NEW! NH YOUTH POET LAUREATE! TO NOMINATE A HIGH SCHOOLER OR APPLY FOR THE 2017-2018 POSITION, GO TO THE POETRY SOCIETY OF NH SITE. From there, click on "News" at the top, then "apply to be the next NH Youth Poet Laureate," & click on "read more/application form."

Overview of what this Poet Laureate has been up to since being appointed:


Set up NHPL facebook page. (Search for “NH State Poet Laureate” and “like” it.) I post all readings & events anyone sends me & other poetry-related news relevant to NH.

Compiled a list of reading series around the state. (See below, in red. If anyone knows of others, please let me know.)

Compiled a list of current and recently-deceased published poets in NH, alphabetical & including their towns & counties, to distribute to schools & libraries who want to know who’s nearby. This needs updating (constantly!).

Began work on the print
Poets’ Showcase anthology, with Sid Hall at Hobblebush.

Wrote "occasional" poem for the Community College system.


Poets’ Showcase—anthology of NH poets, published in March 2015. (See below for more details & how to order. In purple.)

Organized simultaneous poetry events at libraries all around the state for Poetry Month, with the help of the State Library listserve & Michael York.

Organized & hosted the one-day poetry “festival” event in Concord, featuring an all-day series of readers, & book sales.

Wrote "occasional" poem for Governor Maggie Hassan's re-inauguration.

Interval: Poems Based on Bach’s Goldberg Variations, March 2015.)

2016 More projects brainstormed & coming to fruition in:


Collaborating with VT Poet Laureate Chard deNiord on a poetry anthology,

Introduced NH’s first Youth Poet Laureate, Ella McGrail. Worked with NH Poetry Society, the Arts Council, & poetry teacher Andrew Fersch, to write up public guidelines & application forms for our first full-year official YPL, a position that will begin in September of this year. Guidelines & forms will be posted or linked on the websites of the PSNH, NHSCA, & NHWP, as well as on mine and the NHPL facebook page in May. (See below, in turquoise, for more on our YPL Ella, & how to apply for the 2017-2018 position.)

In April: After expenses, raised $700 for Manchester’s ORIS (Organization for Refugee & Immigrant Success) with a 2-hour poetry event held in Peterborough, with an ORIS representative, featured readers & open mic, refreshments, music, & art. Attended by about 50 people.

Collaborating with new Portsmouth Poet Laureate Mike Nelson, began writing workshops (ongoing) with IINE (International Institute of NE) for refugees & immigrants to find creative expression while improving their English. Will include a community sharing event after each 6-week session, & each student will be able to work with a NH author serving as a mentor. (Anyone interested in volunteering for this—please contact me!)

Got permission from the Walpole, NH selectmen, raised funds from local businesses, chose two poems from NH poets (one by former PL & current Walpole resident Pat Fargnoli, & one by Dublin School artist in residence Henry Walters), & hired a stenciler—to commence with the first NH town’s “Raining Poetry” project. This will go “live” in May (stenciling poems on sidewalks with concrete protector, which will be invisible until it rains) & will get some press. I have letters in place for every step, with instructions, so that volunteers (any takers?) can take this now-streamlined project to more towns all over the state.

Gathered together all the NE Poets Laureate for a reading & discussion at the Mass. Poetry Festival, in May.

A Doubtful House, April 2017.)

General & ongoing:

Other place, populations I’ve worked with, or programs I’ve done, in addition to the refugee workshops, include: prisoners at Belknap in Laconia; the elderly; children—all ages, homeschool & school visits; churches; libraries; teachers (professional development); the mentally ill; workshops with NHWP & elsewhere; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day keynote address; etc.

Still in the works:

Raining Poetry going to more towns.

Developing a collection of 10 poetry curricula, complete with themes, readings, prompts, & guidelines, for educators (in collaboration with the NHWP).

Collaborating with the NH Women’s Caucus for the Arts to put up a traveling exhibit of interconnected art & poetry; for 2018.

Collaborating with Nashua arts groups for a large public art/poetry project for 2018.

That’s about it so far. Thanks so much for your support!

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New Hampshire has a Youth Poet Laureate! High school senior
Ella McGrail is a writer and activist from NH's Seacoast, an avid lover of the mountains, the ocean, and the written word. Ella is the author of one novel and countless poems (and is also a successful political speaker). She has twice been awarded Scholastic Gold Keys for her writing and has received numerous Silver Keys as well. Read about her in the article from April 24th's Seacoast News here.

More on the YPL, & how to nominate someone for the position, will be posted publicly in May (2017), here, & on the websites of the
NH State Council on the Arts & the Poetry Society of NH.

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Have you seen THE POETS SHOWCASE, Edited by Alice & Sidney Hall? It’s a gorgeous anthology of NH poets, compiled from the showcases originally curated and presented by former NH poets laureate Walter Butts & Patricia Fargnoli. About 200 pages of poetry, along with authors’ comments on the poems, & bios. Order it here!

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NH Poetry Reading Series

Compiled by The Poetry Society of New Hampshire and Alice B Fogel August 2014

  • Autumn Oracles.  Some Sunday afternoons each fall, 3pm open reading (1 poem per reader) followed by two featured readers.  Del Rossi’s Trattoria, Rt. 137 North, Dublin, NH  03444.  Contact:  Rodger Martin, rodgerwriter@myfairpoint.net
  • Beat Night is an 18 year old poetry reading originally started by Larry Simon held every 3rd Thursday of the month at 7pm upstairs at the Press Room in Portsmouth New Hampshire. What sets Beat night apart is that the writers get to read with a full band. They give a few words about the tone, style or mood they want for their piece and the band improvises something just for that. The results range from fun to amazing! Beat Night is a mutual exchange of inspiration between the writer, the band and the audience and it’s never the same thing twice. Join us for our next event! If you're Interested in being a featured reader for an upcoming Beat Night event email Mike Nelson at beatnightpress@gmail.com facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/beatnightpressroom/

*Cannan Meetinghouse Readings. Now in its 28th year, the Readings are held on four Thursday evenings in July in the sublime 18th century Meetinghouse in Canaan, NH. www.meetinghousereadings.wordpress.com Typically, each reading consists of one fiction reader along with a poet, essayist, biographer, or literary non-fiction writer. Contact: Phil Pochoda at ppochoda@gmail.com.

  • Conway Public Library Open Mic Night, 2nd Monday, 6-8pm March, May, July, & September. Conway Public Library, 15 Main Street, Conway.  http://www.conwaypubliclibrary.org Contact Olga Morrill at 603-447-5552 or omorrill@conwaypubliclibrary.org. Open Mic first hour, featured performer the second hour.

*Eagle Pond Authors’ Series, occasional Thursdays, 7pm, The Silver Center for the Arts at Plymouth State University, Plymouth NH 114 Main Street, Plymouth NH. Contact: Diane Jeffrey. Website: http://www.plymouth.edu/silver-center/category/season-events/eagle-pond-authors/ or www.silver.plymouth.edu For the past 17 years, the Eagle Pond Authors’ Series has celebrated great writing by some of the nation’s outstanding authors. This free series is a tribute to beloved poet and author Donald Hall, who is the heart and soul of this series and instrumental in bringing nationally and internationally revered poets to the PSU campus. For free tickets call the box office at 603-535-2787.

  • Effingham Writers' Night. Third Thursday of the month, 7pm, Effingham Public Library, Town House Road, Effingham, http://effingham.lib.nh.us/, Contact: Katie McCarthy, 651-9796, katiemccarthy@roadrunner.com, Featured Readers and Open Mic.

*First Friday Coffeehouse
, First Friday of the month, 7pm. First Unitarian Universalist Society of Exeter, 12 Elm Street, Exeter, NH, www.exeteruu.org, contact: Bob Moore, bmoore628@comcast.net. Featured Readers/Musicians and Open Mic.

  • Hyla Brook Reading Series. From May through September. Second Thursday of the month, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Robert Frost Farm, 122 Rockingham Rd (Rt 28), Derry, NH, http://www.robertfrostfarm.org, Contact: Robert Crawford, bobik9@aol.com. Featured Readers and Open Mic.

*Lampshade Poets. Reading night for local poets, 7–9pm at the Lampscapes showroom, 77 Gates Street, White River Junction [VT] and sometimes in nearby Lyme, NH. This group meets mostly monthly on a Thursday evening. Each future reading date is set monthly. Contact Dave Celone at: djcelone@gmail.com for information and the next reading date.

  • Moultonborough Evening of Poetry. First Tuesday of the month, 7:30pm, Moultonborough Public Library, 4 Holland St, Moultonborough, NH, http://moultonboroughlibrary.org/mpl/, Contact: Library (476-8895, mpublibrary@roadrunner.com). Featured Reader/Open Mic.

  • Poetry@WaterStreet. Second Wednesday of the month, 6:30pm, The Water Street Bookstore, 125 Water Street, Exeter, NH, http://www.waterstreetbooks.com , Contact: John Ferguson, jbf@fergus.com. Featured Reader and Open Mic.

  • Poetry Society of New Hampshire Monthly Reading Series. Third Wednesday of the month, 7pm, Gibson’s Bookstore, 45 South Main St., Concord, NH, http://www.gibsonsbookstore.com, Contact: Don Kimball, info@poetrysocietyofnewhampshire.org . Featured Readers and Open Mic.

  • Poets in the Attic. Fourth Thursday of the month, 7pm, The Country Bookseller, 23 N. Main St., Wolfeboro, NH, http://www.thecountrybookseller.com.  Contact: Gordon Lang, poetsintheattic@gmail.com , 539-4472.  Open Mic/no features.

  • Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program (PPLP) HOOT. First Wednesday of the month (except Summer break) 7pm, Café Espresso, 738 Islington St., Portsmouth http://pplp.org/ David Phreaner, Hoot MC, & Terry Karnan, Open Mic MC. Featured Readers and Open Mic.

  • Rochester Writers Night, 1st Thursday, 6pm, Crazy Crepes, 12 N. Main St. Rochester. Contact: Pat O’Brien, Rochester Poet Laureate, www.patobriensongsandstories.com. Featured Readers and Open Mic.

  • Serenity Poets. Third Monday each month, 6:30-8:30pm, Serenity Market & Café, 25 Sagamore Road, Rye, NH. A casual roundtable share for poetry and sometimes acoustical music. (Features in April, May, June, Sept., Oct., Nov.).  https://www.facebook.com/groups/358418627594371/ Hosted by Julie Dickson (jdickson55@yahoo.com) and John Simon.

  • Slam Free or Die. Every Thursday night, 7pm, Milly's Tavern, 500 N. Commercial St., Manchester, NH, http://www.facebook.com/slamfreeordie, Contact: Mark Palos, mark.palos@gmail.com.  All-ages show.  $3 cover. Featured Readers, Open Mic, Open Poetry Slam.

*Wind in the Timothy. Dudley Laufman, Canterbury

Word Barn— Sarah Anderson, Exeter, NH

  • Writes of Spring.  Some Sunday afternoons each spring, 3pm open reading (1 poem per reader) followed by two features.  Del Rossi’s Trattoria, Rt. 137 North, Dublin, NH  03444.  Contact:  Rodger Martin, rodgerwriter@myfairpoint.net