Poet Norman Thomas Marshall

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 Norman Thomas Marshall had to say:

How did you come to being a poet?
Who says I am? I write down thoughts and images as they occur. If they are longer than a page, they are prose. Shorter than that, they are either poetry or trash.

Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
Seventh grade. Christmas poem. Denounced childhood greed.

What else do you write besides poetry?
Prose. Plays.
Do you have other creative pursuits
Yes.

What has been the defining moment in your life as a poet/writer?
When my friend Burt, who was reading a bit of my prose, not knowing I had written it, said a nice thing about the writer.

How long have you been a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and what’s that like?
Three years. I am a benefactor of nepotism.

What inspires your writing today?
The hope of being noticed and complimented.

Describe your poem-writing process.
When the breeze blows a verse my way I seize it, suck its blood, disembowel it, devour it and claim divine inspiration.

Where do you like to write?
In my little antic garret where I watch the sun rise and the bluebirds cavort.
With what?
My ‘Word’ program. I cannot write longhand because nobody, including me can read my handwriting.

Who are you favorite poets and authors?
Chaucer, Clemens, Faulkner, Dylan Thomas, Ronald Tavel, Gwen Gunn.

What book are you currently reading? (poetry or not)
Eleanor by Gray Jacobik, Gilgamesh.

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 am regarded as a very masculine dude. I would not be caught dead with a poem in my pocket.

Any last words?
We’ll find out when I croak.
 


Norman Thomas Marshall is a veteran of thirty-two 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 shown on the popular children’s TV program Sesame Street. (Photo by Pam Johnson, Guilford Courier)

Moses Gunn Play Company Presents “John Brown: Trumpet of Freedom”

“One cannot really understand American history without understanding the role played by John Brown,” says actor and writer Norman Thomas Marshall. He will perform a one-man play, “John Brown: Trumpet of Freedom,” based on the 19th-century abolitionist’s life, on Saturday, February 29, at 2 p.m. at the Guilford Free Library, 67 Park St., Guilford.

Marshall plays more than 30 characters in the play, including such diverse personalities as Harriet Tubman and the notorious slaveowner J.E.B. Stuart. Marshall co-authored the work with George Wolf Reily, who also directed this performance. They have been developing and fine-tuning the play over the past 20 years as it has toured the country.

One critic wrote, “Norman Marshall single-handedly brings John Brown and a swarming host of his contemporaries to vivid, full-blooded life in this powerful, passionate and richly rewarding work.”

Marshall won the prestigious Gold Medal for Drama for his portrayal of John Brown in the 2019 National Veterans Creative Arts Competition, sponsored by the Department of Veteran Affairs.

The Friends of the Library is sponsoring this event, admission is free, and refreshments will be provided.

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.

Moses Gunn Play Company: “The Sunshine Boys”

 


Moses Gunn Play Company presents:
“The Sunshine Boys” by Neil Simon

Saturday, May 4, 2:00 pm

at the Guilford Free Library
67 Park St, Guilford, CT 06437
Free and open to all. No registration necessary.

GPG members Gwen Gunn and Norman Thomas Marshall have recently created the Moses Gunn Play Company, dedicated to the memory of Moses Gunn. Together, they present staged and concert readings of dramatic and comedic plays for the shoreline community. Original and well-known plays will be presented as well as little known masterpieces.

The Moses Gunn Play Company presents The Virginia Monologues

The Moses Gunn Play Company presents The Virginia Monologues (part 2), produced and directed by GPG member Gwen Gunn, written by GPG member Norman Thomas Marshall. Performed by Norman and a mysterious mystery guest.

Sunday, September 9 @ 3PM
(Rain date Sunday, September 16.)

Refreshments and performance in the Gunn/ Marshall garden, 395 Nut Plains Road, Guilford.

A fundraiser for the 2018-2019 season. We don’t need much but we do need something! $20 suggested minimum donation but don’t stay away just because you’re broke. The poor are welcome!
Johnbrowndrama@gmail.com, 203-533-7340 or 610-428-4852

If you cannot attend- Aw-w-w-w-w! But all is not lost!
You can send a check to:
The Moses Gunn Play Company, 395 Nut Plains Road, Guilford, CT 06437
Bring a lawn chair or a blanket to sit on.

The Moses Gunn Play Company presents THE LONG CHRISTMAS DINNER

Guilford Poets Guild members Gwen Gunn and Norman Thomas Marshall have recently created The Moses Gunn Play Company, dedicated to the memory of Moses Gunn. It will present staged and concert readings of dramatic and comedic plays for the Shoreline community. Original and well-known plays will be presented as well as little known masterpieces. Our next presentation will be

THE LONG CHRISTMAS DINNER
by Thornton Wilder

Wednesday, January 3 at 6:00 PM

at the Guilford Free Library
67 Park Street, Guilford.
No admission fee. Refreshments.

Our first presentation was THE VIRGINIA MONOLOGUES, written and performed by Norman Thomas Marshall, directed by Gwen Gunn. A video recording can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC14DmUOspM.

For more information, email john.brown.drama@gmail.com

GPG Poet Norman Marshall Wins John Brown Society Silver Medallion

On Friday, December 1 at 7:00 PM, Guilford Poets Guild member Norman Thomas Marshall and Dr. Louis A. DeCaro will receive the John Brown Society Silver Medallion for ”outstanding cultural and intellectual contributions to the understanding of the Abolishment Movement and the continuing struggle for equality for the poor and despised.” The Awards will be conferred by Larry Lawrence, president of the John Brown Society. The ceremony will be held in Manhattan, in the Community Room of 125 West 109 Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues, just west of the C/B subway lines (exit from the rear of the “Uptown” train).

Click here for more about Norman’s work including several video clips!