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Ken Schuster
April 9, 2008

Selectman's meetings minutes here.

Grand Slam Poetry Jam at the library

    Our state is becoming a poetry hotbed of sorts. The current Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry ("National Poet Laureate") is Strafford resident, Charles Simic. He was preceded by Warner resident, Donald Hall. Another Warner resident, Maxine Kumin, held the position in 1981. Richard Eberhart was born in Minnesota, but came here and enrolled at Dartmouth. After graduation, he left the state, but came back to Dartmouth 30 years later as a professor. Three years later (1959), he was appointed Poet Laureate, receiving the baton of office from the previous holder of that title, another fellow from New Hampshire named Robert Frost, of Derry. (Learn more at

    With that in mind, it was fitting that Newbury’s head start on National Poetry Month was standing-room only at the library, March 30. It was a verbal jam session organized by David Messineo, Publisher of the literary journal, Sensations Magazine, and featuring our State’s Poet Laureate, Patricia Fargnoli and Newbury’s own Dianalee Velie.

NH Poet Laureate, Patricia Fargnoli, reads her poetry at Newbury Library's Grand Slam Poetry Jam. To her left are Dianalee Velie, David Messineo and other participants.

    Patricia lives in Walpole, and moved from Connecticut about 13 years ago after her three children had grown up and ventured out on their own. She graduated with honors from Trinity College in Hartford, and earned her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Connecticut. In addition to her career as a poet, she was a social worker and psychotherapist, and a member of the National Association of Poetry Therapists.

    Patricia has read her work at venues throughout New England and has published more than 200 poems in national and international literary journals.

    David Messineo, one of the event organizers, drove up from New Jersey with two friends who  participated in the jam session. In addition to publishing the award-winning, self-sustaining Sensations Magazine for the past 20 years, David has authored six collections of poetry. The Web site is

Poetry publisher, David Messineo, addresses poetry jam participants at Newbury library, March 30.


Newbury poet Dianalee Velie (left) chats with New Hampshire Poet Laureate Patricia Fargnoli at Newbury Library Poetry Jam, March 30.

   Newbury resident, Dianalee Velie, is a Sarah Lawrence graduate, and her Master of Arts in Writing is from Manhattanville College. She has taught poetry, memoir, and short story writing at universities and colleges in New York, Connecticut and New Hampshire, and in private workshops throughout the Northeast. 

    Her award-winning poetry and short stories have been published in hundreds of North American literary journals. 

    Recently, Dianalee was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her play, "Mama Says," was directed by Daniel Quinn in a staged reading in New York City. 

    Another Newbury poet, Peter Bradley, began writing in the mid-1960s. He said that his work is usually very personal, and publishing has not been his primary goal. For him, writing is cathartic and centering.

Newbury poet Peter Bradley reads one of his compositions  at Newbury library's poetry jam.


    Peter said that our hearts come with a lifetime guarantee, and his warranty has been tested twice! Before his two "cardiac events" he was an administrator at the New Hampshire Office of Economic Services.

    He and his wife tried the Floridian way of life for about two and a half years, but they missed New Hampshire, and wanted to come back. After some serious research, they chose Newbury. It has been "one year today" that they’ve been here, and they are quite happy about it.

    Peter said, "I really appreciate Zen thinking. I tend to see things in little individual moments, and Haiku [Zen-influenced minimalist style of poetry] is a way of expressing those moments. Sometimes a single moment can be extremely profound." 

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