Poetry Event: How to Start Over by Stuart Kestenbaum

How to Start Over: Poems by Stuart Kestenbaum

Please join us on Tuesday, June 18th at 7pm for a poetry reading with Maine's Poet Laureate to celebrate the release of his new collection, How to Start Over: Poems.

Early reviews:

"KEEN AND FULL OF WISDOM, these utterly graceful poems speak to us like aphorisms or proverbs, making us pause, pay attention to the world again, and reconsider our lives—past, present, and future. Whether contemplating love or nature, politics or pop-culture, Stuart Kestenbaum questions our assumptions and gently reveals the extraordinary in the everyday, the reverent in irreverent, the logical in the absurd, the fullness of our emptiness. These poems make me feel fully present and aware: every word a deep breath; every line a moment of deep meditation."

—Richard Blanco


"How to Start Over  gives us a keen eye for the natural world and a gentle encouragement to wake up and look. Then Stuart Kestenbaum adds a sly humor and ironic wisdom, knowing that we will always stumble and snooze, and need to begin again. Indeed beginning again is a major theme in these poems, implying grief and breakage, but also wonder, as the broom he describes sweeps up dust, and also 'the luminescent green wings of a Luna moth.' Some of these poems were made or sparked by lists of random words given to the poet. But really nothing is random to an imagination that can see the whole from its scattered parts, see in disparate elements a “full spectrum holiness.” These are marvelous poems, reminding us we are always “part of a longer story”; they are love poems to the world and its great mysteries, and to us who snooze and wake again among the marvels."

—Betsy Sholl


"I’ve often thought I’d like to go on a world tour with Stuart Kestenbaum—he’s that smart and funny, that self-possessed and wise, quiet at the right times, ready to rage, the perfect companion on the trip that is this beautiful book. A trip inward, I mean, where towers fall and not even goddesses are timeless, no need to be checking your inbox for love, if I may quote our man. I love the music of these sentences, and the sadness, and the seriousness, the long lingering moments when a line or image or idea has stopped you cold and you realize that even as you’re seeing the world new you’re having plain fun, more fun than you’ve had in a very long time, and the laughter begins. How to Start Over is a light in the dark, a look at what we’ve been missing, and Stuart Kestenbaum is one of our fi nest poets, working still and always at the peak of his powers.” 

—Bill Roorbach


Event date: 
Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Longfellow Books
Portland, ME 04101