Poetry at the Playhouse

Feb 25, 2014

Belfast — Four members of the local writer’s group Poets’ Table will share a sampling of their work Sunday, March 9, at 2 p.m. at The Playhouse, 107 Church St. Karie Friedman of Montville, Shelley Johnson of Appleton, Judy Kaber of Belfast and Michele Leavitt of Unity will be the featured poets.

The reading is free and open to the general public, although donations will be accepted to help defray costs of space rental and refreshments. The four poets represent a broad range of experiences and styles.

Friedman, a former scientific editor, has a master of fine arts degree from New England College. Her work has been published in such literary journals as Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, Indian River Review, The Naugatuck River Review, Off the Coast and the 2013 anthology “Best Indie Lit New England.” She recently completed a chapbook, “Samba-Heart,” about experiences in Brazil.

Kaber combines a day job as a teacher at Troy Central School with a prolific output of poetry.  Her chapbook “Rehearsing in the Dark” won the Larry Kramer Memorial Award in 2011. She was the first-place winner of the 2009 Maine Postmark Poetry Contest and a Special Merit poet in Comstock Review’s 2013 Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial contest. Kaber’s poems have been published in many literary journals including 34th Parallel, Apparatus Magazine, Flutter, The Guardian, The Monkey's Fist, Off the Coast,  Psychopoetica, Puckerbrush Review, Thieves' Jargon and Wolf Moon Journal.

Johnson, who serves as the executive director of Midcoast Community Chorus, received an MFA degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2012. She was a runner-up for Hunger Mountain’s Ruth Stone Poetry Prize and a finalist in Mid-American Review’s Fineline Competition. In addition to writing poetry, she is the author of four books of nonfiction including “The Complete Sea Kayaker’s Handbook,” which won the National Outdoor Book Award in 2001.

Leavitt, a former trial attorney, holds an MFA from Vermont College and works for Unity College. Her chapbook “The Glass Transition” was published by Finishing Line Press in 2010; and her poetry, essays and flash fiction have appeared most recently in Umbrella, So to Speak, HEArt: Human Equity through Art, Per Contra and The Tower Journal. In 2013, her collection of poems, “Back East,” won the first Michael Macklin Award, honoring the memory of a supporter and ambassador of poetry in Maine. The book was published by Moon Pie Press last fall.

Poets’ Table is a critique group that meets twice a month, usually in Belfast, to discuss members’ work with an eye to improving it for publication. The group welcomes new members who are familiar with contemporary poetry and its craft. For more information, contact Friedman at kariefriedman@yahoo.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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