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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: Maren C. Tirabassi, Portsmouth

Maren TirabassiMaren C. Tirabassi is the author of fourteen books. New this year are Caring for Ourselves while Caring for our Elders, Footlights and Fairy Dust - Matt and Maria go to the Theatre and Before the Amen. Her 2004 book Transgendering Faith was nominated for a LAMBDA Award. Maren is a former Portsmouth, New Hampshire Poet Laureate and for that program she edited Portsmouth Unabridged. She has three books of poetry and has published in a wide range of poetry journals over the past twenty years. Maren leads programs sponsored by the NH Humanities Council in their Literature and Medicine program, Humanities on the Go! and Speculate a series of science fiction and fantasy programs for libraries. Maren travels throughout the country facilitating workshops on creative worship, youth ministry and liturgical writing and she teaches memoir and poetry in a wide range of settings from high school to senior center. An ordained United Church of Christ pastor, Maren has served seven churches over the last thirty years and she currently is the Pastor of Union Congregational UCC in Madbury, New Hampshire. She lives in Portsmouth with her husband Donald and dog Shade.

Of her featured poem, Maren writes:

This poem is a tribute to the hospitality of the good folks at Northwood Congregational Church, UCC, who welcomed a funeral for a local Buddhist during the Christian sacred season of Lent. There was no moment of hesitation at the sanctuary alterations that greeted and comforted those who grieved. One of the most important things to me as poet and pastor is to open doors to all the possibilities for human experience of the Divine. I was able to tuck Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism into these lines and would have included Muslim, Shinto, Baha'i, and Hindu thought, but that would have turned the poem into a tract!

Sacred Space

Buddha under the
rice grains, lotus, incense
balanced on a rack of hymnals.

The funeral is prepared
in the congregational church
for the man who taught
Tai chi,
and his students do their forms
in the aisles, the chancel,

quiet, graceful,
round movements,
with the arms of their loss.

Speaking for God,
Isaiah said -
my house shall be a house
of prayer
for all people.

Jesus of Nazareth and
Siddhartha Gautama,

Psalm or mantra  -
the wind of all our turning.

For more information about Maren C. Tirabassi visit:


Click here for a list of previous Poet Showcases

Last updated: November 20, 2007

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