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Tag Archives: Off the Coast

Childhood memory

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This is an evocative poem by George VanDeventer, a largely unsung hero of Maine literature.  George is a Bristol, Maine resident who has been writing, publishing, teaching and promoting poetry in Maine for decades.  George started the poetry journal OFF THE COAST and ran it for many years, giving countless  Maine poets of all ages their first publication. Now in his eighties, George continues to write, tackle ambitious gardening projects, and help promote poetry.

 

Thomas Street, Newark, 1943

My dog has a special place to go.
I sweep away the waste
for the begonias next spring.
Sunflowers rise off the railroad bank.

My Sicilian neighbor walks his goats
early every Sunday morning,
to nibble the dandelions
on a hill that rises to a railroad track,
sunflowers, thistles and old freight cars.

A pony pulls a decorated yellow wagon,
four children and a man
sitting upright
clip-clopping cobbled Thomas Street.

People from away, so near,
I watch them passing –
gesticulating in the air –

with four children in a yellow wagon,
a pony and a man.

sunflowers RR track.jpg

About small presses and journals

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maine lighthouse photo

reading at the beach

Beach weather is here at last in Maine. After the harsh, protracted winter we had, we’re basking in it.
I’ve been thinking about small poetry presses and literary journals in Maine, and how hard/expensive it is to keep one going. Wonderful ones that are now defunct include Animus, from east to west, Monkey’s Fist and Wolf Moon Press Journal. Brave journals that persist: Café Review, Off the Coast, Beloit Poetry Journal, The New Guard Review, the Aurorean. (Forgive me if I am leaving any out.) Poetry presses in Maine that I know of: Alice James Books, North Country Press, Deerbrook Editions, Islandport Press. (And of course Moon Pie Press, going strong in year 11!) Talk about a labor of love. I’ve fantasized about having a journal, but it’s way too much work to juggle that and a press, and I’m happy to keep publishing poetry books now that I’ve finally figured out how to break even every year. I love doing it and am about to start working on book #80. Hope you will support small presses and journals by buying their books and magazines once in a while.