Tag Archives: Poetry

Featured Poet: Juliana Harris

Juliana Harris remembers writing her first poem as a freshman in high school. The poem went on to win a prize in a statewide contest and she has been writing poems and essays ever since. Her work has appeared in publications across the country, and she has published two novels, a chapbook of her poems (Portraits) and is currently at work on her first mystery. An award-winning professional actress, Julie is also a singer/songwriter with two CDs to her credit. She and guitarist, Stephen Roane, tour the state as The Harris/Roane Duo. She currently serves as president of the Guilford Poets Guild, and was a member of the committee that produced the Guild’s third anthology, Our Changing Environment.


Lillian Hellman, Eat Your Heart Out

Mother chose the perfect hat
for her appearance
in front of the HUAC—

a snappy straw boater
trimmed in black
with just a wisp of a veil.

I can see her now,
amid the chaos
of pounding gavels and popping flashbulbs,

demure and brave in black crepe—
the hat adding just the right note
of insouciance.

What a pity
the committee
never summoned her.


On the Train to Manhattan

I have a panoramic view
of the incoming passengers.
A soldier boards at Stratford,
dressed in sage and khaki camouflage,
combat boots the color of desert sand.
He turns and takes a seat
revealing the face of an El Greco saint,
stares straight ahead through sunken eyes
until disembarking at Grand Central
where he is swallowed in the throng.

I pray his tour of duty has come to an end.


Past Glory

Autumn lingers

on this winding lane.

A naked maple,

once splendid,

basks in the radiant carpet

of its fallen leaves.


My Sister Is Afraid

she is losing her mind.
which is not surprising,
considering the strain of madness
which pervades our family
like a dark stream
snaking its way
through an underground cavern.

Our grandmother
began her descent into despair
with blinding migraines
progressing into a darkness
which kept her immobilized.
When I asked her how she could endure shock therapy
she answered, If you felt as I do,
you would do anything to make it stop.

Our aunt,
gifted by vengeful gods
with beauty and talent,
fought the same demon
in a different way.
Her symptoms manifest
in maladies
which literally crippled her,
leaving her helpless on her own bed of pain.

And now the cup has passed
to my sister,
who echoes words
I remember from other lips.
…..I can’t cope.
…..I’ m afraid.
And I wonder
why I have been spared.

It’s a Celebration!

In 2019, the Guilford Poets Guild marked its 20th Anniversary, both in spirit and with the publication of its third anthology of poems, Our Changing Environment.

This remarkable group of local writers includes award-winning, published shoreline poets, two poets laureate, septuagenarians, octogenarians, and a few newly-minted nonagenarians — many of whom gathered on the eve of the New Year to celebrate.

Pictured above are poets Gordy Whiteman, Juliana Harris, Jane Muir, and Norman Thomas Marshall.

Copies of the 20th Anniversary maybe purchased at GPG events, from Breakwater Books in Guilford, and by clicking on the BUY NOW button below.

Guilford Poets Guild’s 20th Anniversary Anthology
Our Changing Environment
8 x 8 paperback, 128 pages
ISBN: 978-0-578-55715-1
$20.00 (plus $2.75 shipping per book)

A good time was had by all…

On Thursday, November 14, the Guilford Poets Guild celebrated the publication of its 20th Anniversary Anthology, Our Changing Environment, with a special reading by poets featured in the book, including Laura and Victor Altshul, Barbara Batt, Sherri Bedingfield, Daniel Boroughs, Jill Carter, Dolores Hayden, Roberta Whitman Hoff, Joan Hofmann, Celeste Markle, John Muro, Isabelle Paris, Michael Pedevillano (reading for Tony Pedevillano), Stephen Roane, Krista Surprenant, Karen Torop, and Mary Buell Volk. Also in attendance was Carin Roaldset, whose photograph speaks volumes on the cover of the new book.

Gordy Whiteman was the superb emcee, weaving anecdotes and introductions for more than 50 new and long-time fans of the Guilford Poets Guild, including the anthology editor Edwina Trentham, and the anthology committee chair and book designer Jen Payne.

On Thursday, December 12, the annual Holiday Roundtable event will feature additional readings from the 20th Anniversary Anthology by members of the Guilford Poets Guild. Please watch for details.

CLICK HERE for more about the 20th Anniversary Anthology

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Fall Poetry Extravaganza

New Poetry Chapbook Explores Death, Grief, and Gratitude

 

Three Chairs Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of its newest book, Waiting out the Storm, a collection of poems about death, grief, and gratitude by Branford writer and Guilford Poets Guild member Jen Payne.

Reflecting on the sudden loss of a close friend, Payne returns, as she does in her past books LOOK UP! and Evidence of Flossing, to the solace of nature. On the opening pages, she allows the poet Rilke to remind the reader “Through the empty branches the sky remains. It is what you have. Be earth now, and evensong. Be the ground lying under that sky.” Written from the shoreline of Connecticut and the wide and windswept beaches of Cape Cod, this book is an intimate look at life transitions and how we cope with the unexpected.

Payne is the owner of Words by Jen, a graphic design and marketing company in Branford. She has published four books: LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness (2014), Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind (2017), FLOSSSING (2019), and Waiting out the Storm (2019). Installations of her poetry were featured in exhibitions at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven and the Kehler Liddell Gallery (New Haven). 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, the Connecticut Poetry Society, Guilford Art Center, and the New Haven Arts Council.

Copies of Waiting Out the Storm (5.5 x 8.5, paperback, 44 pages, $15.00) may be purchased at the Martha Link Walsh Gallery in Branford, and online from Three Chairs Publishing, www.3chairspublishing.com.

Author photo by Christine Chiocchio.

October 13: Poetry Reading at Mercy by the Sea

Members of the Guilford Poets Guild and the Connecticut River Poets will be featured in a reading on Sunday, October 13 at 4:30 at Mercy By The Sea, 167 Neck Road, Madison, CT.

The members of both groups include published, established poets including several area poets laureate.The inspiration for these poems will be the original artwork by Old Saybrook artist Judy Perry that is on display in the Mary C. Daily Gallery located at Mercy By The Sea through November 12, 2019. The title of Perry’s solo show is “She is Water, Healing Sources, Healing Forces.” The paintings include women’s faces, seascapes (like the one shown above), and marsh scenes created in watercolor and pastel.

In Julie Weavers recent blog she described Judy’s work as “a combination of loose but methodical strokes forcing one to linger on the surface of the painting, marveling at the sculpted pigment. Perry is what I would call a sculptor trapped in a painters body.”

Join CT River Poets and the Guilford Poets Guild as they are inspired by Perry’s artwork creating paintings with words in ekphrastic poetry. The joining of two creative venues results in a powerfully emotional experience. There will be a full moon labyrinth walk following the reading, all are invited.

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.