Sunday, June 16, 2019

Hummus and Poetry Night

Gulf of Maine Books will host our 4th annual "Hummus and Poetry" night on Saturday, June 29, at 4PM.The event will celebrate the publishing of the anthology "Making Mirrors - Writing/Righting by and for Refugees". Our featured readers will be Sharif Elmusa and Becky Thompson. Becky Thompson is the co-editor of "Making Mirrors". She is a poet, a teacher, a scholar, and since 2015 she has been teaching poetry workshops in "camps" in Greece, meeting rafts, documenting human rights violations, and creating spaces for writers to share their work. Sharif Elmusa is a Palestinian poet,teacher, and scholar now living in Maine. He has recently published :"Flawed Landscape - selected poems" and has poems in the "Making Mirrors" anthology. Another "Hummus and Poetry" regular, Zeina Azzam, has poems in "Making Mirrors" but cannot be with us, so we hope that her brother Fateh will read her poems, and perhaps play the oud. The event is free, and open to the public, with refreshments, poetry, and good company.
Here is a poem from the "Making Mirrors" anthology:


Only they saw the waves
Only they saw the wind
as the houses collapsed
Only they dreamt of dreams
There were no birds
There were no trees
No hands to cover their eyes
No rain to record their footsteps
Only they saw their photos fading
into the walls
Only they saw their stories
hidden in the sounds of strangers
Only they
they stayed to tell us
they were never gone
they lay in their shadows
guarding their origin
their heart in every note
of every song
they stayed to tell us
there will always be
a heart in the sea
with our names

Nathalie Handal

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Poetry reading with Elizabeth Tibbetts and Pam Burr Smith

cover painting by Jon Muench

cover painting by Katherine Bradford

Gulf of Maine Books will host a reading/publishing party for two new books of poetry by Maine poets Elizabeth Tibbetts and Pam Burr Smith on Saturday, June 1, at 4pm.
Elizabeth Tibbetts' new book is "Say What You Can" - a collection of poems published by Deerbrook Editions, of Cumberland, Maine.
Pam Burr Smith's new book is "Near Stars - New and Selected Poems", published by Blackberry Books of Nobleboro, Maine.
The event is free, and open to the public.
For more information please call the bookstore at 729-5083.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

local author power trio

photo by Beth Leonard

Local author power trio at Gulf of Maine Books!
Cynthia Lord, Maria Padian, Josephine Cameron

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Julia Bouwsma reads from Midden poems

Julia Bouwsma will read from her book of poems Midden at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick on Saturday, May 4, at 2 PM, with book support from Gulf of Maine Books. The poems in Midden rise up out of the historical account of Malaga Island, where in 1912 the State of Maine forcibly evicted an interracial community of roughly 45 people. Utilizing a wide range of poetic styles, Midden confronts the events and over one hundred years of silence that surround this shameful incident in Maine's history. Here is a section from "Interview with the dead", one of the poems in the collection:

How did you leave?

Our houses became our bodies - we lashed
ourselves to rafts.Our bodies became boats.
Some left as cargo in boats, boxes.
We wept or did not weep

until home became the rubble
between our teeth: the thing one cannot
bite for fear of breaking.

Then we were a people sculpted of wind,
and when we left, we scattered as breath,
lingered as breath -

then we were a people carved of gravel and dust,
and we left as the land
stripped from the land -

carrying our hearts in our fists.

Julia Bouwsma

The event is free, and open to the public.

Friday, April 19, 2019

David Vermette at Gulf of Maine

David Vermette will read from and discuss his book "A Distinct Alien Race" at Gulf of Maine Books on Tuesday, April 30, at 7 PM.
Mr. Vermette's book deals with the history of the textile industry in New England, and of the Franco Americans who worked in that industry. He uses Brunswick, Maine, as the historical example, and follows the routes of the Canadian French as they come to Brunswick to work. He gives us the histories of the Cabot and Verney mills, the Ku Klux Klan in Brunswick, the origins of the financing of the New England textile industries (slaves and opium...) and more -. The author's great great grandfather Joseph lived in Quebec, just south of Quebec City, and three of Joseph's sons came to Brunswick to work at the Cabot Mills, eventually living on Oak Street. David Vermette is a researcher, writer, and speaker on the history and identity of the descendants of French North America.
The event is free, and open to the public.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Publishing Party - The Proper Way To Meet A Hedgehog

Please join us for a publishing party for "The Proper Way To Meet A Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems", poems selected by Paul Janeczko, at Gulf of Maine Books Saturday, April 27, at 3 PM. Guest readers will include Melissa Sweet, Lynn Plourde, and Matt Tavares. Refreshments, poetry, and friends. Free and open to the public.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Writing/Righting by and for Refugees

Making Mirrors - Writing/Righting by and for Refugees, edited by Jehan Bseiso and Becky Thompson, has just been released by Olive Branch Press. The contributors include Palestinian poets Zeina Azzam and Sharif Elmusa, both of whom have read at our annual "Hummus and Poetry" evenings of Palestinian poetry, music, and food. We hope to have them both here again this coming summer, to read from, and celebrate, this wonderful new anthology!
Here is a poem from the collection :

My People's Story

We once lived rooted
like the ancient olive trees.
Now we're birds
nesting on songs
about homes we miss.
Storms and distances
decide our address.

Ibtisam Barakat

Peter Kilgore's Collected Poems

North Country Press has just published Quarry - The Collected Poems of Peter Kilgore - a 300 page collection of poems by this wonderful Maine poet/educator.
Here is what Gary said on the back cover of the book:
Here in Maine, in the early 1970s, Contraband Magazine started appearing, and I found a group of young Maine poets, kindred souls in a lonely state for poets. One of my favorites was Peter Kilgore. His poems struck home. They were clear, spare, intelligent, and informed. Peter didn't stay with us long enough, and it is a great gift to have this collection of his poems in print, in the air, to hear the sound of his voice, again.