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.
FEBRUARY 1, 2022, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Prison Poetry: Join us and poet, Ace Boggess, who will be discussing poetry about prison life. Ace received a fellowship for fiction from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and spent five years in a West Virginia prison, an experience he writes about with intensity and humor. We will be discussing Ace’s prison life and poetry about it. This should be another fascinating discussion. Hope you can make it. Must be over 18. Adult themes and language.
Here is the tentative schedule for the future Tuesday events, which typically occur at 7:00 PM ET, so you can mark your calendars. Schedule is as of January 21, 2022, and is, please note, still “Subject to change”:2022
- February 1: Ace Boggess on Prison Poetry.
- February 8: The Poets Touchstone Reading 1.
- February 15: The Poets Touchstone Reading 2.
- February 22: The Teen Poets Laureate of New Hampshire.
- March 1: Margo Stever and Susana H. Chase on Marilyn Monroe.
- March 8: Luke Jacob on Nikolai Vavilov, Soviet agronomist.
- March 15: Tim Green, editor of Rattle.
- March 22: Elaine Clift on Poetic Places.
- March 29: (My people are still negotiating with their people.)
- April 5: Lois Roma-Deeley on Ekphrasis.
- April 12: Winner of the Best Poetry Book of 2021 by a member.
- April 19: Maggie Dietz: Topic not set yet.
- April 26: Todd Hearon: Topic not set yet.
Slam Free or Die
Slam Free 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 or 2021, PSNH is actively engaged in determining what our options are for 2022. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months.
PSNH Reading Series – Past Events
JANUARY 25, 2022, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Jimmy Pappas and Making the Private Public: Join us when poet, Jimmy Pappas, discusses writing poetry that makes the private public. We all have personal, private stories we are sometimes hesitant to share. When we do let the world know through our poetry, we share a common humanity. Other human beings recognize those stories in their own lives. As the author Dinty W. Moore said “. . . most individuals keep these parts so hidden that there is little chance to discover the commonality.” Other moments can be so extraordinary that they find no commonality. It is up to the individual to decide what to open up to the world. Pappas is author of Scream Wounds, a book of poems of Veterans’ stories, and is the winner of the 2019 Rattle chapbook contest. He also won the 2018 Rattle Readers Choice Award. Pappas was interviewed by Tim Green in RattleCast #34. Pappas is published in over 100 journals and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He runs the Tuesday ‘PSNH Presents’ online poetry discussion series.
JANUARY 18, 2022, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: PSNH Presents Dominican American Poet Diannely Antigua: Dominican American poet and educator, Diannely Antigua, writes from a “painfully self-aware” female perspective. Raised in Massachusetts responding in English to her mother’s Spanish, raised to be a devout Christian while yearning the physicality of love, being a woman of color with “big hair”, Antigua lives a life that necessitates processing and negotiating around differences, as well as trauma. In the process, she fell in love with words: “Language, my Liberia, is my refuge.” In addition to winning the Pamet River Prize and a 2020 Whiting Award for her debut collection Ugly Music (YesYes Books, 2019), Antigua has been the recipient of several notable fellowships and has been chosen for the Best of the Net Anthology and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Antigua received her MFA from New York University and was awarded a Global Research Initiative Fellowship to study in Florence, Italy. We invite you to join us for an evening of truth-telling and inspiration.
JANUARY 11, 2022, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: An Evening with Jack Ridl: Poet and educator, Jack Ridl, has a knack for writing accessible poems about universal topics, rooting his messages in objects of ordinary life – dog paws and doorknobs, cats and cars, Harleys and kitchen towels. He has published more than 300 poems in numerous anthologies and journals and has authored several collections of poetry – notably, one about basketball. Though Ridl retired from Hope College after serving as a Professor of English for over 30 years, he continues his mission to use poetry to “nourish, heal, strengthen” by leading poetry workshops around the country at educational, art, and other institutions. Take the chill off of winter by joining us for a heartwarming informative evening.
JANUARY 4, 2022, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Russian Poetry: Award-winning literary translator, co-director of Zephyr Press, and poet, J. (“Jim”) Kates, will discuss Russian poetry: Russian poets are renowned for both their public and private voices. We’ll read a few of the classic examples of Russian poems mostly from the 20th century—Pasternak, Akhmatova, Yevtushenko, and others—and, of course, their translations into English. Kates, the translator of a dozen books of Russian and French poetry, has also published three chapbooks of his own poems and one full book, The Briar Patch (Hobblebush Books). Kates, who has been granted three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, is also a former president of The American Literary Translators Association.
DECEMBER 14, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Paying Attention in the Midst of Wilderness: Join us for a special presentation by Amber Rose Crowtree, MFA, a poet whose poems are informed by her life growing up on the coast of Downeast Maine, among fishing families and others with lives connected to wilderness and nature, as well as the seasons she worked for the National Park Service. Crowtree’s poetry explores the relationship between body and natural landscape, experience and wilderness. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals over the past 20 years. Her newest chapbook is The Inviolable Hours (Finishing Line Press, 2021). NH poet Jennifer Militello has said Crowtree’s poems “…shelter an enviable quiet as they coax mythologies and reflections from the wonders of the natural landscape” and of Crowtree, herself, “…a poet who fully inhabits the complex and sorrowing world.” Also, if you attended last week’s Eco-Poetry discussion, Crowtree’s work might be an interesting follow-up.
DECEMBER 7, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Eco-Poetry with Deborah Leipziger: Join us for a special presentation by Deborah Leipziger, an award-winning poet, author, and advisor on sustainability. Born in Brazil, Ms. Leipziger is the author of several books on sustainability and human rights, some of which have been translated into Chinese, Korean, and Portuguese. She is the co-founder of Soul-Lit, an on-line poetry magazine. Her chapbook, Flower Map, was published by Finishing Line Press (2013). Several of her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Forthcoming in January 2023 is Story & Bone (Lily Poetry Review Books).
NOVEMBER 30, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: The Field Guide as a Template for Poetry Collections: Poet and pediatrician, Dr. Kelley White, will introduce us to, and discuss, the concept of writing a collection of poetry as if it were a field guide, which was the concept that she used for her most recent collection A Field Guide to Northern Tattoos (Main Street Rag Press). Dr. White’s publications include 8 chapbooks and 7 full-length collections of poetry. Her poems have been nominated 17 times for a Pushcart Prize. Dr. White currently serves as Poet in Residence at Drexel University College of Medicine. Along the way perhaps the discussion will generate some of your own ideas for creating a chapbook in a different way!
NOVEMBER 23, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Where Slam Meets the Page: Join us for an evening with poet Nathaniel Bek, winner of the 2020 ‘Three Mile Harbor Press Poetry Book Award’. This will be an evening of discussion and poetry on the topic of “Where slam meets the page.” Nathaniel has curated a list of eight poems that range from the page to performance on a national stage. He plans to discuss the editing choices, style, and theory that separates them. This exploration will delve into slam theory, and the challenges associated with trying to merge both facets of poetry. Hope you can join us!
NOVEMBER 16, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Gilbert Arzola on Migrant Workers: Join us as we welcome recent winner of the Rattle Chapbook Prize, Gilbert Arzola. Arzola will discuss his book of poems about the life of his father, who worked as a migrant farm worker, and how migrant work impacted his family. Come hear how he integrates stories of ordinary life — of a difficult life — into his poignant poems. We look forward to a fascinating evening!
NOVEMBER 9, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Spiritual Poetry: Join editors of Soul-Lit, Deborah Leipziger and Wayne-Daniel Berard, who will be discussing the topic of Spiritual Poetry.
NOVEMBER 2, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Dramatic Monologues: Join poet Midge Goldberg in conversation about the art of writing dramatic monologues. The author of three full-length collections, most recently To Be Opened After My Death, Goldberg will discuss creating characters, giving them their own voices distinct from the poet, using dialogue, and what makes a dramatic monologue a poem as opposed to fiction. Goldberg will present examples from her own work, as well as the work of other poets, and will discuss ideas for publishing and integrating poems into larger collections that participants may have.
OCTOBER 26, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: No Word for This: Join poet Brendan Constantine’s workshop and discussion of his ongoing workshops for writers with special needs. Since 2017, Constantine has been working with speech pathologists and clinicians to develop poetry classes for people with Aphasia and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The results are compelling and call for a total reappraisal of this art form. He says, “It’s the most useful I have ever felt as an artist.” Writers of all backgrounds and experience are welcome. Sufferers of “Writer’s Block” strongly encouraged.
OCTOBER 19, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: How to Get Your Poetry Manuscript Published: Poet Kyle Potvin moderates a panel that brings together three respected publishers: Eileen Cleary of Lily Poetry Review Books, Diane Lockward of Terrapin Books, and Kirsty Walker of Hobblebush Books. The interactive discussion will provide an opportunity to obtain answers to your questions related to book contests, open submission periods, how many published poems should appear in a manuscript, preferred formatting, expectations for book promotion and much more.
OCTOBER 12, 2021, TUESDAY AT 6:25 PM ET (Note earlier time): PSNH Presents the NH Teen Poets Laureate Team: Join us and be impressed by the writing talent of NH’s Teen Poets! We invite other high school poets who want to present one poem to obtain the sign-up details from Jimmy Pappas at email@example.com. Pass the word along to teachers and schools!
OCTOBER 5, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Reading and Discussion: Poetry Society of New Hampshire Presents Alice B. Fogel in “Art, Language, Consciousness: Responding to Visual Mystery”: Enter into a discussion with former NH poet laureate Alice Fogel about ways art can inspire unexpected creativity in writing. The poems in her new book Nothing But are a series of indirect considerations on art & consciousness that do not describe or explain the artworks they are triggered by. Rather than focus on narrative, as one could when looking at a representational piece of art, these poems chart the effect of abstract expressionism as a welcome interruption to our constant stream of consciousness. Alice will discuss how she used abstract visual art as an entry into a new way of seeing and even thinking, and explain how she arrived at the unusual structure, as well as content, of the poems. She’ll also read examples from the book and show some artwork.
SEPTEMBER 28, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: PSNH Presents Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer in “The Daily Practice: Why you, too, might want to write a poem a day.”: What happens if you write a poem every day? Of course, you become a better poet—practice anything that much and you’ll improve! Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer will share practical ideas about how to find inspiration day after day, how to meet the blank, and how to share your practice. But she’ll also talk about transformation—the miraculous, mysterious ways that writing poems everyday changes your whole life—the way you see the world, the way you move through it, the way you know and unknow what it is to be alive.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Hedy Habra will read from her award-winning collections, Tea in Heliopolis (Press 53 2013) and The Taste of the Earth (Press 53 2019). In these memoirs in poems, she revisits her upbringing in Heliopolis, Egypt, and her memories of pre-strife Lebanon, contrasting them with her impressions upon revisiting these countries after decades of absence. These poems and photographs weave together personal memories with history, myth, and culture, recalling the intersecting roots of culture and language in an act of artistic recollection that bridges time and space.
SEPTEMBER 14, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: How to Build a Book: Join poet Angela Alaimo O’Donnell in conversation about the art of creating a themed book of poems. The author of two chapbooks and seven full-length collections, most recently Love in the Time of Coronavirus: A Pandemic Pilgrimage and Andalusian Hours: Poems from the Porch of Flannery O’Connor, O’Donnell will discuss thematic and narrative strategies and examine architectural elements that can give a book of poems shape, momentum, and formal integrity. O’Donnell will present examples from her own work, as well as the work of other poets, and discuss ideas for collections participants might be considering.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2021, 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
- Forgiveness (haiku)
- 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)
AUGUST 31, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Join us and nine readers, each reading one poem from the anthology “A 21st Century Plague: Poetry from a Pandemic,” edited by Elayne Clift and published by University Professors Press. This collection of 70 poems by 52 diverse poets — from an Irish Franciscan brother, to a prison inmate, a nurse, artists, and educators — captures the global experience of the pandemic as well as the individual emotions and struggles that are unique and at the same time universal.Readers:
AUGUST 24, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Join poet and editor Kerrin McCadden for a reading and discussion of invented forms and enabling constraints–specifically their usefulness in writing about difficult material. She will read from her new book, American Wake, a book that investigates ideas of home and the notion of ruin. American Wake is currently a finalist for the New England Book Award.
AUGUST 17, 2021, 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 10, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Deborah Leipziger, Adam Sol, and Rachel Kann discuss Jewish Poetry.
AUGUST 3, 2021, TUESDAY: No presentation as the moderator takes a beauty rest.
JULY 27, 2021, 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, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Irish poet Andrea Ward joins us directly from Ireland.
JULY 13, 2021, TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM ET: Irish poet Breda Spaight joins us directly from Ireland.
JULY 6, 2021, 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, 2021, 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, 2021, 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, 2021, 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, 2021, 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.”