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THANK YOU for visiting MOON PIE PRESS - Where the men are handsome, the women have curves, and ALL the poetry is above average.
Moon Pie Press was started in 2003 by Alice Persons and Nancy Henry, who met in law school in 1983. In 2002 they collaborated with Lillian Kennedy on an anthology of Maine poetry called A SENSE OF PLACE - see our book catalog under the CATALOG tab - we have a few copies left. Moon Pie Press has published 100 books, including 9 anthologies. Nancy left the press in November 2006. Alice is continuing with the press as Editor and Publisher.
Note that one of the goals of the press has always been to keep book prices low, while striving to produce attractive books. We make sure that our poets' work is affordable, and hope to get as many books as we can out into the world. You can help support the poets and make it possible for us to continue to publish fine work by buying our books and spreading the word about what we do. Thank you for your love of good poetry and your support.
Our list of poets includes (click on a name to open a bio):
John-Michael Albert, Anna Bat-Chai Wrobel. Ted Bookey, Ruth Bookey, Mike Bove, James Breslin, Jim Brosnan, Marcia F. Brown, Dennis Camire, Stephen A. Cowperthwaite, Robert M. Chute, H.R. Coursen, Jay Davis, Tom Delmore, Jim Donnelly, Jenny Doughty, Karen Douglass, Annie Farnsworth, Jay Franzel, Wil Gibson, Nancy Henry, Claire Hersom, Patrick Hicks, Michele Leavitt, Stanley Jordan Keach, Jr., Michelle Lewis, M. Kelly Lombardi, Michael Macklin, Bob MacLaughlin, David McCann Jack McCarthy, Blaine McCormick, James McKenna, John P. McVeigh, Jim Mello, Robin Merrill, Thomas R. Moore, David Moreau, Dave Morrison, Don Moyer, Anne Britting Olesen, Marita O'Neill, Eva Miodownik Oppenheim, Alice Persons, Daniel Duff Plunkett, Elizabeth Potter, Ed Rielly, Dana Robbins, Darcy Shargo, Brenda Shaw, Pam Burr Smith, Bruce Spang, David Stankiewicz, Ralph Stevens, Natalya Sukhonos, David R. Surette, Kevin Sweeney, Ellen Taylor, Jim Glenn Thatcher, Jeri Theriault, Ted Thomas, Jr., Gaylord Day Weston, John Holt Willey, Douglas "Woody" Woodsum, and Kirby Wright.
MOON PIE PRESS has enjoyed some wonderful publicity.
The Westbrook American Journal spoke with Persons in April 2015 about what it's like to operate an independent press, her poetry, and the future of the small business: There is a kind of poetry for everyone to enjoy.
Nancy and Alice were interviewed on Maine Things Considered on MPBN on May 6, 2005. Articles about Moon Pie Press have appeared in the University of Maine School of Law alumni magazine (December 2005), the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance newsletter (2005), and The Writer's Chronicle, April 2006.
July 4, 2010 Maine Sunday Telegram Audience section ran a nice story on Herb Coursen's Moon Pie Press book, our latest. Story is also on www.mainetoday.com.
Interview With Garrison Keillor on 'Good Poems: American Places' - AARP
We are proud that Garrison Keillor chose Moon Pie Press poems 27 times to be featured on his popular radio show The Writers' Almanac.
The Summer 2008 issue of the Maine Bar Journal has an article about Alice and Moon Pie Press, as part of an ongoing series about people trained as lawyers who pursue avocations outside the law.
On April 17, 2011 the Maine Sunday Telegram ran a story about Moon Pie Press.
Marcia Brown's poem "When I Look at the Old Car" was read on Garrison Keiller's Writer's Almanac on June 11, 2010, and has now been posted on the website of the popular NPR show Car Talk. Read the poem and the background story here.
Alice N. Persons lives in Westbrook, Maine. Alice serves on the Board of Directors of the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland. She has two cats and a dog and is trying not to acquire any more. Her poems have been published in various journals; eight poems have been featured on Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac on NPR. Her first chapbook was Be Careful What You Wish For, published in 2003. Her second was Never Say Never in 2004. In 2007 Sheltering Pines Press of Kennebunk, Maine published her third chapbook, Don't Be A Stranger. (It's available from their website, or email Alice at email@example.com.) Thank Your Lucky Stars is her first full-length collection, released in 2011. In 2011 she also had 2 poems in Garrison Keillor's third poetry anthology from The Writer's Almanac, GOOD POEMS AMERICAN PLACES (Viking). Two poems were featured in the Take Heart newspaper project and anthology by Maine Poet Laureate Wes McNair, in 2012 and 2013, and two in 2014. In December 2015 her poetry collection FANCY MEETING YOU HERE was released. Her third poetry book, BE THERE OR BE SQUARE, was published in late 2018.
Nancy A. Henry lives in Massachusetts. She is the author of five chapbooks: Brie Fly, Anything Can Happen, Hard (the latter two published by MuscleHead Press), ErosIon and Europe on $5 A Day. Her poems have appeared in many print and online journals - over 200 publications in the US, UK and Australia. She has received four Pushcart Prize nominations and an Atlanta Review International Merit Award. In a former life, she was an attorney in the field of child protection. She is also a collage artist, and did the cover of her chapbook ErosIon. In 2007 Sheltering Pines Press published her collection Our Lady of Let's All Sing. Nancy's book Who You Are was published by Sheltering Pines Press, March 2008. Her latest collection is Sarx, published in November 2010 by Moon Pie Press. Nancy is a recipient of the Ethel N Fortner Writer and Community Award.
Cynthia Brackett-Vincent, publisher and editor of The Aurorean: Nancy Henry's work is imaginative, impeccably thoughtful, imagistic and hauntingly beautiful. Her poetry 'takes you there" but does so on a multilayered level - truly the work of a multitalented poet. To hear her work read aloud would be for me, indeed, a rare treat.
Some of Nancy's poetry online includes: (each will open in a new window)
threecandles | Plum Ruby Review | forpoetry.com | Poetry Repair Shop 1 2 | Rock Salt Plum | Off the Record | Sidereality 1 2 | Neiderngasse | Pedestal Magazine | Poetrybay 1 2 | The Fairfield Review | Tryst 1 2 | Branches Quarterly 1 2 3 | WordRiot | Kota Press Journal | The Aurora Review | Sometimes City | Rattle | Epicenter | Megaera | Melic Review | Poetrybay reviews of my chapbook "Hard" | Carnelian 1 2 | "Hearsay" | Obsessed with Pipework 1 2 3 4 5
Ted Bookey (1928-2019) died on March 10, 2019. Ted had a huge influence on the Maine poetry scene. He moved to Maine in 1980 from New York, where he taught English in public schools and at Long Island University. Ted taught poetry and humor in the Senior College at UMaine-Augusta. He mentored many poets at all levels of experience. Ted was the author of five poetry books: Mixty Motions (translations from Erich Kastner, done with his wife Ruth), and four books from Moon Pie Press: Language As A Second Language, Lostalgia, With A W/Hole In One and 'Stitiously Speaking, the latter published in 2017. He was also the editor of two anthologies of student poetry from the Senior College, also published by Moon Pie Press. Ted and Ruth ran a very successful poetry reading series at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell which continues to this day and is called The Bookey Readings At the Harlow. Ted had a huge heart and lived his life with great gusto. He was funny, generous, learned and completely unpretentious. He leaves a big hole that can never be filled. He is survived by his wife Ruth, daughter Eve and stepdaughter Nikki, as well as many friends.
Michael Macklin Michael is a member of the staff of the Cafe Review, and dreams of spending time at the ancient monastery of the island of Sceilig Mhichil off the west coast of Ireland. He received his MFA from Vermont College. He has published poems in the Cafe Review, The Aurorean, Animus, Rattle and other journals, and several anthologies. Michael is the Reviews Editor of The Cafe Review, an international literary journal based in Portland, Maine. He owes a great deal to the support of his wife Donna and his son Gabriel, a hip-hop DJ.
We are so sad to report that Michael died on May 20, 2012. He was only 62. His obituary is in the Portland Press-Herald of May 23, 2012. Michael was a husband, father, friend, wonderful poet, and was also a teacher and mentor to many. He had a big heart and a sly sense of humor and believed passionately in, and worked for, poetry and peace.
Ruth Bookey and her family fled to the United States from Nazi Germany in the late 1930s. She studied art with Vincent Hartgen at the University of Maine in Orono and at the Rhode Island School of Design. She still produces an occasional painting. She started writing poetry a few years ago, inspired by her poet husband and the poetry groups that met at their home. With her husband Ted she translated the German poet Erich Kastner. Currently Ruth teaches "Hands On Art for Beginners" at Senior College at the University of Maine in Augusta. As a singer, she was very involved in music in the area for many years as soloist and choral singer, and presently sings regularly with a local choral group. She and her husband live in a log house on a lake in the forest with a wonderful dog named Dorie. Ruth's art has graced six Moon Pie Press book covers: NEVER SAY NEVER, A MOXIE AND A MOON PIE, LOSTALGIA, LIFE CLASS, the anthology from U Maine-Augusta, HOW MANY CARS HAVE WE BEEN MARRIED?, and A W/Hole in One.
Jay Davis lives in Portland, Maine, where he has been reading and appearing in the spoken word/slam poetry scene for the last ten years. He studied poetry formally up to and during his freshman year in college, and then took 20 years off, before starting to write seriously again after he turned 40. In his own words, "The time off didn't seem to hurt my writing much." During the day, he works as a computer database specialist.
He founded and hosted the Free Street Poetry Slam and The Skinny Second Tuesday Slam in Portland, Maine. His work has been published in The Cafe Review, Monkey's Fist, and several small 'zines, and two of his poems were recorded on the audio CD "A Big Bang of Bards." He has been a featured reader at poetry venues in Bridgewater and Cambridge, MA, Portsmouth, NH, and at many places in Maine. Whispers, Cries, and Tantrums is his first chapbook. The Hard Way is his second chapbook. Socks is his third chapbook.
Darcy Shargo earned her bachelor's degree in Russian and German from Cornell College in Iowa and her M.F.A. from Goddard College. She has a background in teaching, technical writing, and program management. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Literary Review, Bellingham Review, Crazyhorse, New Orleans Review, Puckerbrush Review, Salt Hill, Smartish Pace and others. She is a two-time recipient of the Academy of American Poets Prize and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Darcy lives in the country with her husband, Steve, and their two children.
Ted Bookey: Darcy Shargo's poems are imprinted with the stamp of uniqueness. Filled with sensuous surprise combined with sharp-mindedness from the refined depths of a very individual mind, they display imaginative intensity and aesthetic risk in language that is sonorous, precise, and keenly intelligent, often brilliant and surprising in its sweep of vision - poetry filled to the bursting point with fine insights in shining lines, fine tuned with most exquisite restraint and abundant control.
David Moreau lives in Wayne, Maine with his wife, son and daughter. He works in Lewiston with adults who are developmentally disabled. For years now he has considered sex, death, and baseball to be the three greatest subjects worthy of poetry. David's second chapbook, You Can Still Go To Hell...and Other Truths About Being A Helping Professional, published in spring 2007, struck a chord with readers (and Writer's Almanac listeners) all over the world, and hundreds of copies of the book have been sold. He is the author of one other chapbook, titled Children are Ugly Little Monsters (But You Have to Love Them Anyway). David sometimes MCs our readings, and does a hell of a job.
Dawn Potter: David Moreau's greatest strength is his sweetness--his wide-eyed affection for humanity, especially his family, and his willingness to let the reader participate in that intimacy. Often funny, often sharp, David can be a shrewd observer of everyday missteps and distractions, expecially his own. David's poems are, at heart, paeans to the enduring innocence of love, brave devotions to its tenacity.
Ellen M. Taylor holds degrees from Tulane University, University of New Hampshire, and Harvard University. She has published her work in numerous journals, including The North American Review, Passages North, and Puckerbrush. Her inspiration comes from travel and return, from land and sea, family near and far. Ellen teaches writing and literature at the University of Maine in Augusta. She lives in Appleton, Maine with her husband Daniel and their pets. She has a second chapbook from Sheltering Pines Press called Letters from the Third World. Ellen's newest book was released in October 2009, a full length collection called FLOATING.
Robin Merrill has published three collections of poems from Moon Pie Press. Three of her poems have been featured on The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor and hundreds have appeared in places like Flint Hills Review, Oklahoma Review, Margie, The Café Review, and Stolen Island Review. She has written five children's books for Scholastic Book Fairs and is the author of the devotional, The Jesus Diet: How the Holy Spirit Coached Me to a 50-Pound Weight Loss. She is also a performance poet who has competed at the national level. She is a 2013 recipient of an Emerging Artist Award from the St. Botolph Club Foundation of Boston and has her MFA from Stonecoast at USM. Visit her at robinmerrill.com.
Jay Franzel lives in Wayne, Maine with his daughter and their dingo. He has worked with at-risk students for more than twenty years, currently teaching in Winthrop. He has been published in various journals -- Animus, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cafe Review, Off the Coast and Puckerbrush Review. In 2005 Jay's chapbook Animal Wisdom was a finalist in the Sheltering Pines Chapbook Contest, and was published by Sheltering Pines Press. Here Jay is performing one of his own Dylan-esque ballads.
Edward J. Rielly grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and lived there until going away to college. He received an undergraduate degree from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and a doctorate in English from the University of Notre Dame. For the past twenty-seven years, he has lived with his wife Jeanne in Maine, where he is a professor in the English Department at Saint Joseph's College. He and his wife have two children, Brendan and Brigid, and four grandchildren, Morgan, Shannon, Maura, and Sadie. His latest poetry book is To Sadie at 18 Months and other poems, a Moon Pie Press publication.
Eva Miodownik Oppenheim has lived in New York City since her arrival as a refugee child from Nazi Germany during World War II. A graduate of Queens College, CUNY, she has studied in England and at Columbia University. She was an editor and publicity writer for films and books and served 18 years as a senior administrator in alumnae affairs at Barnard College, Columbia U. She now co-teaches a poetry workshop at Barnard's Center for Research on Women. Oppenheim's first book of poems, Things As They Are, was published by Moon Pie Press and her memoir, "The Stork," by Maggid. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies including The Comstock Review, Animus, Mobius, Off the Coast, Poetica, The Little Magazine, Steam Ticket, Ars Medica, Jewish Women's Literary Annual, California Quarterly, Common Ground Review, The Broome Review, Full Moon Rising: The Best of Moon Pie Press (Vol. 2), and Agreeable Friends: Contemporary Animal Poetry (Moon Pie Press).
We are sorry to report that Eva died on December 19, 2014 in New York City. She was Ted Bookey's cousin and lifelong friend, and is survived by her husband Alan and two daughters.
Patrick Hicks is the author of eight books, including The Commandant of Lubizec, This London, and Finding the Gossamer. His work has appeared in some of the most vital literary journals in America, including Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, The Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, and many others. He has been nominated seven times for the Pushcart Prize, been a finalist for the High Plains Book Award, and also the Gival Press Novel Award. He has won the Glimmer Train Fiction Award as well as a number of grants, including ones from the Bush Artist Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the Writer-in-Residence at Augustana College and also a faculty member at the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College. His first collection of short stories, The Collector of Names, is forthcoming with Schaffner Press.
Dr. Blaine McCormick is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. He holds an appointment on the management faculty and teaches negotiation and conflict resolution at the undergraduate, graduate, and executive levels. He was honored to receive the 2002-03 Collins Outstanding Professor Award granted each spring by the graduating senior class.
Dr. McCormick has published a variety of books, scholarly articles, and poems. A nationally recognized scholar on the business practices of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison, Dr. McCormick is interviewed frequently across all forms of media including the New York Times, CNN, and ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. Dr. McCormick serves as an editor for Volume Six of The Papers of Thomas A. Edison.
Before joining the Baylor faculty, Dr. McCormick worked in Dallas and Plano for ARCO Oil & Gas Company as a human resource management professional and held a faculty appointment at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. He lives in Waco with his wife Sarah and three children – Ellis, Miriam, and Bea.
Annie Farnsworth, Marita O'Neill, Dennis Camire and John-Michael Albert (staff of the literary magazine Animus)
Dennis Camire is a graduate of U Maine-Farmington and Wichita State University. He works as an adjunct English teacher at Southern Maine Community College, and as a bartender. Some of his poems have appeared in the Mid-American Review, the Taj Mahal Review, Words and Images, and in the anthologies A Sense of Place, Explorers and Grace Notes. In 2003 Sheltering Pines Press of Maine published his first chapbook, bio-luminescing. You can reach Dennis with any correspondence regarding poetry and the lives of poets at firstname.lastname@example.org. His chapbooks are also available at Longfellow Books in downtown Portland. "Currently I'm still fascinated with more things than I can fit into my poems: shamanism, cosmology, kabbalah, yoga, Stoic philosophy, the history and philosophy of the ode, reincarnation, and how to grow the world's tallest Russian sunflowers."
Marita O'Neill has an MFA from Vermont College. Her first poetry book was called LOVE DOGS. She spent two years teaching in Istanbul and then returned to Maine. She teaches English at Yarmouth High School and lives in Portland. Marita has had a lot of poems published in various places.
Kevin Sweeney has degrees from California (PA) State College and the University of Massachusetts. He is the chair of the English Department at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, where he has been for more than twenty years. He is a native of Pittsburgh and dreams of retiring someday to be an old gringo in Mexico, watching Steelers games via satellite. Kevin lives in South Portland with his wife and pets. He has been on a diet, with lapses, for 46 years.
Don Moyer was born in Brooklyn, NY. The family moved to the South Bronx in the late 1940's. His father, Howard, and mother, Sally, operated a candy store near the old Third Avenue Elevated Railway. The family moved to rural, upstate New York when he was seven. Don still lives in upstate New York, near Saratoga Springs.
As a young man, Don hitchhiked across the country, rode Southern Pacific freights through the Southwest desert, and finally graduated from Westfield (Massachusetts) College in 1972.
He has been employed as a factory worker at Strathmore Paper and the Columbia Bicycle Company in Massachusetts, and as a high school teacher, in both public and private, city and rural schools. Fifteen years ago, Don started a one-person interior landscaping business.
He has been married to his wife, Susan, for twenty-five years. They have a seventeen year-old daughter, Kate, and a twenty two year-old son, Nick.
Don's poetry has appeared in Poetry, Harpers, Antaeus, Rolling Stone, and The Massachusetts Review, among other publications. His previous book of poetry, WHEN, was published in 2003 by Bottom Dog Press.
Tom Delmore is also the author of Eclipsing F: Crow Poems in Three Parts. He lives in Mill Creek, Washington, and has two grown children. He is currently a shuttle bus driver for Microsoft, which gives him more time to write. Tom's fourth poetry book is Tell them that you saw me but you didn't see me saw, December 2011.
Michelle Lewis' poetry and critical essays have appeared in Cafe Review, Kalliope, Chester H. Jones Anthology, Food for Thought, Poet Lore and The Gettsyburg Review. She teaches at Southern Maine Community College and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
M. Kelly Lombardi, who passed away in September 2008, was a practicing and teaching poet who lived in coastal Washington County, Maine. She was essential in founding the Salt Coast Sages poetry group and the Roque Bluffs Poetry Festival. She taught poetry in the Sunrise Senior College, and spent part of each year at a 12th century Augustinian monastery in Tuscany, where she wrote a lot, and helped with cooking. She also travelled to Ireland frequently to immerse herself in poetry and music there. Her chapbook Tuscany Light was published in 2006. She was, among many accomplishments, a mentor, a wonderful cook and gardener, a dog lover -- and a bright spirit who is very much missed by a wide circle of friends.
Annie Farnsworth is a poet, mom, Reiki master, artist, gardener, and lives in southern Maine with her two kids and a variety of furry critters. She has a B.A. in English with a minor in art history from USM, and because one unmarketable, esoteric degree did not seem like enough, she went on to receive her Master of Science in Metaphysics. She is now working to add other letters to her name, like PhD, RN, and LOL. When she is not editing, studying, making stuff, and floor sweeping, Annie works as a psych. tech. in an acute-care mental health facility. She is editor and publisher of the poetry/art journal Animus. Visit her website at Sheltering Pines Press. Angel of the Heavenly Tailgate is her second chapbook; her first one is Bodies of Water, Bodies of Light. Sometimes she is unreasonably happy just to sit on the porch with a cuppa and listen to the crickets.
Brenda Shaw grew up on a farm in Maine, worked her way through Boston University, and received a doctorate in biological sciences. She moved to Scotland with her British husband, had two sons, worked as a scientist and university lecturer, and published a number of scientific writings. Her poems, short stories and nonfiction have appeared in various periodicals and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic. Previous books include The Cold Winds of Summer, a collection of poems published in Scotland in 1987; a memoir, The Dark Well (1997, Audenreed Press, Brunswick, Maine);and a family history, Eliza and Mentora: the Story of a Pioneer Family in Northern Maine (2003, SilverWater Press, Eugene, Ore.).
She and her husband lived in Eugene, Oregon from 1987 to 2003; in 2003 they returned to their permanent home in Dundee, Scotland
Karen Douglass has previously published a chapbook titled Red Goddess Poems (The Cafe Review Press, 1992), a book of short fiction and narrative poems, Bones in the Chimney (Elsewhere Press, 1993) and a creative non-fiction book, Green Rider, Thinking Horse (Soleil Press, 2004.) Her poems have appeared in many small press and literary magazines, including Yankee, Atlantic Monthly, and many others. She is a mental health nurse and currently serves on the editorial staff of The Cafe Review, based in Portland, Maine. She has two children, two in-law children, one grandson, two cats, and a horse.
Award-winning Maine writer Robert M. Chute died in May 2021 at age 95. He published at least 13 poetry books and 3 novels. His interests were wide-ranging. (Moon Pie Press published his chapbook called ESSAYS IN ALL DIRECTIONS in 2007.) A sixth-generation descendant of Thomas Chute, first settler of Windham, Maine, he served in the Air Force in World War II and was an active supporter of Veterans For Peace. He was a professor of biology at Bates College from 1962 to 1993. A modest and courtly man, he had a scientist's eye for details of the natural world and animals. A cat lover, he published a chapbook called CAT TAILS with photos and poems about his own beloved cats. In 2002 he reissued his narrative poem sequence from the 1970s called Thirteen Moons, which is in English, French, and Passamaquoddy.
Charles Simic on Samuel Sewall Sails For Home: Robert Chute's ear and eye for detail, the mastery of his craftsmanship and the intelligence of his choice among the diaries make this an exemplary work. This is poetry of great clarity, lyric power, and subtlety.
Ted Thomas Jr., a poet and playwright, is the author of two previous collections of poetry. His work has appeared in numerous literary journals. His poem "Rain" was recited at Symphony Hall in Boston to a score composed by a member of the Paul Winter Consort. He has edited several anthologies of poetry. Over the last 30 years, he has conducted poetry workshops and held residencies in a wide range of settings, from schools and seminaries to homeless shelters and prisons, in and around Boston. He is a former faculty member at the Massachusetts College of Art, has taught at the Harvard Divinity School, and is currently teaching at Roxbury Community College. Ted's plays for adults and young people have been performed at venues including Boston College, the Lyric Stage in Boston, and on PBS.
He is the founder and president of Write Every Time, a company providing services in business and creative communications. Ted lives in Boston with his wife Sarah and their bird, Eddie Cantor.
Life moved fast since Jim Mello's previous Moon Pie Press publication, Early Late Bloom (2007). Jim has completed a master's degree in theology, become a grandfather, and written his poetry mostly on the run. Trips to Portugal (the Azores) and Israel expanded his horizons and informed some of his work. He continues to contribute his expertise to the field of addiction while keeping one eye on retirement. He has had poems published in small presses and (the now closed) Bangor Theological Seminary's "The Open Door." His pursuit of the muse is not only through writing, but also in playing music. He has a volunteer gig as a DJ for Colby College radio and identifies with Bob Dylan's words where "... beauty walks a razor's edge, some day I'll make it mine."
Gaylord Day Weston has lived in Maine for the past 35 years. She was born in Massachusetts, and has also lived in Connecticut and Rhode Island - a true New Englander, if not native Mainer. She started writing in high school but life got in the way of writing regularly until she was in her late 40s, when she not only discovered amateur theater, but also Ted and Ruth Bookey of Readfield, Maine. They were instrumental in gathering together a group of poets, including George VanDeventer, who published her first book, BELGRADE, JUST ANOTHER MAINE TOWN. Ted and Ruth encouraged her poetry, teaching her much about the craft of writing. She lives in Belgrade, Maine with daughter Kate close by. She shares her home with assorted dogs, cats and Muscovy ducks.
Anne Britting Olesen lives with her family and way too many cats in the mountains of central Maine. She is a writer, a teacher, a musician, a gardener and a bicyclist in her spare time.
Bruce Spang (in the green shirt), former Poet Laureate of Portland, is the author of two novels, The Deception of the Thrush and Those Close Beside Me. He's also published four books of poems, including To the Promised Land Grocery and Boy at the Screen Door (Moon Pie Press) along with several anthologies and several chapbooks. He is the poetry and fiction editor of the Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine. His poems have been published in journals across the United States. He teaches courses in fiction and poetry at Ollie at University of North Carolina in Asheville and lives in Candler, NC with his husband Myles Rightmire and their four dogs, five fish, and twelve birds.
Claire Hersom is a native Mainer who lives in Winthrop. Her work appears in several poetry journals including Yankee magazine. Her book Drowning: A Poetic Memoir (Moon Pie Press) was a supplemental text for UMS Rockland in 2014. She received an Emerging Artist Grant in Literature in 2011 from Boston's St. Botolph Club Foundation. Her poem "October Moon" was anthologized in the second edition of Wes McNair's laureate project, More Poems from Maine, Take Heart, and two of her poems, "Seasons of the Field" and "Norman Lee" , appeared in the Lewiston Sun Journal's "In Verse: Maine Places and People", a 2017 poetry initiative run by Dennis Camire. She volunteers in local schools giving poetry workshops and teaches ELL and high school English to diploma students and college transition students at Winthrop Adult Education. Claire is a big supporter of Maine Equal Justice Partners where she served on the Board of Directors for 4 years, and is one of three organizers for the Hallowell Maine poetry venue the Bookey Readings at the Harlow. She is happiest when she has a granddaughter close by, or if not, a poetry book and some blues.
Photo by Jill Arnold
Jim Glenn Thatcher is a high school dropout with both a baccalaureate and graduate work in history, and an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College. For most of his boyhood and youth he lived in the only house on a dirt road in the Adirondacks, spending his time in books, the woods, and his imagination -- habits that still sustain him. Over the years since then, he has been variously miscast as a soldier, carpenter, steel fabricator, woodworker, pole lineman, laborer, factory worker, and lumberyard hand, among various other livelihoods. Through all of this he has has never lost his deep interest in literature, philosophy, and the idea(s) of history, both natural and human. He has taught at St. Joseph's College, Southern Maine Community College, USM Lewiston-Auburn, and Central Maine Community College, where he was named Poet-in-Residence. His poems have appeared in a number of literary journals and were honored by a 2003 Martin Dibner Fellowship for Maine Writers. He is a former Reviews Editor at The Cafe Review and his columns, reviews, profiles and essays have appeared in Maine In Print, the Portland Sunday Telegram, Brunswick Times-Record, and Maine Times, where he was a Contributing Writer. He currently teaches at Andover College, and can be contacted by email at jimglennthatcher at yahoo.com.
John-Michael Albert was born in Ohio and moved to Texas when he was 16, where he lived, on and off, until moving to New Hampshire in 1999. He is a published composer with a BA in music from The University of the South. For 15 years he composed for and conducted the Gay Men's Chorus of Houston. He changed artistic direction after moving to New Hampshire, and dived into the lively seacoast poetry scene. He is involved with Jazzmouth, the yearly jazz and poetry festival, and was a founding member of Blood On the Floor, the poetry workshop and performance ensemble. Besides reading his own work, he hosts readings, judges poetry contests, publishes essays about poetry, and edited a two-volume anthology of New Hampshire poetry, the 2008 and 2010 Poets' Guide to New Hampshire - which has 400 poems by 300 poets. His poetry books include: Two-Ply and Extra Sensitive (Sheltering Pines Press), Apple Blossoms, Splinters and Flames (Sargent Press), and Oh, Ethel! Did You See That? (Sargent Press). In February 2012 his full length collection THE BIRD CATCHER was published by Moon Pie Press.
Dave Morrison was born outside of Boston in 1959, and played in rock and roll bands in Boston and NYC. He now lives on the coast of Maine with his wife Susan. This is his fifth poetry collection. For more information please visit www.dave-morrison.com.
Douglas "Woody" Woodsum has taught at two universities and five public schools. His poetry has appeared in many publications, including Rattle, Down East, Yankee, Prairie Schooner, the Southern Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal. His work has been broadcast on Maine Public Radio. He is a former Ruth Lilly poet, a two time winner of the Avery Hopwood Award, and a winner of the Bread Loaf Poetry Prize. His work is online at Poetry Daily and www.fishousepoems.org. Since 1995 he has been teaching high school English in rural Maine. God help him. With his students he has published 10 anthologies of oral history and folklore. Raised on the Maine coast, he now makes his home in Smithfield, Maine with the artist Donna Asmussen.
Marcia F. Brown served as the fourth Poet Laureate of Portland, Maine. She is the author of the poetry collections What on Earth (Moon Pie Press 2010); Home to Roost, Paintings and Poems of Belfast, Maine with artist Archie Barnes (2007); The Way Women Walk (Sheltering Pines Press 2006); and the editor of the anthology, Port City Poems, Contemporary Poets Celebrate Portland, Maine (Maine Poetry Central 2013). She is a graduate of Smith College and holds an MFA from the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast Program. A frequent reader at Maine poetry festivals and events, she has published poems and reviews in literary journals and in several anthologies, including Garrison Keillor's Good Poems, American Places (Penguin Books, 2011). She co-hosts the monthly reading series (with Linda Aldrich) Local Writers at The Local Buzz, in her home town of Cape Elizabeth, ME where she lives with her husband, Nat Clifford.
H.R. Coursen's recent poems have appeared in Goose River Anthology, UMA Scholar, Per Contra, Shakespeare Bulletin, Spectra, Stanza, Wolf Moon and Uni-Verse, to whose editors go his thanks: Debbie Benner, Janet Cyr, Miriam N. Kotzin and Bill Turner, Tome Pendleton, Dorrie La Rue, Margaret Rockwell Finch, Laurie Graves and Dana Wilde. Two of his poems have been featured on Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac on NPR. He has recently won the New England Poetry Club's prizes for best poem and best translation and the Maine Poets' Society award for best poem. His RECALLING AUGUST was runner-up for a Pushcart Prize. He teaches aviation history at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Shakespeare at Southern New Hampshire University, and lectures on Shakespeare at Bowdoin College.
Herb died unexpectedly in December 2011, full of life and plans, teaching, writing, and working on another poetry book to be published by Moon Pie Press. He was a towering figure in Maine literature and a good friend and mentor to many writers. He is greatly missed.
A retired working guy from Boston who got serious about poetry late in life, Jack McCarthy calls himself a "standup poetry guy"; others have called him "legend." He has been featured at venues all over the U.S., in Canada and Europe. The Boston Globe: "In the poetry world, he's a rock star." Stephen Dobyns calls him "one of the wonders of contemporary poetry." He has been on two national slam teams and brought out 5 books of poetry and 2 CDs. Among other prizes, he won the haiku championship at the Individual World Poetry Slam. He lives with his wife, the fabulous Carol, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Jack's website is www.standupoet.net.
Jack McCarthy (1939-2013) left us on January 17, 2013. He died peacefully at home after a long fight with cancer. If you ever got to hear Jack read, you remembered it forever - he was so warm, engaging, profound and often very funny. Moon Pie Press is very proud to have published one of Jack's poetry books, ALMOST A REMEMBRANCE; all his books are wonderful.
In addition to writing poetry, Bob MacLaughlin has been a newspaper sportswriter, magazine editor, and advertising copywriter for print and broadcast. He once wrote a column decrying the outrageously high price of ringside Ali-Frazier tickets ($25). He likes writing poems because you can make up whatever you want, and you don't have to worry about deadlines (unless you agree to a book) or pleasing your client's relatives. Bob has lived fulltime in midcoast Maine since 1979 and aspires to be a native.
Pam Burr Smith has published short stories, feature articles, essays and poetry in many journals, including Coyet's Journal, The Cafe Review, Slow Dancer, Georgia Review, Poetry Motel, Kansas Quarterly, Kennebec, Animus and Air Fish. This is her first poetry book. She lives in Brunswick, Maine, where she works as a psychotherapist.
James McKenna retired from the Office of the Maine Attorney General and now is a volunteer lawyer representing low-income Mainers. He has a Master of Fine Arts from the Bennington Writing Seminars and is a member of the American Law Institute. He can be contacted at
Anna Bat-Chai Wrobel: American historian (M-Phil Columbia University); history teacher of 25 years; poet; once theater person, kibbutznik (daughter born, Corinna Shulamit), craftsperson, Maine backwoods homesteader (son born, Barak Azriel), construction site ‘foreman’. Child of survivor/partisan/soldier refugees of the Nazi "Final Solution" in Poland; youngest sibling of brother and sister, respectively born on-the-run in postwar Poland and displaced persons' camp in American Zone of West Germany (decorated Soviet soldier father put in charge of part of the camp by General Eisenhower); me the "first American" in extended family, born in Brooklyn and raised in the Bronx, done time in every borough. Co-curator of poetry readings in New York, Portland and Westbrook (where I live). Poetry/history/memory, Sparrow Feathers (Second Generation/First Person), on the publishing horizon, some poems in use by teaching colleagues of history and English in the U.S.A., eastern Europe, and the Middle East.
Wil Gibson was raised in some of the poorest communities in northern Illinois and eastern Arkansas. He now lives in Portland, Maine and likes it a lot (you probably would, too). He is the proud (mistake prone) father of 4. He has won several slam poetry titles and represented Portland on that city's team five times at the National Poetry Slam. Wil does poetry workshops and readings in schools, dive bars, prisons and churches across the country. He loves people and dogs a lot, and would like to pet your dog, give you a hug, and talk to you for a few minutes, if you don't mind.
David Stankiewicz is an assistant professor of English at Southern Maine Community College. He has an MA in religion and theology from Andover Newton Theological School and an MFA from the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast program. He can't imagine life without fly fishing, 20th century Polish poetry, or classic Simpsons. He lives with his wife, Sarrah, and their dog, Soxie (both of whom he also can't imagine life without) in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. This is his first collection of poems.
Jim Donnelly was born in Brooklyn and raised in North Carolina, Georgia, and Queens, New York. He began his working life at thirteen at a canning plant, an after-school job where he often worked well into the night. Since then he has variously been a waiter, foot messenger, factory worker, cab driver, trucker, forklift operator, retail manager, shipping clerk - and working musician. Largely self-educated, he worked as a journalist for a New York arts weekly, penning a social research column called “Media Misinformation”. He currently drives a bus for a retirement community. He not only “summers” in Maine, but falls, winters, and springs there as well, living in Westbrook, a neighbor to Moon Pie Press.
John Holt Willey's first formal poem was done for a high school English class, and published in Young America Sings about (he thinks) 1951. This volume is dedicated to his teacher that year, still one of his heroes. Since then he has been a farmhand, janitor, jackhammer operator, U.S. Marine, choir member (bass), sailor, private investigator (San Francisco) (sans glamor), electrician, boat builder, cabinetmaker, mason, board member (small beloved school, Maine), and always a reader.
Most of John's heroes are men and women who build things, but include Yeats, Frost, Millay, Carroll and Will himself, as you will suspect if you look inside Observed/ Sequentiae. In Maine coastal waters, he paddles an eighteen foot sea kayak he built and launched in 1997; John lives in central Maine near where he was born.
Michele Leavitt's poetry and prose appear in publications including So to Speak, The Journal, Umbrella, Mezzo Cammin, The Tower Journal, Passager, and Per Contra. She was the winner of the Ohio State University's 2010 William Allen Award for creative nonnfiction, and a finalist for the 2011 Morton Marr Poetry Prize. A high school dropout, hepatitis C survivor, and former trial attorney, she earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Vermont College in 1995. Michele now lives in Maine, where she co-directs the Honors Program at Unity College and teaches writing.
Kirby Wright was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a graduate of Punahou School in Honolulu and the University of California at San Diego. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Wright has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and is a past recipient of the Honolulu Weekly Poetry Prize, the Jodi Stutz Memorial Prize in Poetry, the Ann Fields Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poets Award, the Robert Browning Award for Dramatic Monologue, and Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowships in Poetry and The Novel. Before the City, his first poetry collection, took First Place at the 2003 San Diego Book Awards. Wright is also the author of the companion novels Punahou Blues and Moloka'i Nui Ahina, both set in Hawaii. He was a Visiting Fellow at the 2009 International Writers Conference in Hong Kong, where he represented the Pacific Rim region of Hawaii. He was also a Visiting Writer at the 2010 Martha's Vineyard Residency in Edgartown, Mass., and the 2011 Artist in Residence at Milkwood International, Czech Republic. The End, My Friend, Wright's futuristic thriller, was released in 2013. He is the 2014 Writer in Residence at Konstepidemin Artist Colony, Gothenburg, Sweden.
John McVeigh taught college English long ago before becoming a lawyer, and has been writing poetry and prose for decades, mostly on the sly. For the past few years he has been a regular reader at poetry open mikes in Portland. John is a founding member of Port Veritas in Portland. He is a business law and bankruptcy partner in a Portland law firm. John loves hiking, kayaking, hunting, fishing and any excuse to be outdoors. BURNING CHAIRS, his first book of poetry, has been in the making for a long time.
Stephen A. Cowperthwaite: As a teacher, I had the reputation of being a storyteller. I missed that part of teaching when I moved to the lake and woods for a Thoreauvian life. I soon found I was much more like Red Green than HDT. I'm happiest when I'm creative rather then meditative. I built my house, lots of small buildings, round woodpiles, fixed boats and published some history. I love Senior College at UMA and am a regular. In Ted Bookey's poetry class, I learned I could tell stories through poetry. Occasionally one comes to me, and I just write it down. That's rare. Usually it takes time and lots of crafting. It's sort of like building a boat or a perfect privy. It's enormously satisfying and I am greatly indebted to Ted and so many dear friends and fellow writers for their suggestions and encouragement. Memories of my childhood on a hardscrabble farm here in Maine are a great source for me. I live in a beautiful place that I love and love to share with my dear family and friends. Nature is all around. I love history and especially the history of what happened right here, but I've enjoyed traveling in Russia in recent years. I love humor. I've lived in Maine most of my life. I love Maine, Mainiacs and even folks from away.
Stanley Jordan Keach, Jr.: I write poems; I write songs; it seems like I always have. Twenty and thirty and forty years ago, my songs were nothing like my poems, and my poems were nothing like my songs. More recently, I've tried to bring the two kinds of writing closer together -- tried to write poems with more music in them, tried to write songs with more poetry in them. Lately, I'm often not sure whether a piece is a poem or a song. Good.
David R. Surette is the author of six collections of poetry, including STABLE and EASY TO KEEP, HARD TO KEEP IN, both honored by the Massachusetts Book Awards. He teaches and coaches varsity hockey at East Bridgewater Junior High School. He lives on Cape Cod.
Upon her retirement from the legal profession, Dana Robbins entered the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast Writers program from which she received an MFA. Dana had a stroke at the age of 23 and often writes about healing. Dana's first book of poetry, The Left Side of My Life, was released in October 2015 by Moon Pie Press of Westbrook Maine. Garrison Keillor chose her poem, "To My Daughter Teaching Science", to read on the Writers Almanac. Dana's poems and essays have appeared in a number of journals and publications. Dana has won several awards including an honorary mention in the 2013 Fish Poetry Contest. She lives in Portland Maine and Palo Alto California.
David McCann was born in Lewiston, Maine, grew up in Cambridge, MA, received his B.A. from Amherst College, served in the first Peace Corps group to go to Korea, ROK, 1966-68, then received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. He taught Classical Japanese language and literature at Cornell, and then Korean literature at Cornell and at Harvard. A collection of his original sijo poems in English, Urban Temple (Bo-Leaf, 2010), was published in a dual-language edition by Changbi Publishers, Seoul, in 2012, and Slipping Away, a Korean p'ansori-style narrative poem, by Finishing Line Press in 2013. One of his haiku poems, published in Acorn haiku journal, received a Touchstone Award in 2014 and was included in Haiku 2015. His poem "David," originally published in Poetry journal, received a Pushcart Prize in 1978. His previous Moon Pie Press poetry collections are SAME BIRD (2016) and LOST AND FOUND (2019).
Daniel "Duff" Plunkett is a poet who believes in the sanctity of language, but not very firmly. With long connections to the New England region of the U.S., he has traveled widely for schooling, leisure, work and just plain edification. His prior books of poetry are Strike Back Cover (1986), The Butter Poems (1996) and Left Brain-Right Brain (2007). He has written poems in the French, Italian, Spanish, and Turkish languages. In this collection, a museum name at the bottom of the page indicates that the poem was written in front of the artwork, in imitation of Impressionist technique. Duff died unexpectedly on July 7 in Portland, Maine. Please visit www.lastingmemories.com to read his obituary and see tributes and photos from his friends and family.
Jeri Theriault's chapbook In the Museum of Surrender won the 2013 Encircle Publications chapbook contest. She has also written the chapbooks Catholic (Pudding House, 2002) and Corn Dance (Nightshade Press, 1994). Her poems have appeared widely in journals and anthologies, including Paterson Literary Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Rattle, The Atlanta Review, Orpheus and Company, Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology, French Connections: An Anthology of Poetry by Franco-Americans, and The Return of Kral Majales, Prague's International Literary Renaissance 1990-2010. A Fulbright recipient (1998-99) and Pushcart Prize nominee (2006 and 2013), Jeri holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her teaching career included six years as English department chair at the International School of Prague. She lives in South Portland, Maine, and is married to the composer Philip Carlsen.
Elizabeth Potter is a teacher and poet residing in midcoast Maine. Her poetry has been published both locally and nationally, most recently in On the Issues Magazine and the online edition of Yankee Magazine. Elizabeth is a certified Amherst Writer's and Artist's Institute workshop leader (amherstwriters.com) and has been leading creative writing workshops for all ages for the past sixteen years.
As a young man Tom Moore immigrated to New Zealand to work in Te Awamutu on a dairy farm and to explore Samoa, Fiji, Manu'a, and Tahiti. He taught at universities in both Iran and Mali as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and taught in Turkey for five years at Robert College and the Koç School. His first book of poems, The Bolt-Cutters, was published by Fort Hemlock Press in November 2010 and was one of three Finalists in the 2011 Maine Literary Awards competition. Two poems from The Bolt-Cutters were featured on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac in January 2011, and one was a 2012 Pushcart nominee. His poem "Calving in Te Awamutu" won first prize in the 2010 Naugatuck River Review's annual narrative poetry contest, and "Chet Sawing" won first prize the 2011 Maine Postmark Poetry Contest.
His second book, Chet Sawing, was published by Fort Hemlock Press in November 2012 and was also a finalist in the 2013 Maine Literary Awards competition. "Removing the Dross" from The Bolt-Cutters was featured on Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry in December 2013. In April 2014 he was the writer-in-residence at the Elizabeth Bishop house in Great Village, Nova Scotia. He has published poems in more than thirty literary journals. In 2016 he was awarded an Artist Project Grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowments for the Arts. He lives with his wife, Leslie, an artist and writer, in Belfast, Maine.
Ralph "Skip" Stevens lives on Little Cranberry Island on the coast of Maine where he finds inspiration for his writing in the character of the people and in the granite, spruce and ocean landscape the coast is famous for. Stevens teaches online for Coppin State University in Baltimore, where he is Associate Professor of English. His poems have appeared in The Seattle Times, Crab Creek Review, The Lyric, The Maryland Review, The Christian Century, and The Island Reader. Although not sure what his poetic influences are, Stevens admits to a passion for the work of Donne, Herbert, Dickinson and Mary Oliver.
Jenny Doughty is originally British but has lived in Maine since 2002. She is a former English teacher, and Education Adviser to Penguin Books in the UK. She has edited an anthology of pre-20th century poetry Key Poets, and published two children's non-fiction books Historical Diaries, Letters and Journals, and Breakthroughs in Science under the name Jenny Green. Her short stories and articles have been published in a number of UK magazines, including Bella magazine, Parenting, and First Steps, where she also did a stint as an agony aunt (Brit-speak for a person like Dear Abby who offers answers to readers' problems). In the United States, her poems have been published in, among others, Naugatuck River Review, Four Way Review, The Aurorean, in a project to put poems on car magnets and coffee cups, and in an anthology of contemporary Quaker poetry, Gathered.
Mike Bove was born and raised in Portland, Maine. He lives there still with his wife and two sons. He earned his B.A. and M.A. from the University of New Hampshire and is a faculty member in the English Department at Southern Maine Community College. Mike's poems have appeared in a variety of journals, and he was a 2015 Pushcart Prize nominee. He also plays guitar in a local cover band made up of college professors, The ProfTones. This is his first book.
James Breslin was born in Staten Island, New York on July 8, 1943. He lived in New York most of his life, graduating from New York University with a Masters Degree in Social Work. He moved full-time to Maine with his wife Linda 30 years ago. At that time, James worked in the Office of Advocacy working as an advocate on behalf of families and children. Upon retirement from the state of Maine, he worked as a clinical supervisor in child and family agencies.
James has had poems published in several journals and anthologies, as well as in the literary journal The Moth in Ireland. His first book, The Crow, was published by North Country Press in 2013.
The loss of James and Linda’s son 10 years ago to an unexpected seizure informs much of James’ work, as well as his philosophy on life. He feels that art can be redemptive like humor and for a moment, transcend the world and its woes, and ours.
Jim lives in Winslow with his wife Linda, a dog named Annie, and a neighborhood wandering cat, Hawthorne, who has adopted them all.
Jim Brosnan is a university professor, writer, and photographer who lives with his wife Donna in southeastern Massachusetts. Jim's passion for exploring new places has brought him to thirty-nine states in the continental United States as well as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, and Quebec. His travel has included cross-country road trips with stops at Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, the Rocky Mountains, and Yosemite as well as long distance trips by rail to Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Charleston, South Carolina. He is a five-time finalist in NEATE's Poet of the Year competition andhas won awards by the National Federation of Poetry Societies. His poetry has appeared in many journals including the Aurorean, Eunoia Review (Singapore), Lakeview Journal (India), Minnesota English Journal, Naugatuck River Review, Nine Muses (Wales), Strand (India), and Voices of the Poppies (United Kingdom).
Natalya Sukhonos is bilingual in Russian and English and also speaks Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Natalya has a PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. She teaches English and Spanish at Ramaz School. Her poems have been published by the American Journal of Poetry, the Saint Ann's Review, Driftwood Press, Literary Mama, Middle Gray Magazine, The Really System and other journals. Natalya was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2015 and the Best New Poets Anthology of 2015. Her first book 'Parachute' was published in 2016 by Kelsay Books of Aldrich Press. Natalya lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.
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