Poet Elizabeth Possidente

In celebration of National Poetry Month, members of the Guilford Poets Guild were invited to share their thoughts about poetry and the life of a poet. Here’s what Elizabeth Possidente had to say:

How did you come to being a poet?
I think “being” a poet was underlying everything I have done with my life and I suppose that wasn’t practical. While I identified myself in other ways over the years, poet was always lurking in the shadows, lifting me along. My mother read and sang poems all the time to us as children and I have done the same with mine and my grandchildren.

Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
I wish I could. I have a very bad memory. I made up songs to my cat and others.

What else do you write besides poetry? Do you have other creative pursuits?
Hmmm. It seems I am writing all the time something, be it a letter an email, poem elements. I wrote all the time in my work life. I love to putter in my garden, be in nature, to play my flute and sing with others. I play chamber music with a wonderful group, and have sung in various choruses since childhood. I am learning to play guitar a bit and bass recorder as an adjustment to my hearing impairments. I teach Yoga still, dance, do Chigong, Tai’chi. I draw some, but gave my paints to my daughter-in-law.

What has been the defining moment in your life as a poet/writer?
Although I had thought college was my leap to becoming a writer, I went in other directions. In my professional life I wrote all the time and used poetry as one modality to help others express or frame their experiences. Joining some poetry workshops later in life convinced me that this was how I wished to express myself in a less ephemeral way than dance/movement or music. Then, having the opportunity to read my poems at a memorial for a dear poet friend slid me into saying to myself that perhaps I really was a poet. How grateful I am to Edwina Trentham whose presence and workshops inspired and enlightened me. Presenting my poems at readings at the Clinton Art Gallery and the Guilford Library for GPG have been real boosters.

How long have you been a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and what’s that like?
I think I have been a member for three years now. This is an injection of plasma and red blood, mixed with laughter and intrinsic tears. Challenges. I love these people. Rising chi always. Arms around them all.

What inspires your writing today?
Life life and life. Ordinary, lush and tragic life. My own history, nature, family, and people around me. Everything and anything. Witness. Reflection.

Describe your poem-writing process. Where do you like to write?
Moments. Sensations. Feelings. Words. Memories. It can happen any time. Or not. Over coffee, on a walk, in the shower or off to bed. Paper scraps are essential, backs of envelopes. I write by hand in a journal, and after some reflection and composting the poem will evolve to my computer, and then another part of my brain steps in. It is like my cooking. Messy. And when a poem isn’t there, it just isn’t.

Where do you like to write? With what?
I write most at my kitchen/dining table in a sort of greenhouse where the light is wonderful and nature is just a glance away. I am surrounded with papers of all sorts, plants and the smells of kitchen and sometimes bustle. But otherwise I write anywhere on anything. I use a found pen to write and an old MacBook Air which I am afraid to update. Computer space is outer space as far as I am concerned but connects with another part of my brain

Who are you favorite poets and authors?
This may depend on the season or the year. Emily of course, G.M Hopkins, Naomi Shahib Nye, Wm Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, Dr Seuss, Rumi and Tracy K Smith. Barbara Kingsolver, Sy Montgomery and others.

What book are you currently reading? (poetry or not)
I am always reading several:
The Overstory by Richard Powers just finished
As well as The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery
Writing About Your Life by William Zinsser
The Open Heart A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus by Dali Lama
Writers and Lovers by Lily King

Elizabeth Possidente, MA has returned to poetry after many years of jotting on envelopes, paper scraps etc while she worked as a Creative Arts Therapist and raised a family. She has published articles in her field and in the Connecticut River Review. She is a member of the Guilford Poets Guild.

GPG Members Norman Thomas Marshall & Elizabeth Possidente Featured at October Reading

The Guilford Poets Guild’s October Second Thursday poetry reading will feature two of its own accomplished poets—Norman Thomas Marshall and Elizabeth Possidente. The reading will take place on Thursday, October 10 from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Guilford Free Library.

Norman Thomas Marshall is a veteran of 55 years as a professional actor. He has participated in more than three hundred productions — stage, film, television and radio — as actor, producer or director. Marshall has shared the stage and screen with such notable performers as F. Murray Abraham, Raul Julia, Moses Gunn, Bette Midler, Peter Reigert, Burt Reynolds, Telly Savalas, Barbara Streisand And Fritz Weaver. He has also appeared numerous times in a variety of daytime television dramas and is a familiar voice for some of the animated spots on Sesame Street. Marshall and his partner GPG member Gwen Gunn present original and well-known plays for the shoreline community through their Moses Gunn Play Company.

Elizabeth Possidente retired from her career as a creative arts/dance-movement therapist and has returned to poetry after many years of journaling and jotting on paper scraps, etc. She has published poetry in the Connecticut River Review and professional articles in her field, and read at Clinton Art Gallery’s Poetry Place. She is a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and her first collection of poems The Orange Plate is in process.

Remember to bring your own poem to share during the Open Mic which is open to accomplished and aspiring poets of all ages wishing to present one original composition to a live audience. Refreshments will be served after the reading. This event is free and open to the public.

Upcoming events include: November 14 – Book Launch and Readings from the GPG 20th Anniversary Anthology; December 12 – Holiday Roundtable.

The Guilford Poets Guild is a group of award-winning, published poets from the shoreline who meet regularly to share poems and promote the love and engagement of poetry within the community. Throughout the year the GPG hosts a number of poetry readings including its popular Second Thursday Poetry Series, a Holiday Roundtable, the Guilford High School Poetry Contest, and coordinates poetry/art events with Guilford Art Center, the Madison Art Society and the Florence Griswold Museum. The Guild is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and its third anthology of poems, Our Changing Environment, is due out this fall.

The Guilford Free Library is located at 67 Park Street in Guilford. Please register by phone (203-453-8282), online (guilfordfreelibrary.org) or in person. For more information about the Guilford Poets Guild, visit guilfordpoetsguild.org.

GPG Poet Featured at Sunday Series Poetry Readings

The Clinton Art Gallery’s Poetry Place Sunday Series October 21 Reading will feature Poets Margaret Gibson and Guilford Poets Guild member Elizabeth Possidente

The seventh reading in the Clinton Art Gallery’s 2018 Sunday Series poetry readings will take place on Sunday, October 21, and will feature Connecticut poets Elizabeth Possidente and Margaret Gibson. The reading, in the Laurel Ann Olcott Art Center at 20 East Main Street in the heart of Clinton, will begin at 2:00 pm and will include the Sunday Series popular open mic, which offers local poets the opportunity to share their work with a highly appreciative audience. Before and after the reading and during the break, the audience will have a chance to enjoy the beautiful art work and crafts on display and also discover the many classes, which include a variety of workshops in both art and writing, offered at the Clinton Art Gallery.

The reading is free and open to the public, refreshments will be served, and books will be on sale for a book-signing following the reading. For more information, contact Pat Barone at pattonybarone@aol.com or 203-627-4148.