Church to celebrate faith through poetry

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WILTON – St. Luke’s Episcopal Church has announce a Celebration of Faith through Poetry with a literary reading by four New England poets at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7, at the church, corner of School and High streets.

Featured poets include Sydney Lea of Newbury, Vt., Maine’s newest state poet laureate, Betsy Sholl, Vermont’s Garret Keizer and St. Lukes’ Robin Merrill.

Lea has published eight collections of poems, most recently “Ghost Pain.” His collection, “Pursuit of a Wound,” was one of the three finalists for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. The preceding volume, “To the Bone: New and Selected Poems,” was co-winner of the 1998 Poets’ Prize.

Lea has received fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright and Guggenheim Foundations and has taught at Dartmouth, Yale, Wesleyan, Vermont and Middlebury Colleges as well as at Franklin College in Switzerland and the National Hungarian University in Budapest.

Sholl, lives in Portland. She teaches at the University of Southern Maine and in the Vermont College MFA in Writing Program, and has taught at Stonecoast Summer Writers’ Conference in Freeport and at the Frost Place in New Hampshire.

Her poetry books include “Changing Faces,” “Appalachian Winter,” “Rooms Overhead,” “The Red Line,” which won the University of Pittsburgh 1991 Associated Writing Programs Award for Poetry, “Pick a Card,” Maine Arts Commission Chapbook Award, and “Late Psalm.” Her poem, “To Walt Whitman in Heaven,” was read on the Writer’s Almanac in August 2004.

Keizer, a retired teacher and Episcopal priest from northeastern Vermont, is a poet and author of five books: “Help: The Original Human Dilemma,” “The Enigma of Anger: Essays on a Sometimes Deadly Sin,” “God of Beer,” “A Dresser of Sycamore Trees: The Finding of a Ministry” and “No Place But Here: A Teacher’s Vocation in a Rural Community,” which won a Christopher Award in 1988.

A contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine, he has also published his poems, essays and articles in the Chicago Tribune, the Christian Century, the Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, the Village Voice and the Washington Post as well as the Best American Science and Nature Writing 2002 and the Best American Poetry 2005.

Merrill lives in Madison. A former Merchant Mariner and Great Lakes pilot, she teaches physical science at a home for disadvantaged youth. Her most recent chapbook is “Laundry and Stories” from Moon Pie Press.

Her poems are forthcoming in Pearl, Margie, Flint Hills Review and Radix. Three of her poems were featured on the Writer’s Almanac in 2005. She will take over the presidency of Maine Poets’ Society this spring.

The free event is open to the public. A book table will be available. For more information, contact the church at 645-2639.

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