On September 8th, GPG Welcomes The Write Blend Poets!

Left to Right: Billye Okera, Liz Reitzig, Diane Wilbon Parks, Hiram Larew, Cliff Bernier and Dinahsta “Miss Kane’ Thomas

On September 8th, via Zoom, Guilford Poets Guild will welcome The Write Blend to kick off the Fall’s GPG Second Thursday Series! The Write Blend is a unique, culturally diverse poetry ensemble of six poets whose poetry is published in a new collection of poems, entitled “The Write Blend”. The poetry ensemble has most recently been featured on Poets vs Pandemic sponsored by Café Muse and Word Works Organizations. The Write Blend has read at the Library of Congress for the Maryland State Poet Laureate, Grace Cavalieri’s, “The Poet and The Poem”. The Write Blend has also performed for a Black History Poetry Festival, sponsored by the William Joseph Seymour Foundation in Oxon Hill United Methodist Church.

To join us and listen to The Write Blend, please register on the Guilford Free Library Website: http://guilfordfreelibrary.org/ There will be an Open Mic from 6:30-7pm followed by The Write Blend’s poetry from 7-8pm.

History of The Write Blend: Founded in July 2018 by Diane Wilbon Parks. Diane writes that five poets were asked to become a part of something wonderfully different and diverse because of their own unique voices, reading and writing styles, and they agreed to assemble as The Write Blend. Many times, poetry events/readings do not have a culturally diverse representation in the audiences and or featured poets; it was critical to establish a culturally diverse poetry circle (ensemble) of poets who could offer a broader landscape of poetry to all audiences. As a result, the six poets, including founder Diane Wilbon Parks, have become the right (write) blend of voices that deliver a unique signature in our body of work and writing style, as well as our individual contributions as leaders and creatives in the poetry community.

Join us on Zoom to listen to The Write Blend on September 8 – please register here.

Moses Gunn Play Co. presents “Mothers and Daughters,” a play reading by John Von Hartz on Saturday, June 18 at 2 pm featuring GPG Members

Photo of actress Primi Carey
After a long viral hiatus, the MOSES GUNN PLAY COMPANY resumes its play-reading series at the Guilford Free Library. Saturday’s featured work is MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS by John Von Hartz which was successfully produced in New York. Mel Gussow of the New York Times praised the play, writing “The interrelationships in a close, mutually dependent family of women—grandmother, mother and daughter— are examined with humor and perspicacity in John von Hartz’s new play, ‘Mothers and Daughters… What makes the work appealing is that it is not always clear to us or to the characters which one is acting as the mother and which is acting as the daughter…The play has an endearing protagonist and a theme—mothers and daughters who are ‘blood sisters and best friends’ as well as rivals— that strikes a chord of universality.’

Please register for the play reading here: https://www.guilfordfreelibrary.org/moses-gunn-play-company/45394/

The MGPC has, to date, performed two other plays by Von Hartz, A MAN IN THE HOUSE and OFF-SEASON. The cast on Saturday will include MGPC veterans Primi Carey, Norman Marshall, Susan Jacobson, Julie Fitzpatrick and Carolyn Marble.

An Evening of Poetry with Margaret Gibson, Connecticut State Poet Laureate – May 26th

© Photo by Mara Lavitt
June 12, 2020
Preston, CT
Poet Margaret Gibson at home in Preston, CT.

Join us for an evening of poetry with Margaret Gibson on May 26th at the Guilford Library! She will begin sharing with us at 6:30pm. There will be no open mic at this event.

MARGARET GIBSON, Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut, is the author of 13 books of poems, all from LSU Press, most recently The Glass Globe, 2021.  She has published her poems widely in journals such as Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, Southern Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Image Journal.

AWARDS include the Lamont Selection for Long Walks in the Afternoon, her second book, 1982; the Melville Kane Award (co-winner) for Memories of the Future, (1986), and the Connecticut Book Award for One Body, 2008.  The Vigil was a Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry in 1993.  Broken Cup was a Finalist for 2016 Poets’ Prize, and the title poem from the book won a Pushcart Prize for that year.  “Passage,” from Not Hearing the Wood Thrush, was included in The Best American Poetry, 2017.  

She has written a memoir, The Prodigal Daughter, University of Missouri Press, 2008.

Gibson is Professor Emerita, University of Connecticut.  She lives in Preston, CT.  For more information, visit her website:  www.margaretgibsonpoetry.com

As Connecticut State Poet Laureate (2019-2022) Margaret Gibson has been awarded an Academy of American Poets Grant.  The grant is intended both to support Gibson’s poetry and to allow her to fund various poetry projects from May 2020 to May 2021.  As Poet Laureate, Gibson has taken as her social focus “Poetry and the Environment during Climate Crisis” and is funding videos of Connecticut poets reading their poems about the environment in natural settings and “Green Poetry Cafes.”

Waking Up to the Earth:  Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis, edited and with an introduction by Gibson, was published March 4, 2021.

This program which is cosponsored by the Guilford Poets Guild will be held in the Edith B. Nettleton Historical Room.

Please register here: https://www.guilfordfreelibrary.org/an-evening-of-poetry-with-margaret-gibson-connecticut-state-poet-laureate/45168/

On May 12th, GPG Welcomes Guilford High School Poets!

On Thursday May 12th from 6:30-8pm, the Guilford Poets Guild will host a quartet of talented young poets at its Second Thursday Poetry Reading! The following Guilford High School Poets have won the GPG Prizes.

First Prize:  “Seams” by Leila Ruser

Second Prize:  “Re-Gifted” by Mea Scarpellino

Third Prize:  “On the Train” by Julia Schroers

Honorable Mention:  “Time to Go Back” by Anushree Ajgonkar

We will meet in-person to hear their poetry in the Meeting Room at the Guilford Library. Thanks to George Cooksey, English Department Chair at GHS, and Hannah Pat Oboyski, GPG Member and paraprofessional at GHS, for arranging this exciting annual poetry event with us. Please register on the Guilford Library website to reserve your seat. There will be an Open Mic for the first half hour and then we’ll segue into listening to the winning poets’ share their work. See you there!

Guilford Poets Guild Welcomes Alison D. Moncrief Bromage in April

On April 14th, The Guilford Poets Guild will welcome Poet Alison D. Moncrief Bromage to our Second Thursday Poetry Series!

The evening will LIVE in the Historical Room at the Guilford Library. We will begin at 6:30pm with an Open Mic and our Guest Poet will share her work from 7-8pm. If you would like to participate in the Open Mic, please email: guilfordpoets@gmail.com. To join us for this in-person event, please register here: https://www.guilfordfreelibrary.org/

Alison’s Bio: Alison D. Moncrief Bromage’s debut poetry collection Daughter, Daedalus was the 2016 winner of the T.S.Eliot Prize for Poetry from Truman State University. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, [PANK], The Denver Quarterly and elsewhere. In 2019, Alison debuted The Shadow Itself is A Place, a collaborative dance and poetry performance with choreographer Angharad Davies, at Green Space Studio in Long Island City. She works as a writing instructor at Yale University and Foote School and lives in Branford, CT with her husband, two kids, five chickens, 20,000 bees and one cat.

GPG President’s Second Book Has Been Released

The Guilford Poets Guild has exciting news to share: our Guild President, Juliana Harris, has just released her second Guilford mystery, “Murder at Pine Brook,”  which is the sequel to “Murder at The Tavern,” which debuted in March of 2020. Both books take place in Guilford and Julie had the pleasure of doing a reading and signing of “Murder at The Tavern” recently at the Medad Stone Tavern, under the auspices of the Guilford Keeping Society.  If you would like to buy a copy or book Julie for a reading, please contact her through our website or at this address: guilfordpoets@gmail.com. Congratulations, Julie!

Guilford Poets’ Guild Welcomes Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely in March

On March 10th, The Guilford Poets Guild is delighted to welcome Poet Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely to our Second Thursday Poetry Series!

The evening will begin at 6:30pm with an Open Mic and our Guest Poet will share her work from 7-8pm. If you would like to participate in the Open Mic, please email: guilfordpoets@gmail.com. The format of the evening’s poetry presentation will be on zoom – to register, please visit this page: http://guilfordfreelibrary.org/guilford-poets-guild-welcomes-nancy-fitz-hugh-meneely-in-march/44420/.

After 35 years away, Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely returned to Connecticut to pursue what Baron Wormser calls “the poetry life”. She thrives by her association with both The Guilford Poets Guild and The Connecticut River Poets and, with Gray Jacobik, founded an ongoing week-long summer poetry retreat for Frost Place programs alums. She has taught at high school, college and graduate school levels and managed Federal and State training programs. Her first book, Letter from Italy, 1944 (Antrim House) was noted by the Hartford Courant as one of thirteen important books published by Connecticut writers in 2013. It provided the libretto for an oratorio of the same name composed by her sister, Sarah Meneely Kyder. The oratorio was debuted by the GM Chorale with the Yale Symphony Orchestra in 2013 and performed again in 2017 by the Hartford Chorale with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Karyl Evans’ documentary about the making of this oratorio garnered a Regional Emmy Award. Her second book, Simple Absence (Antrim House), was nominated for The National Book Award and placed as a Grand Prize Finalist for the 2021 Next Generation Indie Awards and the 2021 Eric Hoffer Award.

GPG Member in The Magic Christmas Door on December 4th

On December 4th at 2pm, The Moses Gunn Play Company will present THE MAGIC CHRISTMAS DOOR, written and performed by Guilford Poets Guild Member Norman Thomas Marshall. It is a story of a poor, rural Southern boy facing a gloomy Santa-less Christmas because of the arrival of a new baby sister. The accompanying medical and pharmaceutical expenses have exhausted all the money that his parents had set aside for Christmas presents for the children. In the midst of a Christmas Eve medical crisis, a miracle of 1949 technology intercedes. THE MACIC CHRISTMAS DOOR is an episode from Marshall’s coming of age memoiric work-in-progress novel whose working title is BETWEEN WARS or BECOMING JOHN BROWN. Register here for this virtual presentation.

Holiday Round Table with Guilford Poets Guild

On Thursday, December 9th, the Guilford Poets Guild will present its Annual Holiday Roundtable on Zoom, with a chance to share and listen to a collection of favorite holiday poems. The special reading will take place at 6:30PM, hosted by the Guilford Free Library. Remember to bring your own poem to share during the Open Mic – all are welcome to sign up to read one poem for this event, with a limit of 20 readers.

  1. First, please register for the event on the Library’s website, www.guilfordfreelibrary.org. A Zoom link will be sent to you directly.
  2. Then, if you would like to read a poem, please email the Guilford Poets Guild.

Usually we ask for book donations for the Community Dining Room at this event, but because we are meeting on Zoom this year, please consider donating books or food to the Community Dining Room – more information about opportunities for giving can be found here: https://communitydiningroom.org/how-to-help/

Participating Guilford Poets Guild members for the evening may include: Carol Altieri, Evelyn Atreya, Julie Fitzpatrick, Gwen Gunn, Juliana Harris, Norman Marshall, Nancy Meneely, Jane Muir, Patricia H. O’Brien, Hannah Pat Oboyski, Elizabeth Possidente, Edward Walker, and Gordy Whiteman.

Thank you!

Guilford Poets Guild Welcomes Poet Rhonda Ward in November

On November 11th at 7pm, The Guilford Poet Guild welcomes Poet Rhonda Ward to our Second Thursday Poetry Series! At 6:30pm there will be an Open Mic. If you would like to participate in the Open Mic, please email: guilfordpoets@gmail.com. To register for the Poetry Series Evening, please visit the Guilford Free Library Website.

Rhonda M. Ward is a native of Dayton, Ohio where she grew up across the street from the home of the poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar and began reciting his poems at the age of eight.  She has organized poetry readings in the southeastern Connecticut region for nearly 20 years. She currently co-hosts the annual Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading at the Mystic Museum of Art which will celebrate 14 years in 2022.

Rhonda’s poems have appeared in print and online, most recently in Connecticut Woodlands, Cape Cod Quarterly, the nature anthology Waking Up to the Earth (edited by Connecticut Poet Laureate, Margaret Gibson), and online at the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day Project.

Ward has served on the board of directors for The Writers Block Ink and Soul Mountain Retreat.  She has collaborated with visual artists on numerous projects including 3 Steps Forward, 2 Steps Back, which addresses systemic racism and was on exhibit in April 2021 in Vero Beach, FL.  

Ward has read her poetry internationally, including Skiathos, Greece, Cumbria, UK, and Sofia, Bulgaria. She was appointed Poet Laureate for the City of New London in 2017 and passed the torch to the next poet laureate in April 2021.