"How to Start Over," author Stuart Kestenbaum

Wake up to the world

STONINGTON — Maine Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum will read selected poems from his fifth, newly published poetry book “How to Start Over (2019, Deerbrook Editions, Cumberland, Me.) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, at the Stonington Opera House. The event is free and open to all.

Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco, who was President Barack Obama’s 2013 inaugural poet, called the Deer Isle poet’s latest published work “keen and full of wisdom.”

“These utterly graceful poems speak to us like aphorisms or proverbs, making us pause, pay attention to the world again, and reconsider our lives — past, present, and future,” wrote Blanco, author of “How to Love a Country.” “Whether contemplating love or nature, politics or pop-culture, Kestenbaum questions our assumptions and gently reveals the extraordinary in the everyday, the reverent in irreverent, the logical in the absurd, the fullness of our emptiness.”

Kestenbaum is the author of four collections of poems, “Pilgrimage” (Coyote Love Press), “House of Thanksgiving” (Deerbrook Editions), “Prayers and Run-on Sentences” (Deerbrook Editions) and “Only Now” (Deerbrook Editions) and a collection of essays “The View From Here” (Brynmorgen Press).

Appointed poet laureate of Maine in 2016, Kestenbaum directed Deer Isle’s Haystack Mountain School of Crafts for 27 years. He established innovative programs combining craft and writing as well as craft and new technologies. He is an honorary fellow of the American Craft Council and a recipient of the Distinguished Educator’s Award from the James Renwick Alliance.

“Stu is our neighbor and friend and we are thrilled to offer a space for the community to hear him speak his newest poems,” Opera House Arts’ Communications & Engagement Kate Russell said. “What a gift for us all.”

For more info, call 367-2788 and visit operahousearts.org.

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