Guilford Poets Guild Welcomes Poet Rennie McQuilkin in September

On September 9th at 6:30pm, the Guilford Poets Guild welcomes Rennie McQuilkin, former CT Poet Laureate (2015-2018) to join our Second Thursday Poetry Series! We will begin with an Open Mic. If you would like to participate in the Open Mic, please email:

Rennie co-founded the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, which he directed for 9 years. His poetry has appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, The American Scholar, The Southern Review, The Yale Review, The Hudson Review, and other publications. The author of several poetry collections, he has received a number of awards, including fellowships from the NEA and the CT Commission on the Arts, the CT Center for the Book’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and its 2010 poetry award. He lives in Bloomfield, CT.

The event is free and open to the public.

Please register here on the Guilford Library’s website. A Zoom link will then be sent to you directly.

Circumference News

The new issue (June 2021, Issue 4) of the online poetry journal Circumference, edited by Gemma Mathewson and Mark McGuire-Schwartz, has just appeared. Three Guilford Poets Guild members have poems in this issue: Juliana Harris, Edward Walker, and Patricia Horn O’Brien. You can read the issue here. Congratulations!

High School Student Poets

On May 13 the Guilford Poets Guild hosted a quintet of talented young poets at its Second Thursday Poetry Reading. The following five students read their work via Zoom on the Guilford Library website: Kilee Simon, Anushree Ajgaonkar, Cameryn Ludwin, Alex Ferguson, and Haley Moriarty. Usually, at this time of year, The Guild hosts an Awards Program for GHS students but, due to the Pandemic, an in-person gathering was not possible. This year, due to the cooperation of George Cooksey and the English faculty at Guilford High School, who chose poems for The Guild to select, a lively evening of poetry was enjoyed online. The Guild looks forward to returning to the usual format next April with the high school poetry contest held during National Poetry Month.

Guilford Poets Guild Welcomes Poet Marcus Rediker in April

In April, the Guilford Poets Guild welcomes award-winning poet Marcus Rediker for its Second Thursday Poetry Reading. The reading will take place via Zoom on Thursday, April 8 at 7PM, hosted by the Guilford Free Library.

Marcus Rediker is Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. His ten books have won numerous awards and been translated into 16 languages. His most recent work is The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist (Beacon Press, 2017), which he has adapted to a graphic novel, a children’s book, and a play he is now writing with Naomi Wallace. He is interested in the poetics of what is called “history from below” or “peoples’ history.”

The event is free and open to the public.

Please register on the Library’s website, A Zoom link will be sent to you directly.

(Keeping On) Six – the Sum is Six


There are six
some of cedar or
perhaps of spruce

Six stand upon a hill
along a border
or in a valley

…..Or perhaps they take a walk

Six for shelter
Six for shade
Six for safety

And six for social
…..for camaraderie

Six in a family
Six in three couples
Six in a story

…..How mysterious is theirs?

These six are salient
serene and steady
perhaps in prayer

Perhaps in song
…..or in a dance

Six souls meeting
in 2020. masked
safe distanced

Six selves strong
strolling yet
frozen in time

Poem by Elizabeth Possidente
Artwork: Group Gathering by Linda Edwards

GPG Poet Jen Payne Publishes New Zine

We humans sure are creative with time, aren’t we? This arbitrary turning clocks backward or forward twice a year, assigning time to zones and lines and frames. Even Guilford Poets Guild member Jen Payne tries to trick time, setting clocks randomly wrong and always fast as if she can somehow control the hours, beat the Kobayashi Maru of time.

Even Albert Einstein said time is an illusion — “a stubbornly persistent illusion” — that time and space are merely “modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live.”

Of course, if you think too hard on things like that you end up down rabbit holes and worm holes…want to come along?

Then check out the next issue of Jen’s MANIFEST (zine). It’s About Time this time — time travel, time loops, time passing — a 28-page, full-color book filled with artwork, photos, poetry, and a curated Spotify playlist. Cost: $6.00.


  • Time Peace
  • Moonwalk Writer
  • Time Flies
  • Time Traveler
  • There is No Synonym for Reunion
  • This Affliction of Longing
  • Shape-Shifter, Time-Shifter Crow
  • Black Bird Haiku
  • Missing Banksy

OTHER INGREDIENTS: acrylic paints, collaged elements, color copies, color scans, colored markers, Dymo labels, ephemera, essays, Golden gel medium, hand-drawn fonts, ink jet copies, laser prints, mixed-media collage, one sci-fi geek, original photographs, pigment inks, poetry, postage stamps, postcard art, rubber stamp art, time travelers, vintage magazine pages, vintage photos, vintage postcard, and watercolor paint, with thanks to the Leo Baeck Institute, Joy Bush, Paul Delvaux, Albert Einstein, Esther Elzinga of StudioTokek, Rowland Emmet, the Everett Collection, Michael Jackson, Julien Pacaud, Robert Louis Stevenson and Charles Robinson, Sir John Tenniel, and Rudolph Zallinger.

Part artist book, part chapbook, MANIFEST (zine) is a hold-in-your-hands art installation featuring poetry, inspirational quotes, mixed media collages, photography, and bits and pieces of creative whatnot. Layered with colors, textures, and meanings, each issue is handmade then color-copied and embellished. The result is a thought-full, tactile journey with lots of nooks and crannies for you to discover along the way. Learn more…

(Keeping On) Blues


The eyes are blue.
Wonderfully blue,
At first glance, blue.
Then blue.

Gaze deep into the blue,
The blue and more blue,
The beautifully blue eyes.
They should suffice, should win.

Tousled hair atop the head.
And, yes, the eyes are blue.
As blue as anything.
As blue as everything.

Above the blue
A furrowed brow.
My God, the life of the mind!
And, yet the eyes are blue.

As blue as…mmmm.
As blue as…aaaahh.
As blue as…yeah.

Poem by Norman Thomas Marshall
Artwork: A Portrait by Scott Paterson

(Keeping On) Lady of Spain


she seems about to whirl into a dance
this Spanish lady so precisely arrayed

in a pattern of black and white
with a perky red feather in her hat

curved arm and fist resting on a hip
heart-shaped lips in a pursing pout

eyes slightly slanted mysterious
staring back at those studying her

remaining opaque so that no one can tell
if she’s full of tabasco or sweet cream

Poem by Gwen Gunn. Artwork: Flamenco, a pottery pitcher by Anita Griffith

GPG Poet Juliana Harris Writes New Mystery Novel Set in Guilford

Forget 2020, Guilford Poets Guild member and community volunteer Juliana Harris is starting out 2021 with a bang! In February, she won the grand prize in a national writing contest; in March, she was selected as Person of the Week by the Guilford Courier; and now, she’s announced the publication of her new book Murder at the Tavern: A Guilford Mystery. Set against the backdrop of Guilford’s historic Medad Stone Tavern, Murder at the Tavern takes the reader along for an exciting sleuthing adventure.

“The book was inspired by an unexpected encounter I had many years ago with a well-known gentleman from Guilford,” says Harris. “It got me to thinking of a plot for a mystery: what if a person like him was framed for murder? This thought rattled around in my brain for about 35 years until it finally made its way to my word processor!”

The result, as the back cover alludes: The body of a young woman is found brutally beaten in the woods behind the Tavern, and the murder weapon turns out to be the walking stick of 73-year-old Ashley Hamilton Reynolds. Squire, as he is fondly known around his hometown, is the scion of one of Guilford’s oldest and most reputable families. He claims his walking stick had gone missing a few days before the murder. But how can this be proved? And, if he is innocent, who is the real killer?

Harris says she remembers writing her first poem when she was a freshman in high school for a school assignment. The poem went on to win a prize in a statewide contest and she has been writing poems and essays ever since. Her work has appeared in publications across the country and her two novels are available online: The Fork in the Road and Pacific Heights. An award-winning professional actress, she is also a singer/songwriter. She joined forces with guitarist Stephen Roane to form The Harris/Roane Duo in 2008. The Duo has performed concerts across the state and are recording their third CD. Harris receives constant artistic stimulation from her participation in the Guilford Poets Guild, the results of which can be found in the chapbook Portraits, about her family with the help and support of Guild members.

To read Harris’ winning essay “The Great K-10 Race,” and to purchase copies of her books, visit

Murder at the Tavern: A Guilford Mystery can be purchased at Breakwater Books, directly from Julie via the Guilford Poets Guild website, or from online retailers.