Wintonbury Poetry Series

Spark your creativity, make connections, and share the gift of poetry! The P. Faith McMahon Wintonbury Library offers readings by notable poets and a warm, supportive atmosphere for sharing your own work. Everyone is welcome!

The Wintonbury Poetry Series and Open Mic is held at the McMahon Wintonbury Library on the third Thursday of the month, October – April, at 7:00 PM. Poetry writing workshops are offered in May.

Residents of Bloomfield and surrounding communities are invited to submit their poetry for consideration to appear on the library’s Poetry Sharing Page.

“A Poet Ornithologist and a Poet Laureate”
Featuring Polly Brody and Joan Hofmann

Thursday, December 19, 7:00 PM
Open mic follows

Southbury poet Polly Brody is also an experienced field ornithologist who has led many bird-watching excursions in CT. She has authored 5 books of poetry, essays and short stories, and her work has appeared in numerous publications. Polly has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has twice received the Winchell Award from the Connecticut Poetry Society and received the 2005 Poetry Prize from the Connecticut River Review. As Chairperson for the Newtown Conservation Commission, she was instrumental in saving 790 acres from development, and a major trail through this tract is named Polly Brody Forest Road.

Joan Hofmann serves on the Executive Boards of Riverwood Poetry and the Connecticut Poetry Society and was Poet Laureate of Canton, Connecticut, 2015-2019. Her poems have been published in various journals and anthologies, including Rumble Fish QuarterlyJuniperBird’s Thumb, Spaces, SLANT, PlainsongsInterpretationsCaduceus, and Freshwater, and in chapbooks: Coming Back (Antrim House, 2014), Alive (Grayson Press, 2017), and Alive, Too (Grayson Press, 2019).


“Two Poets from East of the River”
Featuring Jonathan Andersen and Danielle Pieratti

Thursday, January 16, 7:00 PM
Open mic follows

Storrs poet Jonathan Andersen is the author of Augur (Red Dragonfly Press, 2018), winner of the David Martinson-Meadowhawk Poetry Prize and a finalist for the 2019 Connecticut Book Award in poetry. Other books include The Burden Note (Meridian Prize, 2014), an English/Serbo-Croatian chapbook, and Stomp and Sing (Curbstone Press/Northwestern University Press, 2005). He is the editor of the anthology Seeds of Fire: Contemporary Poetry from the Other U.S.A. (Smokestack Books, 2008). He has been a featured reader throughout the eastern United States, the United Kingdom, and Serbia, including at the Ledbury Poetry Festival, the 49th International Festival of Literature in Belgrade, and the 42nd Smederevo Poetry Autumn. His poems have appeared in numerous print and online publications. He is a professor of English at Quinnebaug Valley Community College in Danielson and Willimantic, Connecticut.

Glastonbury poet Danielle Pieratti‘s first book, Fugitives (Lost Horse Press, 2016), won the 2016 Idaho Prize and the 2017 Connecticut Book Award for Poetry. She is the author of two chapbooks: By the Dog Star, winner of the Edda Chapbook Competition for Women (Sarasota Poetry Theatre Press, 2005), and The Post, the Cage, the Palisade (Dancing Girl Press, 2015). Danielle holds an MFA from Columbia University and is working towards her PhD in English at the University of Connecticut. She currently teaches secondary English and runs regular writing workshops and retreats for teacher-writers through the Connecticut Writing Project.


“A Bloomfield Poet and a Massachusetts Poet”
Featuring James Black and Howie Faerstein

Thursday, February 20, 7:00 PM
Open mic follows

Bloomfied poet James Black is a multifaceted creative who simply loves expressing himself through poetry. Though an artist, musician, speaker and author, James simply was born for poetry as poetry was born in him. Through the pages of Laughing Mirror, Waldo and the Ramblings on Man, and Black, White and the in Between, you will find the gems he so willfully shares on his experiences, thoughts and feelings about the world around him and in him.

Howie Faerstein‘s book, Dreaming of the Rain in Brooklyn, was published in 2013 by Press 53. About it, Martin Espada said; “In the voice of Howard Faerstein we hear the voice of Whitman—the original Brooklyn poet—and the voice of Ginsberg, but above all the voice of experience. Faerstein has seen it all, and these poems are the stuff of life itself.” A second collection, Googootz and Other Poems, appeared in 2018. His work can also be found in numerous journals. Considering himself an “adjunct emeritus,” he presently volunteers as a citizenship mentor at the Center for New Americans and is Co-Poetry Editor of CutThroat, A Journal of the Arts. He lives in Florence, MA.