Get Ready for Poem in Your Pocket Day!

TOMORROW IS POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY!
Poem in Your Pocket Day takes place every year on a day in National Poetry Month. On this day, select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, street corners, and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

It’s easy to carry a poem, share a poem, or start your own Poem in Your Pocket Day event. Here are some ideas of how you might get involved:

  • Start a poem giveaway in your school or workplace
  • Urge local businesses to offer discounts for those carrying poems
  • Post pocket-sized verses in public places
  • Memorize a poem
  • Start a street team to pass out poems in your community
  • Distribute bookmarks with your favorite lines of poetry
  • Add a poem to your email footer
  • Post lines from your favorite poem on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest
  • Send a poem to a friend

Poem in Your Pocket Day was initiated in April 2002 by the Office of the Mayor in New York City, in partnership with the city’s Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative to all fifty United States, encouraging individuals around the country to participate. In 2016, the League of Canadian Poets extended Poem in Your Pocket Day to Canada.

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.

Poet Gordy Whiteman

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 Guilford Poet Laureate Gordy Whiteman had to say:

How did you come to being a poet?
I was aware of poetry from when I was a little child. My mother wrote poetry and published some of her poems in local papers. She was also a really good piano player and wrote songs — some, of which, my siblings and I still sing. I have only one of her finished poems, but many first and second drafts of many of her poems.

I took a creative writing course at Southern Connecticut State University when I was about 30 years old and wrote my first poem — it was a nature poem and I think I received a mark of B. The poem is in one of my many binders. After that, I wrote a number of poems until, at age 55, I joined The Shoreline Poets which was the forerunner to The Guilford Poets Guild.

Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
I looked up the first poem, which I made reference to above and here it is:

A HARVEST

Squirrels and I were gathering today,
storing up for the barren cold;
the abundance that rain, heat and farmer folk
have given Autumn to hold.

And we took, each in our way

(cautious and creeping)
the nut of the hickory and oak

(waiting and watching)
the gleam of the maple, the dogwood so bold,
strong tulip tree covered with gold.

What else do you write besides poetry? Do you have other creative pursuits?
In my “bring home the bacon” work-a-day-world, I had jobs that required writing. I wrote much advertising copy ( I sold over 800 homes in twenty-odd years as a real estate broker) and as a manager in the dairy business (15 years) one of my responsibilities was the presentation of on-going training programs to around 45 managers and supervisors. Critiquing other managers required my acquiring some diplomatic skills while still getting my point across.

For years, my love of painting ( pastels, oils, charcoal and colored pencil) was my main pursuit. I really enjoy drawing the human face. So much is there in the expression, the eyes, the wrinkles, although when I have drawn Andrea, she has warned me, “no wrinkles !”

Singing — Guilford, for many years, had a choral group The Guilford Community Chorus I sang in that group for, I would say, about fifteen years. When I was in high school, I was honored to be chosen to represent Guilford in Connecticut’s All State Chorus. A great experience.

What has been the defining moment in your life as a poet/writer?
I would have to say when I published my first book, Whitfield Crossing. It came out less than two months after the terrorist attack on New York’s Twin Towers. I think the Guilford public needed something that would bring them back to normal. I gave several readings over the ensuing weeks. I sold over 600 copies; most within the next six months. Other defining moments — being named Guilford’s Poet Laureate. Having been born in Guilford and, aside from US Air Force time and college, I have lived here my whole 90 years. Also, having been asked to serve as president or co-president three times by The Guilford Poets Guild. I do not want to leave out of your question the honor of being a founding member of The Connecticut Coalition of Poets Laureate. When the Coalition was founded, there were five known town or city poets laureate in the whole state. Now, there are well over 35 laureates plus another 15 or so that are emeritus.

How long have you been a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and what’s that like?
I joined the fore-runner of The Guild, The Shoreline Poets, in 1985 and became a member of the Guild almost immediately after it was formed, by Katrina Van Tassel, into an on-going community-minded organization. One way to measure the value of any group is to look at how often its membership changes. The Guild has had an unchanging, rock-solid membership for years. We would like to have new members but, at this time, simply do not have the room to accommodate any additions. Therefore, we encourage would-be members to participate in our meetings that are open to the public. There are various ways that non-members can become involved.

What is it like? Since 1985, when I became a member, it was expected that I and the other members would show up at the twice-a-month meetings with a poem that would be critiqued by the other members. We meet twenty-four times a year for these sessions so, you can do the math..- lots of poems — lots of poetry books, many of which are in the stacks at the Guilford Free Library. And (this is a big and) The Guilford Free Library has been generous in making room for us to hold our Second Thursday Poetry Readings where we usually have a well-known poet from Connecticut or some other northeastern state as a featured guest poet — and an open mic for poets who might not otherwise have an audience.

What inspires your writing today?
I am inspired to write about my fellow men and women of all ages — the goodness – the quirkiness — the history — the heroism — the quotidian — the love

Describe your poem-writing process. Where do you like to write?
I have found that certain rooms in our house are good for doing certain things. Just as when watching TV, if one is used to snacking, then snacking becomes habit. Likewise, when I sense that a poem is coming forth, I go to my den (Andrea also has a den). That is my habit. I will write one-liners on subject matter, anywhere from a half dozen to a dozen. Then I will concentrate on the opening line and the opening stanza. If I don’t have words that are going to inspire the reader to continue down the page, then why go any further? So, a lot of thought goes into the opening. Then I go to my list of one-liners and I write. More often than not pure creativity takes over and the first draft comes to life. The next part, the rewrite, I just thoroughly enjoy. Here, to use an analogy, its like the sculptor who has gotten beyond the lump of clay, beyond the rough form and, if lucky, can see something of worth beginning to take shape. At some point the poem goes before the Guild for a friendly, but serious, critique.

Who are you favorite poets and authors?
My favorite poet is Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely. She is a poet who has a unique way with words, and that, coupled with true insight into the human condition, has made my heart sing on many a reading of her poetry. To be a great poet, one has to have, among many other things, courage to say it like it is. She has that quality also. Other poets high on my list are Gray Jacobik (genius qualities there) and W.S. Merwin for form and always a good story.

What book are you currently reading? (poetry or not)
I usually have five or six books going at the same time. Andrea and I have a pretty good library to choose from. Downstairs I am reading Gray Jacobik’s Banquet and upstairs, in my den, I am reading Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott. If I run out of a good tale, I will happily read the encyclopedia or the dictionary.

What’s your favorite poem to carry around and share with others?
Shakespeare’s soliloquies are pretty good. Portia’s “The quality of mercy …” has stood up well for a few hundred years. But for a modern-day poet, I don’t think any poet can top Robert Frost — snowy woods — two roads diverged — some say the world will end in fire – birches — stone fences make good neighbors — and on and on.

Any last words?
And finally  –  “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world”


Gordy Whiteman was born in Guilford in 1929. He is a member of the Guilford Poets Guild. Whiteman is the author of two volumes of poetry: Whitfield Crossing and Home Town Guilford. He is a founding member of The Connecticut Coalition of Poets Laureate and currently serves as Guilford’s Poet Laureate. If he can keep his short-term memory intact, he hopes to complete a third book of poems in the sometime soon.

Poet Karen Johnson

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 poet Karen Johnson had to say:

How did you come to being a poet?
My mother read poetry to us from a little book called Silver Pennies, which she was awarded as a spelling bee prize in grade school. I was always making up rhymes, as a little child.

Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
Not really, but I think it had to do with cherry blossoms.

What else do you write besides poetry? Do you have other creative pursuits?
Besides poetry I write sermons, or, persuasive essays of a religious nature. Since semi-retirement, I’ve taken up working with stained glass, which I find frustrating and fascinating, all at once.

What has been the defining moment in your life as a poet/writer?
I am currently working with a group here in Virginia, Ridgeline Writers. They are mostly short fiction writers. But they tolerate me and are have been encouraging (read nagging) me to get published. Hopefully next year!

How long have you been a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and what’s that like?
I joined members of the Guild before it was the Guild in 1978. Ed Walker was there, and Gwen Gunn. Later Gordy Whiteman. I dropped out in the later 80s when my children were growing up, and renewed my affiliation when on a sabbatical. I so appreciate the process of sharing work and receiving criticism, and the challenges of our work with Madison Art and Florence Griswold Museum. I think I’ve done some really good work as ekphrastic poetry.

What inspires your writing today?
Ah, I’m in a lull. Have written a few things “in the time of plague.” Depressing and not very good. Also wanting to write about working with glass, but it isn’t telling me any secrets yet.

Describe your poem-writing process.
Usually write in response to some line inspired by anything, write furiously, set it aside, revise and revise and revise.

Where do you like to write? With what?
In bed with a pencil.

Who are you favorite poets and authors?
Maxine Kumin, Denise Levertov, Sue Monk Kidd

What book are you currently reading? (poetry or not)
Just finished Harold Kushner’s Living a Life that Matters.

Any last words?
That’s all folks!


After living almost her whole life in CT, Karen Gronback Johnson and her husband retired three years ago to a farm in the mountains of Virginia. In her previous life Karen was a member of the clergy in East Haven, a police chaplain, and co-founder of East Haven United. She has been affiliated with members of Guilford Poets Guild since 1978 and now works with the Ridgeline Writers. Karen grows a lot of their own food and has recently taken up stained glass work.

Poet Nancy Meneely

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 poet Nan Meneely had to say:

How did you come to being a poet?
I began as a poet 71 years ago, so I’m a little vague on the details.

Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
I’m not sure about that (see above) but I know when I saw my first poem in print. That poem, entitled “Big and Small,” was published in my school’s literary journal when I was in first grade. I remember that the first two lines went like this: “Some things are big/some things are small.” The rest is consigned to the mists of history though I’m quite sure an elephant figured in it prominently.

What else do you write besides poetry? Do you have other creative pursuits?
I love writing what I’ve just decided to call Minute Memoirs, short vignettes covering memorable people and moments in my life. During my stint as a bureaucrat, I became adept at writing memoranda which framed problems without giving offense. I am gifted with fewer other kinds of creativity than anyone else I know. Oh, except I helped to create a wonderful child.

What has been the defining moment in your life as a poet/writer?
If I may substitute “most glorious” for “defining”, I’d have to say that moment–or, rather, series of moments–spent listening to my sister’s Oratorio version of my book, Letter from Italy, 1945. I was, of course, very familiar with the words, but hearing them sung in 180 voices changed my reception of them utterly. Though I knew the ending well, I was moved to tears by Sarah’s incredible final measures. So maybe the last moment of that last chord is the moment this question seeks to discover.

How long have you been a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and what’s that like?
I sought out the Guild the minute I moved to Guilford in 2007. It is now, as it has always been, a world apart, a place of deeply mutual trust where I hear caring critiques (as different from each other as are the Guild members) that I scribble furiously on my page and take home to figure out what to do with. In that same place, there is also always humor and irreverence and reverence and love.

What inspires your writing today?
I am lucky to be pushed by a variety of commissions, last year an opera for children (developed in collaboration with my sister) and right now lyrics for a series of songs to be set by an Austrian composer for a Lyme tenor (our Zoom meetings are amazing). But I write mostly out of a need to figure out what is happening today, inside and out, and find the words that get down to the bottom of the questions, even if not the answers.

Describe your poem-writing process.
Some thing, person, creature, notion suggests itself and I let my reasoning mind nap while ideas and pictures and words swim into what’s left. Some get down through the blessed editor and onto a page.

Where do you like to write? With what?
I have come to love writing on my computer. The words are so legible. And that blessed editor makes great use of cutting, pasting, moving, and, most important, erasing.

Who are you favorite poets and authors?
Egads. I’m old! I’ve had at least as many favorite poets as I have years. My first favorite poet, though, was Doctor Seuss. Now that I am a grandmother, he’s my favorite again. Brilliant.

What book are you currently reading? (poetry or not)
Sheltering in place, I find I’m reading (almost exclusively) emails, perfect for my shortening attention span. Lots of those are about poetry and/or actual poems. Others offer articles which engender laughter or tears or simple grinding of teeth. I like granddaughter Lilly’s books — quick, absorbing bits of literature. Yesterday we read Little Gorilla and Walter, the Farting Dog. Seriously.

Poem in Your Pocket Day is celebrated during National Poetry Month in April. What’s your favorite poem to carry about or share with others?
So many are needed now, the ones that remind us of what’s really important. I’d offer different poems to different people, on different occasions. For pure escape into quiet, though, I love James Wright’s “A Blessing.”

A BLESSING
James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

Any last words?
There are lots of ways to take pleasure in a long afternoon or evening. One of them is to write and write, for as many hours as your back holds up.


Nancy Meneely has been a member of the GPG since 2007. 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 noted by the Hartford Courant as one of thirteen important books published by Connecticut writers in 2013. Nan currently lives in Essex, CT.

Poet Patricia Horn O’Brien

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 poet Patricia Horn O’Brien had to say:

How did you come to being a poet?
I barely remember, except that time, sometime in high school that I fell madly (Yes, madly!) in love with a football player who, my father wondered, could possibly have the brainpower to play quarterback. In my broken heartedness I wrote a poem…something about walking away…slowly. Sadly. Well, you know…

Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
I’m not sure this is the same poem as the footballer poem but here’s the opening line…“What makes you smile, oh, fat faced moon….” Like that.

What else do you write besides poetry? Do you have other creative pursuits?
Over the years I’ve kept journals…sort of essays, I guess, trying to make sense of life’s day-to-day gifts…and more often, challenges. This daily routine has helped me to stay curious. Thankful. Heartened. Or, when disheartened, to have a place to work it through.

My other “creative pursuit” I like to think, was my work as a social worker in the community of inner cities…New York and Bridgeport…where I learned to listen well, to widen my embrace of suffering and to find endless sources of wisdom, kindness, bravery and all the rest.

With my son and family, I recently wrote a memoir about my surrendering my son, Richard, for adoption and finding him 20 years later. The Laughing Rabbit: A Mother, or Son, and the Ties That Bind. Writing that book was facilitated by my longstanding habit of keeping a journal…a story, after all, is just that! BTW many poems I’d written over the years kept intruding themselves into my story. At first, I shooed them away. Then, I decided that they were intrinsic to our saga and I decided to let them have their say. I’m so glad I did!.

What has been the defining moment in your life as a poet/writer?
The accidental death of my younger brother in an automobile accident (he was in his 30s) was an event that dropped me to my knees and brought me to my typewriter over and over again, looking for understanding. Comfort. To find the place of our story in humanity’s saga…We are, of course, not the only ones to suffer.

How long have you been a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and what’s that like?
About 14 – 15 years. One of my first meetings was at Pat Bullard’s house looking out over her rolling, careful garden surrounded by other, aspiring poets. I had moved only recently from Fairfield county and I remember thinking Guilford was heaven and, Imagine, so few miles from our last abode!!! And now, in 2020, I am still part of the heavenly chorus (so to speak) of our amazing group of poets where I am privileged to hear and offer poetry “in the works” and to be part of the workshop process.

What inspires your writing today?
Both misery and joy continue to move me. I think that being nothing more than fully awake gets me to poetry which, it seems, is always hovering close by. Of course, being awake takes some work. I’m a practicing Buddhist and find its call to meditation especially helpful in living fully…whether perfectly or, more likely, not!

Describe your poem-writing process.
My process is organic, I guess. Not seamlessly organic. Oh, no, it’s more like a mess…Just keeping awake to the mess. Noting it. Examining it. Getting a pen in my hand…or my lap top. My phone. And there’s a poem…or maybe not. I have also found workshops extremely helpful over the years…with Edwina Trentham, Don Barkin, Dick Allen, for example…to push me further than I ever thought I could go…and into areas I never dreamed would be/could be open to me.

Where do you like to write? With what?
Anywhere. Anytime. A keyboard is best for me. When I first heard about computers, I imagined poems would be waiting just on the other side of the screen. Bingo! Like that…Well, you know…

Who are you favorite poets and authors?
I am still in love with T.S. Eliot. Dostoyevsky. Melville. Kafka. (The dark outlook I found as a kid is still my go-to outlook.) My fellow poets in Guilford Poets Guild, CT River Poets are my constant source of inspiration and awe. Even levity!!

What book are you currently reading? (poetry or not)
The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman. Lighthead by Terrance Hayes.

Any last words?
Yes. Be sure to write. Don’t be shy or let modesty dictate your behavior. Be sure to share what you write. The connection between writer and reader is where all the magic and the fun and the wisdom and the perfect confusion resides…


Patricia Horn O’Brien is a graduate of Columbia School of Social Work and has worked and volunteered as a social worker throughout her adult life. She’s a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and co-founded CT River Poets. She initiated the ongoing program, Paintings and Poetry, at Florence Griswold Museum. Her recent book, a memoir, The Laughing Rabbit: A Mother, A Son, and the Ties that Bind, chronicling the surrender of her son for adoption in 1962, her search for him, and their reunion in 1982, is available on Amazon or from the author at patriciaobrien1937@gmail.com. Pat is the author of When Less Than Perfect is Enough and Poet Laureate of Old Saybrook.

7 Poems to Read in Honor of Earth Day

“Since the origins of poetry itself, many of literature’s greatest poets have paid homage to nature with their words. From a single bending blade of grass to the starry expanse of the night sky, and everything in between, composers of verse have been humbled, and moved, and inspired by the beauty, the complexity, and the surprises of the natural world — and they’ve written the poetry to prove it. So this Earth Day, one perfect way to mark the holiday is by reading some gorgeous poetry about nature and the environment.” — E. Ce Miller, BUSTLE

CLICK HERE to see 7 Poems to Read in Honor of Earth Day

(Photo by Jen Payne)

Poet Gwen Gunn

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 poet Gwen Gunn had to say:

How did you come to being a poet?
I played at writing poetry from high school days, but got serious when moving to Guilford and becoming part of Richard Raymond’s workshop in the mid-seventies, the group that became Guilford Poets Guild.

Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
No. Fortunately.

What else do you write besides poetry? Do you have other creative pursuits?
I’ve recently taken up drumming.

What has been the defining moment in your life as a poet/writer?
It’s in the future.

How long have you been a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and what’s that like?
Forty-five years. I began while in diapers. At first it was messy.

What inspires your writing today?
The pandemic, of course. Climate disasters. Love and Beauty.

Describe your poem-writing process.
I get a thought or impression that whirls around in my head awhile before I write it down.

Where do you like to write? With what?
Anywhere, with anything.

Who are you favorite poets and authors?
Emily Dickinson, ambiguity and all. I admire poets who write imaginatively in narrative like Marilyn Nelson and Gray Jacobik, and those who dare to try to write political poems, with wit, like Gemma Matthewson, with loud ferocity, like Norman Marshall, and with quiet ferocity, like Carolyn Forche. I will never forget the latter speaking at the Yale Historical Society without notes her prose poem, “The Colonel,” soon after returning from corrupt El Salvador in the late seventies. I love Margaret Gibson’s amazing way of writing about our environment with rage and love, hope and despair, and all the poets in my writing groups who continue to be my support, my inspiration, and my dearest friends.

What book are you currently reading? (poetry or not)
Eleanor by Gray Jacobik, a fabulous biography in verse about Eleanor Roosevelt. A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14h Century by Barbara Tuchman. It puts our present state in perspective.

Poem in Your Pocket Day is celebrated during National Poetry Month in April. What’s your favorite poem to carry about or share with others?
I was going to say “Hope is a Thing with Feathers” by Emily Dickinson, but then I ran across this most-appropriate-for-this-month poem by W.S. Merwin:

SEPARATION

Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.

Any last words?
Not yet, thank God. (Sorry, couldn’t resist. Probably not the first to so respond.)


Gwen Gunn has had poems published in Connecticut River Review, Fresh Ink, and Caduceus, among other places. She co-edited the poetry magazine Embers. With her partner Norman Marshall she performs Poetry’s Greatest Hits. Her book of poetry and paintings, Tastes, is for sale at the Clinton Art Gallery.