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Arts & Artists  

New Hampshire Poet Showcase
From NH Poet Laureate, Walter E. Butts

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 continue to showcase poems by a number of New Hampshire Poets. The poets will be by my invitation only, but I plan to include those who are seriously working at their craft from many areas of the state.

Featured Poet: Charles W. Pratt, Brentwood

Charles PrattA former English teacher, mostly at Phillips Exeter Academy, I have been with my wife for the past 27 years owned and operated Apple Annie, a small pick-your own orchard in Brentwood. But I am about to become a former apple-grower also, as we are in the process of selling the orchard to another couple in order to ensure that it continues to provide pleasure and good fruit to the community.

Books include In the Orchard (Tidal Press; an American Library Association notable book for 1986); Still Here (2008, winner of the Finishing Line Press Poetry Prize), and, just out, From the Box Marked Some Are Missing, New and Selected Poems, Volume 1 in the Hobblebush Books Granite State Poets Series.

I have one wife, two children and five grandchildren. "Work" is my most recent poem; what is said above and in the epigraph will explain how it came to be written. 

Out of Work

             On May 11 of this, our last year in the orchard,
             a freeze destroyed the crop.

All summer the apple trees flared bouyant
In the absence of apples. Branches reached up,
Reached out;  the mower passed easily under.
Leaves grew broad and abundant. We thought
Of Sundays in well-kept parks, picnics
On the grass, beauty without function,
Unless to be beautiful itself is function,
And felt ourselves vacant – the more so for knowing
That though the branches waved in unison
Like bleachered baseball fans, fat buds
Studded them; they were already at work
Making next year’s harvest, next year
When the great gate shuts us out to wander,  
Gardener groundless, poet with no theme.


For more information about Charles W. Pratt visit:


Click here for a list of previous Poet Showcases

Last updated: February 1, 2011

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