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Poetry & Robert Frost



2019 MacGregor Poetry Contest

We are looking in Derry and all over the state for the next great poem!

Winning poem = $250 cash*

Submit up to 2 poems, no more than 2 pages each.
No restrictions as to form or subject.
Please do NOT put your name on poem – all poems are judged anonymously.
No Google Docs, please!
Do not enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope with your entry. Entries are not returnable.
Submissions accepted until March 15, 2019.
Contest results will be announced in April 2019.
Winners will be contacted by phone or email.

Entries may be sent via:

The contest will be judged by Derry Poet Laureate, Robert Crawford, and staff members of the Derry Public Library. All entries will be judged anonymously.

*provided by the Frost Farm Trustees


The Derry Public Library is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 MacGregor Poetry Contest.

  • First Place – Patricia O’Neil of East Derry NH for her poem, “Dream of God and You.”
  • Second Place – Kyle Potvin of Derry NH for her poem, “Lunar Eclipse.”
  • Third Place – Gordon Lang of Ossipee NH for his poem, “Truth Lies Near Beauty.”

This is the first year of the MacGregor Poetry Contest sponsored by the Derry Public Library and the Frost Farm Board of Trustees. Over 200 entries from 111 poets were submitted for consideration. The competition was fierce and the themes and writing styles were impressively diverse. Whittling the winners down to just three was a difficult but enjoyable task done by Derry Poet Laureate Robert Crawford, Derry Public Library Director Cara Barlow, and Derry Teen Services Librarian Erin Robinson. The first place prize of $250 was donated by the Robert Frost Board of Trustees who support poetry programming in Derry and the surrounding area.

“I was thrilled by the number and quality of the entries,” said library director Cara Barlow.  “I want to thank the Derry Public Library Trustees for supporting this program and especially DPL Reference Librarian Liz Ryan who received and organized the submissions so that the entrants’ information would be kept anonymous for judging.”

The MacGregor Poetry Contest is an annual contest sponsored by the Derry Public Library and supporters. There is no entry fee and the contest is open to all ages.



Patricia O’Neil lives in East Derry with her husband, David LeFrancois.

For many years, she taught Language Arts at West Running Brook Middle School. Patricia is a member of the Hyla Brook Poets, and her poems have appeared in several publications including Rattle and Light.

Dream of God and You

I cannot sleep for all this talk of God,
these tangled sheets, those shadows on the wall.
For when I dropped that last damp clump of sod,
I doubted you had heard the trumpet’s call.
Did angels greet you? Is St. Peter there?
Is God so radiant you had to blink?
Or are you watching baseball, drinking beer,
and finishing the crossword – all in ink?
Our muslin curtains flutter near the bed
and backyard lilacs tease the breeze with Spring.
Newborn sweet blossoms lift their fragile heads
and mock me with the promises they bring.
This bed’s not right for one; it’s meant for two.
I’ll try to sleep and dream of God and you.



Derry has its first-ever Poet Laureate!

Selected and nominated by the Derry Public Library and endorsed by the Derry Town Council on January 24, 2017, Robert Crawford will serve a term of two years as Derry Poet Laureate.


Congratulatory letter from Senator Jeanne Shaheen



Robert  Crawford has published two books of poetry, The Empty Chair (2011, Richard Wilbur Award), and Too Much Explanation Can Ruin a Man (2005). His sonnets have twice won the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. His poems have appeared in many national journals including The FormalistFirst ThingsDark HorseThe Raintown ReviewThe LyricMeasureLight and Forbes. He co-founded the Hyla Brook Poets, and is a long-time member of the Powow River Poets of Newburyport, MA. Currently, he is Co-Chairman of the Robert Frost Farm Board of Trustees, Director of the Frost Farm Poetry Conference and Frost Farm Prize. He is a Frost Farm guide during the season. He lives in Chester, NH, with his wife, the poet Midge Goldberg.




Robert Frost Farm




The Robert Frost Farm was home to Robert Frost and his family from 1900-1911. Frost, one of the nation’s most acclaimed poets whose writings are said to be the epitome of New England, attributed many of his poems to memories from the Derry years. Find out more about this local landmark at the Frost Farm website.


Frost Farm Literary Series


Inviting guest speakers to Derry to celebrate the work of America’s foremost poet is a tradition at the farm. Lectures are held in the Farm’s barn theater beginning at 2:00 pm and are open to the public free of charge.

Programs are made possible by grants from the New Hampshire Humanities Council and are sponsored by the Division of Parks and Recreation, the Robert Frost Homestead Trustees, and the Friends of the Robert Frost Farm.



Hyla Brook Poets



The Hyla Brook Reading Series events take place monthly, May through September, in the intimate space of Robert Frost’s barn. Except for May, which is the third Thursday of the month, all readings take place the second Thursday of the month from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Each reading also features a Hyla Brook Poet and is followed by an Open Mic. Readings are free and open to the public.



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Find out in depth information about the Farm on the NH State Parks website.

The Robert Frost Farm State Historic Site is open daily from May 26 to September 1.  The farm is open Wednesday to Sunday September 3 until closing for the season October 13. Operating hours are 10 am to 5 pm.

Tours, displays, a trail, and poetry readings are all available at the park. Seasonal Programs are offered to the public at no charge, and run from May through October. They are made possible by grants from the N.H. Humanities Council and are sponsored by the Division of Parks and Recreation, the Robert Frost Homestead Trustees, and the Friends of the Robert Frost Farm.