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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.

The Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program presents a variety of events throughout the year: readings, celebrations, publications. These events are announced in the Portsmouth Herald and our eNews letter. Click below to sign up for it. And check us out on Facebook!

    Sign up for PPLP eNews

December 7th Poetry Hoot

  Featured Readers: Desiree Alvarez and Deborah Gorlin

   Seasons' Greetings.  Our holiday gift to you:  two award winning poets.

Deborah Gorlin holds an MFA from the University of California/ Irvine. Since 1991, she has taught writing at Hampshire College, where she serves as co-director of the Writing Program. She is currently a poetry editor at "The Massachusetts Review".

   Before winning the 2014 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize, she won the 1996 White Pine Poetry Press Prize for her first book of poems, "Bodily Course.  More


Desiree Alvarez is a painter and poet whose work speaks to a mythic human interaction with the natural world. Her work has received an American Academy of Arts and Letters Willard L. Metcalf Award, three Artist Fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts, and a European Capital of Culture Award.

   She has been awarded several fellowships and residencies. Her first book of poems won the May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize; Bauhan Publishing published her book, "Devil's Paintbrush" this past spring. More.

Hoot Featured Readers
Poetry Books for Sale

October's book table sale went well, we thought, so for the solstice season, we'll have a table with books available from our featured readers.

   Check our eNews Letter for more information. Our thought: Wouldn't poetry books make great solstice gifts? And affordable, too!.~Ed.

See our video

about how the PPLP  came to be



One of the closing efforts by Ninth Poet Laureate Kimberly Cloutier Green was to arrange a panel discussion video on the history and origins of the PPLP. With Nancy Moore Hill's passing this became a clear and important need on our part: to capture and preserve our history.

   The discussion was recorded at PPMtv's Portsmouth studio, edited by Bill Humphreys, and  is now on YouTube! It features four women who were there at the get-go.

   The program is historic. It is the definitive story of how Nancy Moore Hill and compatriots dreamed up the PPLP and made it happen.
   The program lasts about an hour. It's talking heads with no violence or special effects. But it's our talking heads and our history.  Check it out.  


Poet Laureate Kate Leigh Update


The next phase of Kate Leigh's Poet Laureate program is taking shape at 3S Art Space. There she has begun an after school program working with youth poets.  If you are a young poet or know one you are welcome, indeed encouraged to join.  Kate is a great poetry mentor and has been having a ball working with children and youth poets during her tenure.  Contact Kate at



Kate reports that 3S has been very supportive in actively encouraging her youth poetry program.  Along side that program 3S has a new gallery program of art and poetry that debuted recently.



Show-Off: October Pop-up Exhibit
A Community Collaboration of Visual Art and Poetry
took place Oct. 2 - 16

with the closing Reception Oct. 15, 5-8pm


The exhibit is down now. Word from Kate is that it was a definite success. Kate continues to offer her youth poetry workshops at 3S. Contact Kate for more about it.

   By way of background, here follows information about the exhibit. We hope to have a review from Kate.


   An open invitation to artists and non-artists, poets and dabblers: bring the fruits of your summer labors and show-off on the gallery walls. Photos, poems, drawings, musings of all types. Bring them to the gallery and put them up. An all ages show!

One of Kate's first projects: After School Poets

After School Poets on their way into Portsmouth Library
After School Poets on their way into Portsmouth Library
Kate with After School Poets working on poetry and art in the Library

One of my 'pet projects' has been the After School Poets program, which ran for several months at Portsmouth Public Library. I had several young poets getting their start at writing verse, whose mothers were a key to the process going smoothly. Not only did some of them participate in April, but a some of this group's work was on display at the Library last May.

Thank you for this ongoing opportunity. And for your support.
~Kate Leigh

>> View images from Portsmouth's Ceremony and Celebration

>>  Learn about our previous Laureates here.

KatieTowler on Virginia Prescott's "Word of Mouth" NHPR podcast

Speaking of 3S, after her book launch at 3S Artspace author Katie Towler did readings and signings around the region. One of her stops was with Virginia Prescott's "Word of Mouth" radio program.
   We are huge fans of Katie's memoir. If you missed the 3S launch event (and if you didn't) here's an opportunity to hear Katie discuss her work in a fine interview by Virginia Prescott.
   The podcast includes a brief audio excerpt (which we didn't know existed) of Robert reading his Prescott Park posted poem. The podcast is 14 minutes. Take a listen. ~Ed.

The Poetry Hoot season takes place on the 1st Wednesday of each month from September through June at Cafe Espresso in Portsmouth from 7 to 9 pm. Doors open 6-ish. Write poetry; share at the Hoot!


Read Poems!  Poems from the Hoot Where we review poems by PPLP Poetry Hoot readers such as SL Manning and other local poets.

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