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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

May Hoot > The Passing of the Quill: Incoming and Outgoing Poets to Feature.  Plan to attend!

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What a Great April
Gala Poetry Hoot

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Our Gala April Poetry Hoot took place April First, featuring all our previous Portsmouth Poets Laureates. As our first two Poets Laureate, Esther Buffler and Robert Dunn, are no longer with us, Esther's poetry was read by Pat Parnell.  Robert's poems were ready by Katie Towler. 

     Reading their own poetry were Maren Tirabassi, John Perrault, Mimi White, Elizabeth Knies, Mark DeCarteret and Mike Albert.

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April is National Poetry Month. Starting several years ago we began the practice of celebrating Poetry Month by having each of our past Poets Laureates share some of their poetry.


This year as in previous years we had a great evening. Our thanks to all our Poets Laureate, Pat and Katie, and all our open mic readers for a wonderful, wide-ranging evening of poetry.

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If you enjoy poetry and haven't been to a Hoot yet, give us a try!

Coming Soon!  The next Poet Laureate.


The Selection Committee has made its decision! Join us to find out who it will be at the Portsmouth City Council meeting at City Hall on May 4 at 7:00 pm.


We call the ceremony The Passing of the Quill. It will take place first (or early) on the Council agenda. Following the ceremony is a reception in Conference Room A at City Hall. All are welcome. Plan to attend.

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>> To receive our eNewsletter announcements follow the link above.

Richard Blanco to read at Berwick Acad.

     Poet Richard Blanco will give a reading of his poetry and prose at Berwick Academy’s Jackson Library on Friday evening, May 8th, at 7pm. Blanco is the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, becoming the youngest, first Latino, first immigrant, and first gay writer to hold this honor. In 2013, he took his place in history along with the esteemed first two inaugural poets, Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.

From the press release:

    "In For All Of Us, One Today, An Inaugural Poet’s Journey, Blanco brings his readers right into the car with him as he receives the phone call telling him that he has been chosen as the poet for President Obama’s second inauguration. He immerses us into his life that, like many American stories, begins as a young immigrant. He introduces his family, his Cuban heritage, his travels, his longings. The language of his quest for a definition of self and home reflect the heights and depths of joy and sorrow. He lifts up his spirit like an offering of trust and love. He asks us to connect with him and each other to find what we have in common in order to understand our differences."

The event is free and open to the public. RiverRun Bookstore will be on hand for the book sale and signing: 31 Academy Street, South Berwick, ME.

>>  Learn about our previous Laureates here.

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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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