MICHAEL MACKLIN AND MICHELE LEAVITT
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.