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. Arts & Artists

New Hampshire Poet Showcase
From NH Poet Laureate, Pat Fargnoli

At my request, The NH Arts Council is providing me with a link to the poet laureate page on their website in order that I may showcase poems by a number of New Hampshire Poets. The poets will be by my invitation only, but I plan to include both the famous and the less famous ....those who are seriously working at poetry craft from many areas of the state. A different poet and poem will be presented every 2 weeks.

Featured Poet: Andrew Periale, Strafford

Andrew PerialeAndrew Periale has spent the past 25 years as a puppeteer, performer and playwright. Given the uncertain earning potential in these professions, "poet" seemed like a career move well within his risk profile. With his wife, Bonnie, he has been the longtime editor of the nationally distributed PUPPETRY INTERNATIONAL magazine. They also have toured for many years as the Emmy-nominated Perry Alley Theatre. "The Meter Maid" was published in a recent issue of LIGHT QUARTERLY, and his adaptation of George Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM opens at Philadelphia’s Mum Puppettheatre in April. He is the current poet laureate of Rochester

Of his showcase poem, Andrew writes:

I lead a number of creative writing classes at area high schools, and sometimes I scribble along with my young artists, particularly during those quick "kick off" exercises at the beginning of class. Working from the purloined prompt (pick-pocketed from a Portsmouth poet) to write about a cat (not your own) who has nothing to live for, I penned this gem with the sense of surprise my cat displays at the appearance of an extremely large fur ball.

Cat at Sundown

No doubt about it: the cat’s a pill—
sharpens claws on table legs,
refuses to be pampered,
yowls incessantly—
and one that’s really hard to swallow.

But now the cat’s gone hollow.
Hard to say what’s different—
he still perches on his pillow
yet his eyes no longer follow me
across the room. Mice come and go
without disturbing Kitty’s catatonia.
This beast I lately loathed
I now bear to and from his litter box,
fuss over each successful bowel movement.

Last month, he wouldn’t let me touch him,
now he suffers these indignities without complaint.
That’s how it goes with families:
One has notched another’s ear,
pissed in an inconvenient place
or knocked a treasured heirloom to oblivion.
In the end, the only thing that matters
is to be there,
stroke the soft, warm fur
and wait for night to come.


For more information about Andrew Periale visit:

Click here for a list of previous Poet Showcases

Last updated: April 23, 2008

 
 
 
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