Camire and Jim Thatcher
October 4, 2017: Rhina P. Espaillat and Alfred Nicol
November 1, 2017: UNH MFA poets
December 6, 2017: Gigi Thibodeau and Ben Berman
January 3, 2018: Youth Hoot
February 7, 2018: Lee Sharkey and Adam Scheffler
March 7, 2018: Patrice Pinette and Fred Marchant
April 4, 2018: Gala Hoot feat. Past Laureates
May 2, 2018: Suzanne Rancourt, Cheryl Savageau, Marie Francis
June 6, 2018: Christopher Clauss
—September 6th: Dennis Camire and Jim Thatcher
Jim Glenn Thatcher is a high school dropout with a BA in History, considerable graduate work in Modern Intellectual History, and an MFA in Creative Writing. A freelance writer with work in many papers, he was a Contributing Writer at Maine Times, the initial reviews editor at The Café Review, for two years a monthly columnist for Maine In Print (while it still was in print) and is currently a freelance art reviewer for The Lewiston Sun Journal. His poetry has appeared in, The Puckerbrush Review, Poetry Miscellany, The Contemporary Review, Stolen Island Review, and a number of issues of both Animus and The Café Review. His chapbook “The Ur-Word” was published in 2008 by Moon Pie Press. He has been a recipient of a Martin Dibner Fellowship, a finalist for a Philip Roth writing residency at Bucknell, and a semi-finalist in both the 2014 and 2015 Paumanok Poetry competitions. Over the past seven years he has won two First Prizes for individual poems and nine Honorable Mentions (two of which were short-listed for First), all from New Millennium Writings.
—October 4th: Rhina P. Espaillat and Alfred Nicol
Rhina P. Espaillat has published ten full-length books and three chapbooks, comprising poetry, essays and short stories, in both English and her native Spanish, and prize-winning translations from and into Spanish. Her work appears in numerous journals, websites and anthologies, and has earned national and international awards. Her most recent publications are two poetry collections in English titled Playing at Stillness and Her Place in These Designs, as well as a book of Spanish translations titled Oscura fruta/Dark Berries: Forty-two Poems by Richard Wilbur, and a book of Spanish translations titled Algo hay que no es amigo de los muros/Something There Is that Doesn’t Love a Wall: Forty Poems by Robert Frost, both available from Amazon.com.
Alfred Nicol’s new collection of poetry, Animal Psalms, was published in 2016 by Able Muse Press. Nicol has published two other collections, Elegy for Everyone (2009), and Winter Light, which received the 2004 Richard Wilbur Award. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The New England Review, Dark Horse, First Things, Atlanta Review, Commonweal, The Formalist, The Hopkins Review, and other literary journals.
Nicol has written lyrics in French and English for nine original compositions by classical/flamenco guitarist John Tavano. Their CD, The Subtle Thread, released in 2015, has received airplay on WMBR’s program French Toast.
Together with Tavano and Rhina Espaillat, renowned author of seven books of poetry, and John Tavano, he recorded the CD Melopoeia: poetry read to the accompaniment of music, including compositions by Bach, Satie, Tarrega and others.
He has also collaborated with his sister, the artist Elise Nicol, to create the book Second Hand Second Mind: Dreams and Photographs.
Nicol lives in Newburyport, MA, with his wife, Gina DiGiovanni.
Please visit his website at http://www.alfrednicol.com/
—December 6th: Gigi Thibodeau and Ben Berman
Gigi Thibodeau’s writing has appeared in Mid-American Review, Soundings East, t.e.l.l. New England, Mingle Magazine, Marvels and Tales: Journal of Fairy Tale Studies, The Virginia Woolf Miscellany, and elsewhere. Her blog, The Magpie’s Fancy, has been featured in Artful Blogging Magazine, and her poetry collection, Learning to Tell Time, won the Midnight Sun Award from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She lives in Portland, Maine, and teaches creative writing in the online English Program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where she has served as a past Kerouac Writer-in-Residence.
Ben Berman grew up just outside of Portland and now lives just outside of Boston, and though he hasn’t spent much time just outside of Portsmouth it is the geometrical center of his life.
His first book, Strange Borderlands, (Able Muse Press, 2013) chronicles his time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zimbabwe and won the Peace Corps Award for Best Book of Poetry and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Awards. His second collection, Figuring in the Figure, (Able Muse Press, 2017) is written entirely in terza rima and explores much more domestic concerns, in particular the transformative and perplexing experiences of fatherhood.
Ben has received awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the New England Poetry Club and the Somerville Arts Council. He is the Poetry Editor at Solstice Literary Magazine and writes a monthly column for Grub Street Writers called Writing while Parenting: (https://www.grubstreet.org/blog/author/bberman/)
He teaches in the Boston area, where he lives with his wife and daughters. You can visit him at www.ben-berman.com
—February 7th: Lee Sharkey and Adam Scheffler
Lee Sharkey’s poetry collections are Walking Backwards (Tupelo Press, 2016), Calendars of Fire (Tupelo, 2013), A Darker, Sweeter String (Off the Grid, 2008), and eight other full-length poetry books and chapbooks. Her work has appeared in Crazyhorse, FIELD, Kenyon Review, Massachusetts Review, Nimrod, Pleiades, Seattle Review, and other journals. Her recognitions include the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize, the Abraham Sutzkever Centennial Translation Prize, the Maine Arts Commission’s Fellowship in Literary Arts, the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance’s Distinguished Achievement Award, and the RHINO Editor’s Prize. She leads a creative writing workshop for adults recovering from mental illness and serves as Senior Editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal.
Adam Scheffler received his MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his PhD in English from Harvard. His first book of poems – A Dog’s Life – was selected by Denise Duhamel as the winner of the Jacar Press Poetry Book Contest. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Antioch Review, Rattle, North American Review, Verse Daily, and many other venues. He has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and is the winner of River Styx’s 2014 International Poetry Contest.
—March 7th: Patrice Pinette and Fred Marchant
Patrice Pinette is inspired by alchemy between the arts and collaborates with artists and musicians in workshops, readings, and exhibits. She teaches creative writing, literature, and eurythmy, which embodies the dance of language, in Waldorf high schools, CFA’s Renewal Courses, and at Antioch University New England in the Healing Arts in Education program. Patrice received her MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies including The Inflectionist Review; Connecticut River Review; The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review; Adanna Literary Journal; Allegro Poetry Magazine; Poet Showcase: An Anthology of New Hampshire Poets, and elsewhere.
Fred Marchant is the author of five books of poetry, the most recent of which is Said Not Said (2017). Earlier books include The Looking House, Full Moon Boat, and House on Water, House in Air. His first book, Tipping Point, won the 1993 Washington Prize, and was reissued in a 20th anniversary second edition. Marchant has translated works by Vietnamese poets Tran Dang Khoa and Vo Que. He has also edited Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford. An emeritus professor of English, he is the founding director of the Suffolk University Poetry Center in Boston. Marchant is the winner of the May Sarton Award from the New England Poetry Club, given to poets “whose work is an inspiration to other writers.”
—May 2nd: Suzanne Rancourt, Cheryl Savageau, Marie Francis
Ms. Rancourt is Abenaki/Huron descent, born and raised in the mountains of West Central Maine currently residing in the Adirondack Mountains, NY. A multi-modal artist, she has work appearing, in Dawnland Voices 2.0 #4, Northern New England Review, Bear Review, Three Drops Press, Snapdragon Journal, mgversion2>datura, Sirsee, Slipstream, Muddy River Poetry Review, Ginosko, Journal of Military Experience, Cimarron Review, Callaloo, numerous anthologies, translations, and text books. Her book, Billboard in the Clouds was the winner of the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award. Ms. Rancourt is a USMC and USA veteran.
Cheryl Savageau is the author of three collections of poetry, Mother/Land, Dirt Road Home, which was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and Home Country. She has won Fellowships in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Program, and has been twice nominated for Pushcart Prizes. Her children’s book, Muskrat Will Be Swimming, was a Smithsonian Notable Book and won the Skipping Stones Award. She currently edits the online journal Dawnland Voices 2.0 and teaches writing workshops. Her memoir, Out of the Crazywoods, is forthcoming in 2018.
Marie N. Francis is a full-blood Passamaquoddy. The youngest of five children, Marie was raised on the Pleasant Point reservation. She was born with eye and heart problems as well as dyslexia. She struggled in school for years while her mother fought to get appropriate academic support for her. These struggles did not affect her willingness to try, though. Her siblings describe her as “always willing to try or help or stand up to bullies.” Marie attended Landmark School, lettered in soccer, participated in drama, and created the peer leadership program that is still going strong today. Marie has spent the last 20 years working for the City of Portland, where she has participated in numerous trainings, including Nonviolent De-escalation and Google Guide. Outside of work, Marie has participated in many sports including bowling (where she was nationally ranked) and professional arm wrestling. She has run sound boards, organized benefit concerts, tried out for Fear Factor, and participated in The Equinox Petroglyph Project. Marie is a published poet and photographer. Her work can be found in Dawnland Voices, both in the anthology and volume 2 of the magazine. Her photography work can be found on display in various venues in Portland, Maine.
—June 6th: Christopher Clauss
Christopher Clauss is a poet, father, and middle school science teacher living in Keene, NH. His work flows from the blessings and trials of marriage and parenting in rural New England and while bridging the gap between faith and arts communities. Christopher was a member of the Slam Free or Die national Poetry slam team in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. He was also three-time grand slam champion at the venue. He is the author of nearly a dozen chapbooks, and his work has appeared in journals including OVS, Silkworm, and Emanations. He is a two-time finalist in the NPS haiku slam. A book of teaching poems, Parents Hate the Science Fair, is in the works.