Second Thursday Poetry Series: Nancy F. Meneely and Jen Payne

Enjoy an evening of poetry with Guilford Poets Guild members Nancy F. Meneely and Jen Payne as part of the Second Thursday Poetry Series presented by the Guild and the Guilford Free Library on Thursday, September 14, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the library. The event begins with an Open Mic from 6:30 – 7:00 p.m., and follows with readings from both poets.

Nan Meneely has been a member of the GPG since 2007. She holds a B.A. from Smith College, an M.A.T. in English from Yale and an M.Ed. from UMass/Amherst. She has taught at high school, college and graduate school levels and worked as a trainer in State and Federal government departments. After retiring from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2006, she retired to Connecticut to focus on poetry, helping to administer the work of the Guilford Poets Guild and the Connecticut River Poets to support the writing and appreciation of poetry in Shoreline communities. She has published poetry, book reviews and articles in a variety of literary publications and newspapers. Her book, Letter from Italy, 1944, which provides the libretto for the oratorio of the same name, was published by Antrim House in 2013 and was the only book of poetry awarded in the Legacy Non-fiction category of the 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. It was noted by the Hartford Courant as one of thirteen important books published by Connecticut writers in 2013. Nan currently lives in Essex, CT.

One of the GPG’s newest members, Jen Payne is inspired by those life moments that move us most — love and loss, joy and disappointment, milestones and turning points. When she is not exploring our connections with one another, she enjoys writing about our relationships with nature, creativity, and mindfulness, and how these provide balance in our frenetic, spinning world. In 2014, she published LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, a collection of essays, poems and original photography. Her new poetry book, Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, will be available in October. (See for details). Jen is the owner of Words by Jen, a graphic design and creative services company in Branford. She is a member of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, the Connecticut Poetry Society, Guilford Arts Center, and the Guilford Poets Guild. Her poetry was featured in Inauguration Nation at Kehler Liddel Gallery in New Haven, and Shuffle & Shake at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. Her writing has been published by The Aurorean, Six Sentences, the Story Circle Network, WOW! Women on Writing, and The Perch, a publication by the Yale Program for Recovery & Community Health.

There will be books for sale at the event, and refreshments will be served. Remember to bring your own poem to share during the Open Mic!

Upcoming Second Thursday Poetry Series events presented by the Guilford Poets Guild and the Guilford Free Library include readings by the several Connecticut Poets Laureate on October 12; Alan Garry, the Connecticut Veteran Poet Laureate on November 8; and a Holiday Roundtable on December 14 featuring Found Poems. Watch the website for more details.

The Guilford Free Library is located at 67 Park Street in Guilford. This program is free and open to all. Please register by phone, in person, or online (203) 453-8282,

Jen Payne photo by Christine Chiocchio, Branford. Nan Meneely photo courtesy of Guilford Poets Guild


Harris/Roane Duo at the Guilford Free Library

The Harris/Roane Duo, featuring song stylist and Guilford Poets Guild member Julie Harris and guitarist Stephen Roane, will be performing their 7th concert on the Patio of the Guilford Free Library on Thursday, August 24th at 7 PM. “Music Under the Stars” features summer hits from The Great American Songbook, plus a few country and western tunes along with a bossa nova or two from Brazil. This is usually a SRO performance, so come early and bring your own chair!

Chester gallery reading with two poets from GPG

You’re invited to a reading in the round by members of the Connecticut River Poetry Conference in Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery (One Maple Street, Chester, CT 06412) on Wednesday, July 19 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. A reception of wine and food follows.

This special event, open to the public, is the second year the group has read in the Stone Gallery where “Sharing the Vision,” a two-woman exhibit by Maple and Main artists Linda DeStefanis and Barbara Rossitto is being shown during July.

For the past seven years a singular group of poets meets for a summer week of workshops, seminars, readings, camaraderie and literary high-jinx at Chester’s Guest House Conference Center Shoreline. Gray Jacobik, a poet and Maple and Main artist, and Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely founded this conference, which grew out of an advanced poetry seminar at The Frost Place in Franconia, NH.

Jacobik and Meneely will be joined by notable and much-published poets: Ruth Foley of Attleboro, MA., Sharon Olson of Lawrenceville, NJ., Carole Stasiowski of Cotuit, MA., Hiram Larew of Upper Marlboro, MD., Anne Harding Woodworth of Washington, D.C., and Lawrence Wray of Pittsburgh, PA.

Click here for more information.

The Friday Night Painters / Show Their Stuff


Opening Reception: Friday, July 28, 5-7 pm
Gallery Talk: Sunday, July 30, 2-4 pm

Guilford Poets Guild member Gwen Gunn is one of 21 artists participating in the Guilford Art Center show The Friday Night Painters / Show Their Stuff. The show is an exhibition of works by a feisty, dedicated, close-knit group of painters, some of whom have been working at GAC since the mid-1970s. The exhibition will be on view July 28-August 11, 2017, in the Mill Gallery at Guilford Art Center, 411 Church Street, Guilford, CT (I-95, exit 58).

The opening reception is Friday, July 28, 5-7 pm, and a gallery talk, “The Story of the Friday Night Painters,” will be held Sunday, July 30, 2-4 pm. It will feature a brief history of the group, an informal Q&A exchange, readings by four Friday Night Painter (FNP) painter/writers (poems, essays, and short stories related to painting), and refreshments. Both events are free and open to the public.

Participating artists include: Lexi McCrady Axon, Bernie Braverman, Edward Casey, Catherine Ferguson, Virginia Foster, Shirley Gonzales, Timothee Graze, Gwen Gunn, Alice Hayden, Ed Horan, Ellen Lowe, Christina Maile, Molly McDonald, Julanne Meyers, Frank Modell, Parviz Mohassel, Scott Paterson, Diana Perron, Dan Rice, Rex Walden, and Marja Watson.

• Click here for more information.


Guilford Poets Guild to Read at Scranton Library

Also see article in Shoreline Times April 27, 2017

scranton library reading


Guilford High School Poetry Contest Winners to Read

Youth Poets 2017-001

Gray Jacobik on April 13

Gray 2017Poet Gray Jacobik will be featured at the Guilford Poets Guild’s April poetry reading. The reading will be held on Thursday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. (open mike from 6:30 to 7) at the Guilford Free Library, 67 Park Street, Guilford (203-453-8282).

Gray Jacobik received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in creative writing and an artist’s fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. Her poems have won the Yeats Prize, the Emily Dickinson Prize, and the Third Coast Poetry Prize, among others. Jacobik’s collection The Double Task was selected by James Tate for the Juniper Prize and nominated for the James Laughlin Award and the Poet’s Prize. The Surface of Last Scattering received the X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, and Brave Disguises received the AWP Poetry Series Award.  She’s served as poet-in-residence at the Frost Place, taught literature at ECSU and mentored graduate students through the Stonecoast MFA Program (Univ. of Southern Maine). Jacobik is the author of Little Boy Blue: A Memoir in Verse (CavanKerry Press) and received the 2016 William Meredith Award in Poetry for The Banquet: New & Selected Poems, which was nominated for both a National Book Award and a Pulitzer. She is a painter as well as a poet. 

Refreshments will be served. See library flyer here.