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Tag Archives: Michael Macklin

Honoring the memory of a poetry ambassador

Michael Macklin

M Leavitt photo (2)


On the night of Nov. 1 Michele Leavitt of Unity, Maine, winner of the first Michael Macklin Prize poetry contest, read from her book BACK EAST at Longfellow Books in Portland to a big crowd. Dennis Camire of Maine Poetry Central, whose idea it was to honor Michael with this ongoing contest, spoke movingly of how dedicated Michael was to poetry, often at the expense of promoting or publishing his own work. Michael came to poetry later in life and embraced everything about it with passion. He was a natural performer and teacher with a mellifluous voice and great generosity of spirit. I think he would have liked seeing so many of his friends at his favorite bookstore, listening to some of his poems and then Michele’s powerful work. It is a privilege to be involved in this project. That evening left me feeling newly energized about the worth of poetry, and grateful for being part of the rich, diverse Maine poetry community.


Warm October


fall in New England

My window boxes are still blooming, and so is a pink rose in my yard – most unusual for October in Maine. I had to mow the lawn today – usually by October that particular chore is done until spring. Last weekend I went to the Cumberland Fair and tomorrow I’m going apple picking. The state has officially declared the fall foliage to be at its peak. The pleasures of autumn in New England! The poetry scene here gets more varied this time of year, too, with slam, open mikes, featured poets and many kinds of readings and festivals all over the state. Maine Poetry Central and Moon Pie Press just released the first winner of the Michael Macklin Prize contest, a wonderful poetry collection by Michele Leavitt of Unity, Maine, called BACK EAST. It is already selling briskly and I am delighted. Michele will have a “launch” reading on November 1 at Longfellow Books in downtown Portland; details will be on the MPP website at Other readings will happen, too. I hope to see you at a poetry event this season.