Tag Archives: Poem

August Poetry Reading Features Guilford Poets Guild and Madison Art Society

One of the Guilford Poets Guild’s favorite events is the ekphrastic poetry reading held in conjunction with the Madison Art Society’s Annual Art Exhibit. The exhibit is currently on view at Guilford Art Center’s Mill Gallery where the poetry reading will take place on Wednesday, August 14 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Ekphrastic poetry takes a painting, sculpture, or other artwork as its inspiration. For this event, members of the GPG will read their poems in response to selected art that is part of the 44th Annual Madison Art Society exhibit (July 29 – August 16) which includes more than 100 paintings and sculptures.

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, the Guilford Poets Guild is a group of 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. Its upcoming anthology, Our Changing Environment, celebrates the Guild’s 20th anniversary and will be available this fall!

The August poetry reading is free and open to the public.

Poetry Reading at Clinton Art Gallery’s Poetry Place

On Sunday, August 18, The Clinton Art Gallery’s Poetry Place will present a reading by Antoinette Brim, Reginald Flood, and GPG member Jen Payne. This will be the fifth reading in the 2019 Sunday Series, which each month draws an extremely enthusiastic audience, who delight in listening to the work of some of the State’s finest poets, including a variety of talented and entertaining open mic readers. As always, the August 18 reading will take place in the Laurel Ann Olcott Art Center, 20 East Main Street in the heart of Clinton, beginning at 2.00 PM. In addition to enjoying excellent poetry, the audience has the opportunity to browse through a rich display of arts and crafts for sale at the gallery, and learn about the many writing and art workshops offered at the gallery, which was recently awarded a Best on the Shoreline 2019 Reader’s Choice Award. The reading is free and open to the public, and audience members are encouraged to come early, as seating is limited. Wine, cool drinks, snacks, and sweets will be served, and books will be available for sale and signing following the reading.

Antoinette Brim, author of These Women You Gave Me, Icarus in Love and Psalm of the Sunflower, is a Cave Canem Foundation fellow, a recipient of the Walker Foundation Scholarship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poetry, memoir, and critical work has appeared in various journals and magazines, as well as in anthologies. A printmaker and collage artist, Brim recently exhibited both poetry and monoprints in Jazz: An exhibition of Poetry, Prints, and Photography at the Sumner McKnight Crosby Jr. Gallery in New Haven, and Sheroes, in partnership with the Alliance of Women Veterans at the Grove in New Haven. A sought-after speaker, editor, educator, and consultant, Brim is an Associate Professor of English at Capital Community College.

Antoinette Brim is a native of south-central Los Angeles, who now lives in a small town in southeastern Connecticut with his family. He is the author of Coffle (Willow Books 2012) and Refugeed (Willow Books 2018) and has been awarded a National Endowment of the Arts Literature Fellowship in Poetry and a National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Fellowship. He is an associate professor of English and Coordinator of African American Studies at Eastern Connecticut State University, where he teaches African American literature, creative writing, and composition. He is a Cave Canem Fellow.

Jen Payne has published three books: LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness (2014), Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind (2017), and the chapbook Waiting out the Storm (2019). Her poetry has been featured in exhibitions at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven and the Kehler Liddell Gallery (New Haven), and in Chapter & Verse: Return, a curated poetry event. Her work has been published by The Aurorean, Six Sentences, the Story Circle Network, and WOW! Women on Writing; in the international anthology Coffee Poems: Reflections on Life with Coffee; and in The Perch, a publication by the Yale Program for Recovery & Community Health. She is a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and the Connecticut Poetry Society, and is the owner of Words by Jen, a graphic design and marketing company in Branford.

For more information contact Pat Barone at pattonybarone@aol.com or 203-627-4148.

Featured Poet: Evelyn Atreya

Evelyn Atreya lives in Guilford where she is a member and past president of the Guilford Poets Guild. She is a member of the Connecticut Poetry Society and attends its Greater New Haven Chapter workshops. Her poems have appeared in Caduceus, Long River Run, San Diego Poetry Annual, Plainsongs, Connecticut River Review, and in a chapbook, Olives, Now and Then, honoring Donald Hall on his 83rd birthday. Her first book, Regarding Rock, was published by Grayson Books in November 2015. Evelyn also is involved in the Guilford community as an active member of both the Guilford Rotary Club and the Leete’s Island Garden Club.


Summer Sunday Memory

In the January cold,
wearing layers of protection
boots, hat, and gloves
as I scraped my windshield,
I imagined a lazy beach day:
wearing just my bathing suit,
I walk barefoot in the sand,
jump into the cool, salty water,
then sit in my beach chair
to soak up the sun
and read on my Kindle.

But, today, on this July Sunday
it is smoldering hot.
Without flipflops, the sand
burns the soles of my feet.
There is no cooling off
in the water because a bloom
of jellyfish is drifting by.
The beach is crowded with umbrellas
that offer spots of comforting shade,
but sitting and relaxing is impossible
because of pesky horseflies.

I know next winter,
I will daydream again about my ideal
summer Sunday beach day
completely forgetting
these discomforts and irritations.
Strangely, in summer
I never find myself
daydreaming of winter.


Sound Choices

This summer afternoon
gulls and terns soar
over the rippling tide
with relaxed assurance
that hunger will be satisfied.
Each repeatedly dives
to catch a glimmering bite.

Then I see one young tern,
wings frenetically beating,
hover like a helicopter
just above the water.
With a silvery fish in its beak
and another swimming below,
it must choose one.

I understand, I think to myself.
I, too, wild with desire
have faced impossible choices.


Locked Out

He shuffles to the front porch
and sits silently staring into space.
I ask for the key to the shed.
He shakes his head, not knowing.

A dumpster sits in the driveway
overflowing with the old and used.
Emptying the shed is the final
preparation for Dad’s move.

Sitting there, Dad reminds me
of that padlocked old, green shed,
both weathered with signs
of fading, flaking and rust spots.

Both hold mysteries locked in.
I’m locked out of both.


Coming Clean

This morning a teenager
arrives at the coffee shop
wearing a breezy summer dress
and heavy-duty combat boots.

I’m reminded of the snowy
egret’s radiant white plumes,
spindly legs and feet tucked
into enormous yellow galoshes.

Perhaps both, wading into life’s
murky waters, seek protection
so they come out clean,
even if they muck-up.

GPG Poets Featured in International Anthology

The Guilford Poets Guild is well-represented in Coffee Poems: Reflections on Life with Coffee, a new anthology from World Enough Writers.

Editor Lorraine Healy explains, “Whether central to the poem or sitting on a side table, a mere accessory; whether a prop in an internal conversation with a you absent these 25 years or a desperately needed substance without which there is no facing the day, a cup of coffee inhabits each of these poems…Breathe in the scent and may it keep you awake.”

Coffee Poems contains 167 richly-roasted, verbally aromatic poems by poets from 34 states, 5 provinces, and 12 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, France, Ghana, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Singapore, Spain, and the United States.

Included among the 139 international poets are GPG members Gwen Gunn (“Cafe Cilantro Haven”), Patricia O’Brien (“Midnight Call”), Jen Payne (“Measuring Water by Sound”), and Ed Walker (“Drifting through Quarters”).

Click here for more information and where to buy copies Coffee Poems.

Featured Poet: Carol Altieri

Carol Leavitt Altieri is retired from teaching English, American literature in New Haven Public Schools. Published five books of poetry and winner of the CT Environmental Award for helping to save the Griswold Airport Property in Madison, CT. She loves hiking, reading and the whole world of nature. She is a member of the Guilford Poets Guild.


Blessed Black Cherry Tree
The black cherry is native found from Maine to Florida. Used by native Americans in spiritual practice. Lakota people harvest its branches to mark the end of ceremonial ground. They use its sticks to hold red flags as a prayer to their ancestors.

I wedged myself within the branches
of a black cherry tree,
glad to be positioned there
next to our red barn.

Once its young bark was smooth, reddish- purple,
now plated, leathery, dark gray.
Silver-green lichen scatters on inner tree.
Saw- edged, gold leaves curl, touch one another,
form a pattern against purple- blue sky.
A delicious legacy and nectar for bees.

A Baltimore Oriole flies out from its basket nest
hanging from a fork of the cherry tree.
It catches a spider, then swoops away.
Dressed in rich plumage of flame orange and black,
a pair sings with rich whistles and chatter.

In spring , clusters of hanging blossoms
droop from the stem like locks of white hair.
Fragrant snow squalls of dropping petals
fall when they must.

When I return, I hope you’re still standing
there in your rightful place,
never to be hewn down.


Cedars of Lebanon

Here where mountaintops snare clouds floating
in from the Mediterranean ,we saunter
through the cathedral arched forests
of cedars. Once vast, used for temples and palaces
across Assyria, Persia, Egypt ,Greece and Lebanon.
They enhanced the territory of the Bible
where Jesus revealed himself to his followers.

Enormous trees seem as high as the Cliffs of Babylon
spill light through tracery of limbs.
Some stand alone with distinctive shapes,
others insinuate themselves into relations
with neighbors offering their majesty and homage.
Lines of solid branches crosshatch trunks
send roots into craggy limestone.

Branches in tiers sway in the wind.
Oval blue-green cones break open, scatter seeds.
Fragrant with balsam perfumed resin,
cedar trees intertwine with history of 10,000 years.

Now they must migrate up the mountains
chasing the cold winters
to escape warming, the conflicts of war lords
and colonizers.

Emissaries of the parade of civilizations
and what we owe them, Cedars of Lebanon
tremble. They have seen the past. Will
they see the future?


A Titanic Colony

In our cow pasture
amoebas exude through
New Hampshire soil
clonal, single-celled,
a vast and slippery empire,
40 feet across and genetically
identical.
A giant organized colony
spread by cows in muck.

A billion strong, they
cooperate and coordinate,
reproduce
by shuttling cell parts around
and assisting each other
in dirt and dung.

Scientists say they are persistent
living everywhere underfoot
nurturing life and death
feeding elements on
Earth, never running off
the land, faithful to their place.

Shouldn’t we worship
the ground we walk on,
instead of mocking
and blacktopping it over?

GPG Hosts Sharon Olson, Author of Will There Be Music?

 

The Guilford Poets Guild is pleased to host member Sharon Olson for an afternoon of poetry on Saturday, April 27 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Guilford Free Library. She will read from her new book of poetry, Will There Be Music?

Olson is a retired librarian, a Stanford graduate, with an M.L.S. from U.C. Berkeley and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Oregon. Her chapbook Clouds Brushed in Later (1987) won the Abby Niebauer Memorial Chapbook Award. A previous full-length book of poems, The Long Night of Flying, was published by Sixteen Rivers Press in 2006. Her second book Will There Be Music? was published by Cherry Grove Collections in early 2019. She has published (with co-author Chris Schopfer) numerous articles about the Sandford family of New Jersey in The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey. After retiring from the Palo Alto City Library she and her husband moved initially to Guilford, Connecticut, and presently live in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. She is a member of Cool Women, a poetry performance ensemble based in Princeton, New Jersey. She has also been a member of the Guilford Poets Guild since 2008.

Remember to bring your own poem to share during the Open Mic. Refreshments will be served after the reading, and Olson’s books will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to the public.

The Guilford Poets Guild, celebrating its 20th anniversary, is a group of poets from Guilford and the shoreline area who meet regularly to share poems and promote a general appreciation of poetry in 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 the Madison Art Society and the Florence Griswold Museum. Watch for its 20th Anniversary Anthology being published later this year.

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.

April is National Poetry Month!


National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.

Join the Guilford Poets Guild for our SECOND THURSDAY POETRY READING on April 11 featuring poet Margaret Gibson. (Thursday, 6:30pm at the Guilford Free Library, click here for details.)

Then click here to discover more than 30 other ways you can celebrate National Poetry Month yourself!