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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: Marie Harris, Barrington

It seems fitting that Marie Harris be the 2nd featured poet on our Showcase.  NH Poet Laureate 1999-2004, is a writer, teacher, editor and businesswoman. In 2003, with the NH Writer's Project, she produced the first-ever gathering of state poets laureate. She has served as writer-in-residence at elementary and secondary schools throughout New England, written freelance articles for publications including the NY Times, the Boston Globe, NH Sunday News, and Corvette Fever. Harris is the author of four books of poetry--the most recent of which is YOUR SUN, MANNY: A Prose Poem Memoir--and is the editor of several poetry anthologies. Her two books for children are G is for GRANITE: A New Hampshire Alphabet, and PRIMARY NUMBERS: A New Hampshire Number Book. She is currently working on a prose poem project involving America 's first female composer, Amy Beach.

-- Pat Fargnoli

Marie HarrisOf her featured poem "Western Grebe," Marie writes:

"As I write poems occasioned by, say, a book I've read or places I've
visited, I often weave my fascination with birding into the lines. This poem takes that notion even a step further. I was invited to North Dakota and the second gathering of state poets laureate. North Dakota laureate, Larry Woiwode, asked each of us to compose a poem on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition. This was my offering."

Western Grebe

Aechmophorous occidentalis
Sun-setting spear-bearer

On any one of his long-strided walks
near the Mandan settlement that first fall,
Meriwether Lewis encountered all manner of shorebirds
and ducks plying the sloughs.
Naturalist, explorer, he shot one of each.
Taxidermist, he sent specimens back East.
Diarist, he described each one shot to the last pinfeather.

I write in my journal
(a letter to you from the West)

...the wind that flattens the tall grass prairie
and keeps blackbirds and meadowlarks low,
deafens foraging waterfowl
to my slow advance.

I am seeing for the first time

for the first time! imagine!

long-legged, blue-legged avocets
giddily spinning phalaropes
the thin-necked grebe with its sharp bill and red eye

So would you, reader,
be my correspondent,
my accomplice?

My Jefferson.


For more information about Marie Harris....


Click here for a list of previous Poet Showcases


Last updated: September 19, 2007

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