Originally published in Compass, August 8, 2013
Stonington poetry evening celebrates place and community
Opera House Arts will present an evening of poetry with Maine poet Dawn Potter, writer Deborah Cummins, and local community members on stage together to celebrate where we live on Thursday, August 22 at 7 p.m. “Home: A Celebration of Place and Community” features community readers Benjamin Barrows, Kathleen Billings-Pezaris, Jessica Brophy, Loring Kydd and Sally Richardson. The evening, which has been curated by Cummins, former chairman of the Poetry Foundation, begins with Potter, and in its second half offers poems selected by each of the community readers, along with brief explanations of what their selections mean to them.
Dawn Potter is an accomplished poet, editor, musician, raiser of goats, and the director of the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching at Robert Frost’s home in Franconia, N.H. She works extensively as a visiting writer in the schools and as a freelance editor for literary and academic presses, according to a press release. Her most recent book is an anthology, A Poet’s Sourcebook: Writings about Poetry, from the Ancient World to the Present. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she has received grants and fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Writer’s Center, and the Maine Arts Commission. In addition to writing, Potter sings and plays fiddle with the band String Field Theory.
Deborah Cummins is the author most recently of an essay collection, Here and Away: Discovering Home on an Island in Maine, as well as two collections of poetry. The recipient of various fellowships and awards, Cummins was most recently the winner of the 2013 and 2012 Maine Literary Award in Short Works of Non-Fiction, with awards given for her essays “Edges” and “Ebb and Flow,” both of which appear as chapters in Here and Away. She has taught and led workshops as a poet-in-residence in junior and senior high schools, as well as at several colleges and museums. From 2001 to 2005, she was first Chair of the Board of the Poetry Foundation. She resides with her husband in Chicago, Illinois and Deer Isle, Maine.
Tickets are available at the door the evening of the performance, at opera housearts.org or by calling the Stonington Opera House, 367-2788. Island students are admitted free.