Poetry the next focus for Wise and Strong Women Speak!
The Center for Wisdom’s Women announces the next in its semi-annual Wise and Strong Women Speak programs set for Friday, March 11 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Now in its fifth year, these “Wise and Strong Women Speak” evenings are designed to give voice to the often unspoken stories of women. They have evolved into a magical community experience that inspires all who attend. The focus this spring is on two poets Claire Hersom and Susann Pelletier who will share about their lives and their poetry. The conversations will again be hosted and facilitated by Marguerite Stapleton.
Claire Hersom is a native Mainer who’s poetry is about Maine; it’s beauty, it’s culture and it’s working poor. Her first self-published book, Supper At The Farm, is about her Irish family and their farm in Pittston Maine. Her latest poetry book, Drowning: A Poetic Memoir was published by Moon Pie Press of Portland. The book chronicles her and her children’s struggle out of a welfare system and financial situation relentless to keep her there. Claire’s work appears in several poetry journals and anthologies, as well as in Yankee Magazine’s New England Memories series. Drowning: A Poetic Memoir was supplemental text for degree classes in Human Services at the University of Maine, Rockland campus.
In 2011, she was nominated and awarded an Emerging Artist Grant in Literature from the St. Botolph Club Foundation of Boston. Claire volunteers in area schools giving poetry ‘days’ to students k-12. She is one of three organizers for The Harlow Gallery’s poetry series, ‘The Bookey Readings at the Harlow’.
Susann Pelletier, a native of Lewiston, began writing poems when she was 11 years old. Her work gives voice to her deep connections to family and place in Franco-America, as well as her vision of social justice and dignity at home and beyond our borders.
Her articles and poems have been published here and abroad in anthologies, literary journals, chapbooks, and political and environmental magazines. A series of her poems appeared in 2008 in Voyages: A Maine Franco-American Reader (Tilbury House and Franco-American Collection, publishers). In November 2010, she took part, representing Franco-America, in the Bates International Poetry Festival with seven other poets from around the world. These readings were streamed around the globe, along with text translations. Susann’s poems and their French translations appeared in 2011 in Translations, an e-book publication of festival poets’ works for international audiences. In 2016, a series of Susann’s poems will appear in Inspired, Inspiring, Inspire—French Heritage Women Create, an anthology celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Maine Franco-American Women’s Institute. She is completing a book-length collection of poems, What We Gather in November, which she hopes to publish in the coming year.
A long-time advocate of local and sustainable organic food systems, Susann and her spouse, Jim Lysen and daughter Genevieve, participate in a Maine-products food cooperative, community-supported agriculture (CSA), and also grow and preserve their own organic vegetables, fruits and herbs.
Poetry books will be available for sale at both venues. Light refreshments will be offered. There is no charge for attendance, although donations are encouraged to support The Center for Wisdom’s Women. Those who attend are invited to bring contributions of hygiene items (full size, unopened containers only please) for the Center’s hygiene pantry! Most needed are shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste.
No reservations are needed, just come and bring a friend. On site parking is limited, but is available on the street or walkable a few blocks away in the Park Street garage.