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Poetry Event: Chestnut Ridge by Dawn Potter
Thursday, August 29th at 7PM
Chestnut Ridge by Dawn Potter
Dawn will be reading from her fourth poetry collection, "Chestnut Ridge," a verse-history of southwestern Pennsylvania's coal country.
About the collection:
This verse history traces the history of a small region of western Pennsylvania—from frontier, to battlefield, to coal boom, to post-industrial malaise. Poet Adrian Blevins writes, “this sad, moral, and really smart book is essential reading for anyone interested in hearing a master poet sing an indispensable bereavement song."
"Dawn Potter’s rich and remarkable Chestnut Ridge gives us voices and artifacts tracing the development of southwestern Pennsylvania, from 1635 to 2013--from missionaries to racial conflicts, mining disasters to the way changing times can leave us adrift. Potter makes history alive and compelling. These poems hold up a mirror to the way assumptions and pressures shape our lives, as they trace how the land changes from wilderness, to commercial venture, to the aftermath of industry. It’s hard to know what to praise more: Potter’s deft and supple forms, the rich empathy through which she creates the voices of others, or the way her poems make the past alive in all its complexity. In a time when history and truth are under attack, these poems are not only beautiful and profound, they are utterly crucial." — Betsy Sholl
About the author:
Dawn Potter directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, held each summer at Robert Frost's home in Franconia, New Hampshire. She serves on the faculty of 24PearlStreet, the online writing program of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts; and works as a visiting writer in the schools, a freelance manuscript consultant, and a freelance editor for literary and academic presses.
Dawn is the author or editor of eight books of prose and poetry. Same Old Story, her most recent poetry collection, was a judge's nominee for the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Award for Poetry. Her memoir, Tracing Paradise: Two Years in Harmony with John Milton, won the 2010 Maine Literary Award in Nonfiction, and she has also received grants and fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Writer's Center, and the Maine Arts Commission. Her poems and essays have appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal, the Sewanee Review, the Threepenny Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and many other journals in the United States and abroad.
Dawn's fourth collection of poetry, Chestnut Ridge, is forthcoming in 2019.
In addition to writing, editing, and teaching, Dawn sings and plays fiddle, most recently with the band Doughty Hill. She lives in Portland, Maine, with photographer Thomas Birtwistle.