The Poetry Society of New Hampshire (PSNH) is a non-profit organization that promotes poetry through publications, including the The Poets’ Touchstone literary journal. We celebrate and share poetry through open mics, workshops, contests and collaborations with other artists. To achieve this, PSNH sponsors and supports events all over New Hampshire, including at libraries, art galleries, parks, theaters, and on the radio. We are proud to be a key contributor to the NH State Poet Laureate program, where we recommend a poet to the Governor following a rigorous application and selection process, and support critical activities related to the position.
We welcome all poets and lovers of poetry.
Please check out the various menu options on this website for more information about our organization and how you can be a part of the celebration of poetry across New Hampshire!
How to Join or Renew
Note: You are not required to be a resident of New Hampshire in order to join.
Dues for one year are $25. Dues for three years are $60.
Annual Memberships for Juniors (eighteen years of age or under) and Students (any person who is enrolled as a student in an accredited academic institution) are $10.
We meet the last Saturday of the months of January, April, July, and October, and all are welcome. The July meeting is our annual meeting where we conduct whatever business is necessary. At the other three we have featured readers or workshop leaders. All offer members a chance to read during an open mic. Information on the location of the meetings is communicated via email or in The Poets’ Touchstone.
PSNH Reading Series – Current
PSNH’s Reading Series – “PSNH Presents” – has gone virtual! Mark your calendars for the following events upcoming on Zoom. Contact Jimmy Pappas at firstname.lastname@example.org – if you have any questions or would like to attend.
AUGUST 3, TUESDAY: No presentation as the moderator takes a beauty rest.
AUGUST 10, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Deborah Leipziger, Adam Sol, and Rachel Kann discuss Jewish Poetry.
AUGUST 17, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Join poet and literary advocate Trish Hopkinson for a reading, prompts, and discussion focused on response poetry and poems inspired by other writing or artforms. Hopkinson will read related poems from her book Footnote (Lithic Press, 2017).
AUGUST 24, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Kerrin McCadden.
AUGUST 31, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Elayne Clift.
SEPTEMBER 7, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Join Michael Dylan Welch for selected performances from his year of creating PowerPoint presentations and short movies of his haiku and tanka sequences, plus other content (none of them about the pandemic!). We can also discuss how you might try these presentations yourself! Here is the tentative program (the longest of the two movies is 2.5 minutes; the concluding piece takes about 13 minutes to read; everything else is about 1 to 3 minutes each):
Another Country (train rengay) MOVIE
Things Haiku Say (longer poem)
The Second Eye (tanka)
Shichifukujin – The Seven Lucky Gods (tanka)
Shengxiao (haiku on the Chinese zodiac)
About the Season (Christmas haiku) MOVIE
On the Art of Writing Haiku (quotations and haiku)
PSNH Reading Series – Past
JULY 27, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Join Michael Dylan Welch as he takes on a pilgrimage in Japan: The Weather-Beaten Jizo: Shikoku Pilgrimage Haiku by Shuji Niwano. This presentation, with photos, maps, haiku, and translations, documents poems written on Japan’s famous Shikoku pilgrimage by a retired salaryman just before his life ended. This talk is part travelog, part cultural/spiritual exploration, and part literary inspiration.
Michael Dylan Welch has been investigating haiku since 1976 and has published his haiku, tanka, longer poems, essays, and reviews in hundreds of journals and anthologies in at least 20 languages. Michael co-founded the Haiku North America conference and the American Haiku Archives, and founded National Haiku Writing Month, the Seabeck Haiku Getaway, and the Tanka Society of America. He served two terms as poet laureate of Redmond, Washington, where he is also president of the Redmond Association of Spokenword. His website is http://www.graceguts.com.
JULY 20, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Irish poet Andrea Ward joins us directly from Ireland.
JULY 13, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Irish poet Breda Spaight joins us directly from Ireland.
JULY 6, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Paul Hostovsky returns with a discussion of “No Such Thing As Writer’s Block,” sharing ideas for poems like turning around a cliche, gleaning our teeming childhoods, or just noticing the little moments in life. Paul will be sharing some poems from his new book Mostly, published by FutureCycle Press.
JUNE 29, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Anastasia Vassos takes us on a virtual tour through Greece with poetry and photography. We can all travel to that magical land without ever leaving our seats.
JUNE 22, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Oregon poet Danny Earl Simmons, fresh off publishing his book Tender Melancholy, will be discussing Writing Family Poetry. He will be sharing poems and discussing some of the following questions: Should we tell the truth? What if the subject reads the poem? How do we provide sentiment without sentimentality? How do we get disinterested readers engaged?
JUNE 15, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Meet Angela Narciso Torres as she discusses writing Centos and Semi-Centos with some discussion of the List Poem as well. She has a few examples in her book What Happens is Neither (Four Way Books, 2021). The cento is a traditional Italian form that collages borrowed lines from a secondary source. Cento means patchwork. She will talk about the process of writing this form and its variations and how to properly credit the source text. Her poem in POETRY is technically not a cento but a list poem using Filipino folk sayings passed down by her mother which she re-wrote in her own words: (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/149259/if-you-go-to-bed-hungry). And here is a link to her author website: https://www.angelanarcisotorres.com/
JUNE 8,TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Join Tamara J. Madison, Tayve Neese, and Sara Lefsyk for a book birthday party for Threed. The opening remarks will include craft discussions on the writer and the book, the editor and the book, and the refinement of the book. Focus poems will include an ekphrastic poem based on a family photo, a poem inspired by a workshop and edited extensively, a poem inspired by Biblical iconography and mythology, and a poem inspired by myths of “the goddess.”
Slam Free or Die
SlamFree Or Die at Stark Brewing Company features open mic nights for poets and spoken-word artists every Thursday night in Manchester, NH. The show includes an open mic every Thursday, poetry slam competitions held twice a month, and a set by a featured reader. This is an all-ages show in a private function room. Doors open and sign-ups begin at 7:00 pm with open mic beginning at 8:00 pm. Featured poets and slams follow the open mic after a short intermission. For the most up-to-date information on the show, check out Slam Free or Die on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or e-mail SlamFreeorDie@gmail.com.Stark Brewing Company is located next to Arms Park at 500 N. Commercial Street in Manchester, NH. There is plenty of free parking at the rear of the building (facing the river) and you can feel free to use the entrance on that side.
New Hampshire Poetry Festival
The 5th Annual New Hampshire Poetry Festival occurred in September of 2019, organized by PSNH and New England College MFA in Creative Writing program (NEC MFA). It was an exciting event celebrating the reading and writing of poetry! While we were unable to organize a festival for 2020, PSNH is actively engaged in determining what are our options for 2021. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months.