Peaceful news from Deerbrook

Last Thursday’s poetry night was well attended with standing-room-only by the time the readers began.  As always, a reading at Longfellow Books in Portland has a warm and friendly atmosphere and I saw several familiar faces, a few I had not seen in a while, making it all the more savory.

Other recent news came in from L.R. Berger in New Hampshire. L.R. was granted a writer-in-residence stay and grant at Wellspring House in western Mass., and gave  a reading at the end of that 2 weeks of work on poems.

Also, L.R. participated in The Ikeda Center’s seventh annual Ikeda Forum for Intercultural Dialogue , and for those who don’t know, she is an active member NE Associate  Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service .  Her book The Unexpected Aviary received the Jane Kenyon Award for poetry. 

LR Berger at Wellspring house

L.R. Berger has been active with her muse.


Only Now for poetry month

Only Now, poems by Stuart Kestenbaum

The cover features a print collaboration by Susan Webster and Stuart Kestenbaum

Only Now, poems by Stuart Kestenbaum, now only on the Website, for poetry month from Deerbrook Editions. Next week Stuart will be reading at Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine, with two other poets who have recent titles (2013) of poetry from Deerbrook Editions. Mark April 17th at 7pm on your calendar.

From the back cover of Only Now:

Stuart Kestenbaum’s Only Now is a rare accomplishment: a collection of poems that takes on the fragility of the world and our own mortality, and does so with unflinching directness and, most impressively, with wit and a sincere prayerfulness. Many of these poems are what I would call strangely hopeful warnings, elegies-in-advance. They worry about the world in ways that register the beauty of what is in danger of being diminished. —Stephen Dunn



The other poets reading on the 17th are Peter Harris and David Sloan. Peter Harris had the poem Ode to Popcorn , and Villanelle  for the Pond, featured in Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry which appears in the Portland Press Herald, edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate, and produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Stuart Kestenbaum also has had several poems appear in Take Heart: A conversation in Poetry.

Peter Harris  had his chapbook, Blue Hallelujahs, win the Maine chapbook competition in 1996.

David Sloan received the 2012 Betsy Sholl award for the poem Bad Math, and the 2012 Maine Literary Award for Poetry in the Short Works Competition.

Davis Sloan is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine s Stonecoast MFA Poetry Program and loves living in Maine, at the edge of the world, with his wife Christine where they both work in Maine’s only Waldorf high school. He is the author of two books on teaching: Stages of Imagination: Working Dramatically with Adolescents, and Life Lessons: Reaching Teenagers through Literature.  His poetry has appeared most recently in The Barefoot Review, The Broome Review, The Café Review, Carpe Articulum, Innisfree, The Naugatuck River Review, The Northern New England Review, Passager, The Prairie Wolf Press Review and Words and Images.

All books will be available at Longfellow Books for signing the night of the reading. This should be a great night for poetry as all of these poets are excellent readers.

Freeing The Hook by Peter Harris

Peter’s cover features White Waves on Sand, Maine by John Marin


The Irresistible In-Between by David Slaon

The Irresistible In-Between cover features a photo by Chris Darling.

Reprise & Overture

“Reprise & Overture,” a program of poems and music by Martin Steingesser and friends for the publication of the second edition of his book Brothers of Morning will be presented at Longfellow Books, One Monument Way, Portland, Maine, on Thursday, May 20, at 7 pm.

Poets, musicians and friends of Martin Steingesser will join to read poems from his book Brothers of Morning, followed by a presentation of new poems by the author. Readers include flutists Carl Dimow and Judy Cormier, singer, guitarist and composer Con Fullam, poet Bruce Spang, co-manager-owner of Longfellow Books Chris Bowe and performer Judy Tierney. The ensemble also will be joined by percussionist Rick Cormier.

Martin Steingesser “is a musician and acrobat, his book Brothers of Morning, ablaze with imagination,” says poet Laure-Anne Bosselaar. “A burning, tender voice,” said former Maine Poet Laureate Baron Wormser. Individual poems have appeared in the national magazines The Sun, The Progressive and the Humanist (spring 2010), and in literary publications like American Poetry Review, Hanging Loose, Rattle, The Ohio Review, Nimrod International Journal, Inkwell Journal, The Beloit Poetry Journal and Poetry East (forthcoming). His poems have received a number of awards, including First Place in Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance 2008 Maine Literary Awards. They are represented in several anthologies, such as Four Seasons, edited by Wesley McNair (Downeast Books: 2010), The Maine Poets, edited by Wesley McNair (Down East Books: 2003); Motion: American Sports Poems (University of Iowa Press, 2001); Poetry Comes Up Where It Can: Poems from The Amicus Journal, 1900-2000 (University of Utah Press, 2000); Speaking of New England  (North Country Press: Belfast, ME, 1993); Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust  (Time Being Books, St. Louis, MO, 2007); and Naming the World (Heinemann Publishers: Portsmouth, NH, 2006).
He is Portland, Maine’s first Poet Laureate (2007-09).
Brothers of Morning was originally published by Deerbrook Editions, of Cumberland, Maine, in 2002. The second edition, with revisions by the author, was re-issued by Deerbrook this April.

Sometimes a Poem Ripens in Me,

and I think I’ll split my skin
if I don’t have a plate
on which to offer it,
some altar from which to sing.
Interminable are the days, months,
years my poems wander
searching a page
you might turn to find them.
All morning
I’ve worked on and off on one,
stumbling over new gifts,
as if words,
phrases, images, were windfall apples,
this old heart among them
glad as a fawn again.

Copyright © 2010 Martin Steingesser

For Additional Information Contact
Longfellow Books; One Monument Way, Portland, Maine; 207-772-4045;<>
Martin Steingesser, Author & Participating Poet; 207-828-9937;