Stuart Kestenbaum, Maine’s poet laureate.

PARIS — Stuart Kestenbaum, Maine’s poet laureate, will present readings of his poems at the First Universalist Church of West Paris, 208 Main St., at 9 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 24. Titled “Poetry as Prayer” the service will include readings throughout. Refreshments will follow the service.

Kestenbaum is the author of four collections of poems and a collection of essays, “The View From Here” (Brynmorgen Press). He has written and spoken widely on craft making and creativity, and his poems and writing have appeared in numerous small press publications and magazines. He was appointed poet laureate of Maine in 2016.

Former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser has written, “Stuart Kestenbaum writes the kind of poems I love to read, heartfelt responses to the privilege of having been given a life. No hidden agendas here, no theories to espouse, nothing but life, pure life, set down with craft and love.”

Kestenbaum was also the director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle for 27 years, where he established innovative programs combining craft and writing, and craft and new technologies. He is an honorary fellow of the American Craft Council and a recipient of the Distinguished Educator’s Award from the James Renwick Alliance.