2019 MacGregor Poetry Contest
On behalf of the Derry Public Library, we would like to thank you for participating in the second annual MacGregor Poetry Contest. We are so happy that you chose to share your creativity with us! Over one hundred poems were submitted, and we have chosen our winner: Stumpfield Pond 1975 by Matthew Forrest Esenwine!
Stumpfield Pond, 1975
By Matthew Forrest Esenwine
His son at his side, Dad slips
weathered, pea-green fiberglass into mirror water,
skillfully slicing the placid surface.
from either side of the bow,
curling and folding upon themselves as sand-
worn hull grinds on gravel
like thunder in sunshine – unexpected,
before it finds buoyancy
10 feet from shore.
persistent phoebe sing from treetops; the air
smells of lilies and dew,
wild iris and fog.
Clambering into the boat first, I stake
claim to my usual post
near the bow, small hands holding
Dad climbs in once I am seated and, grabbing one
wooden oar, pushes hard
against sand and silt, heaving the weight
of the boat
into the cool, wet, morning.
Matt Forrest Esenwine’s poetry has been published in various collections and journals around the country including the upcoming Donald Hall tribute anthology, Except for Love (Encircle, 2019), and in 2012 his poem, “Apple-Stealing,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Meanwhile, his children’s poetry can be found in anthologies like The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry and The Poetry of US (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2015 & 2018) and “Highlights for Children” magazine. His picture book, Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), received a starred review from Kirkus, critical national praise, and was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the Best Books for Kids of 2017.
Matt lives in Warner, NH with his wife and kids, and has many more children’s books & poems contracted for publication in the next few years.
Our finalists are as follows:
Stacy Milbour, At Jaffrey Cemetery
Melissa Juchniewicz, For Sale by Owner
Bill Dubie, Cowboys
Again, we thank you for your poetry. We appreciate everyone who took the time to enter and share their work with us. We couldn’t have this contest without you!
Derry Public Library staff
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.
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 Formalist, First Things, Dark Horse, The Raintown Review, The Lyric, Measure, Light 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.