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Kimberly Cloutier Green Named Portsmouth Poet Laureate

Kimberly Cloutier GreenSEACOAST POETRY

Kimberly Cloutier Green of Kittery Point, ME, was named Monday night as the new Portsmouth Poet Laureate at ceremonies at Portsmouth City HallMs. Cloutier Green will serve a two-year appointment, until April of 2015, as the ninth Poet Laureate under the auspices of the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program. (Continued below) 

 

Outgoing Poet Laureate John-Michael Albert presented Cloutier Green with the ceremonial quill sculpture following the announcement by Portsmouth Mayor Eric Spear during the City Council meeting.  Mike was greeted with applause by the audience for his two years of service.

"The nominees," observed Cloutier Green, "are outstanding -- including poets whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals as well as in collections published by Pudding House, Diamond Press, and Autumn House. They share their lives as poets, readers, teachers, and collaborators with generous good will, grace, and dignity. I am deeply honored to have been selected from among such an esteemed group of writers."

 

Other nominees this year were Wayne Atherton of Kittery; Diana Durham of Portsmouth; Nancy Jean Hill of Stratham; Elizabeth Kirschner of Kittery Point; Kate Leigh of Portsmouth; and Tammi Truax of Portsmouth. All the nominees were introduced, asked to stand, and thanked with a round of applause as part of the ceremony. Ms. Cloutier Green introduced and read her poem "Bus Stop" at the ceremony.

 

Bus Stop


He's annoyed behind his paper

by the kid with rosy curls who spins

and spins, her mother unable to still her,

and you're sure as he checks his watch

he's thinking it better come soon-

 

and now she's singing, God help her,

a tune for the woman in a gold sarong

a song about colors you can't help humming

until a girl sits next to you who's scary or sore,

every part of her pierced: her nose, brow and belly,

each stab an adamant wound, gem-red

and strangely Darwinian-

 

then just as it's clear you're headed for extinction

the bus wheezes into its bay like an ark

and you see the driver's no more than a boy

a happy-faced kid standing too straight

his hand outstretched for your tattered ID

 

and there's a moment-only just-

you're certain you're going

not south to Boston but west at last

where your long-dead mother waits to greet you

her face still bright, no trouble in her eyes,

your farewell words-I promise, soon-

breaking like a shower of light around her

 

and as you scan for an empty seat in the back

wondering why it's distance you keep

when it's nearness you need, the pierced girl

tucks in beside you offering a stick of gum,

her hurt mouth consoling-Where are you headed, you ask,

a burst of mint on your tongue, and when she says not sure

you know you'll talk the whole way.

 ---------------------------------------------

Ms. Cloutier Green is a collaborating artist and teacher whose poetry has been published in several literary journals, includingMid-American Review, The Aurorean, The Cafe Review, The Comstock Review, Presence, Vineyards, and The Anthology of New England Writers.

She is a first place prizewinner in a number of competitions, including The Aldrich Poetry Prize (2001), which included the publication of her chapbook, What Becomes of Words. Ms. Cloutier Green was selected in 2005 for the Maine Community Foundation's Martin Dibner Fellowship in Poetry, and she is a MacDowell Artist Colony Fellow. Her full-length collection of poems,The Next Hunger, is due out this month from Bauhan Publishing/University Press of New England. She is a 2012 Pushcart Prize nominee.

Other honors include a Laureate Prize in the Portsmouth Poet Laureate's Voice & Vision Project, a Bread Loaf Writers Conference Grant, Middlebury, and The Dick Shea Memorial Award for outstanding poem/collection of poems, University of New Hampshire, Durham, 2001.

Speaking about poetry, Ms. Cloutier Green said "reading poetry and making poems is how I ground myself, how I pay attention to the world, how I respond to experience, and how I share myself with others.

"Poetry is the strongest thread in my work, rest, celebration, and study," she added. "It's part of how I would answer the question: Who are you?"

 

The Poet Laureate is paid an honorarium and spearheads a project or events over two years. The board of trustees of the program carries out with the Laureate projects selected by the Poet Laureate. The Poet Laureate is selected by a committee of local writers, community members, and city officials from nominations made by the community.

 

The Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program is dedicated to building community through poetry by appointing and supporting an outstanding local poet as Poet Laureate for the city, sponsoring events that feature area poets and authors from outside the New Hampshire Seacoast, and encouraging a love of poetry among people of all ages.

 

Established in 1997 by local arts organizers and writers, the program brings people together to celebrate the written word and the talents of local and visiting artists.  Nominees must demonstrate dedication to the art of writing poetry, have a history of sharing their work publicly, and live or work in the Portsmouth area. 

To find out more about the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program, visit www.PPLP.org

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017 
 
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