Lesser Known Maine Poets
Annotation:"When Robert Shetterly gave a collection of his drawings and etchings to William Carpenter, he asked him to write an essay about them for a proposed book. Instead, Carpenter wrote one poem per picture, delving deep into Shetterly's themes of searching for the truth, the personal, and the hero inside of us.The resulting book, Speaking Fire at Stones, is an unusual collaboration. Normally, artists are asked to illustrate poems; here the tables are turned and the result is elegant, speaking in one new voice." -Book Jacket
Annotation:Elizabeth Akers was born in 1832 in Strong, Maine and grew up in Farmington, attending Farmington Academy. She sometimes wrote under the pen name Florence Percy. "Forest Buds" was her first published work.
Annotation:"Martin Steingesser's poems articulate the many seasons of the heart-joy, outrage, longing, whimsy, sadness-a burning, tender voice that rejoices in the ungainly spendors of feeling and in poetry's capacity to find images that illuminate and shadow those feelings." - Baron Wormser
Annotation:"Shore Life in Song" was published in 1886 in Biddeford by William Hale and is a beautiful little volume of poetry containing titles like “Ogunquit Fishing Fleet” and “Where the Ocean Singeth Free”
Annotation:"Betsy Sholl’s masterful, musical seventh collection focuses on human dichotomies: body and soul, mystery and knowledge, grief and ecstasy. Though the self is small in relation to death, love is enormous, and no life too small or mean to matter." -Amazon.com
Annotation:"In poems gathered into three sections under the titles "Letters from Maine," "A Winter Garland," and "Letters to Myself," Sarton's inspiration was a new, brief, and passionate love affair. The book celebrates that time, marks its passing, and opens up the poetic vision it left behind. The poems speak of the permanence of the memory of love and of the flowering it brings. They also draw on the rich, sometimes harsh, beauty of nature and its solace." -Amazon.com
Annotation:Julia H. May was born in Strong, Maine. She founded the Wendall Institute in Farmington with her sister Sara and later operated the May school in Strong.
Annotation:Theodore Enslin moved to Maine in 1960 and lived in Washington County until his death in 2011. "The Maine landscape forms an integral part of his poetry, as does the isolation, both geographic and in terms of distance from literary fashion and the academy his life on the physical margin of the United States allows." -wikipedia
Annotation:Elizabeth Coatsworth was a highly acclaimed children's writer as well as a poet. "The Creaking Stair" is a fasincating volume of poetry full of interesting and sometimes creepy illustrations and poems.
Annotation:Nathaniel Parker Willis was born in Portland and worked with several famous writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
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April is National Poetry Month, and what better way to celebrate than by exploring the work of some of the lesser-known Maine poets that are housed in the Portland Room archives? Come up to the second floor of the main branch and check out some of the special and unique items that are hiding in the stacks! There's a lot more than just Longfellow!