Maine's Poet Laureate to Speak at Thornton Oaks

The public is invited to a reading by Maine's Poet Laureate Wesley McNair at Thornton Oaks Retirement Community, 25 Thornton Way, on Tuesday, October 18 at 4:00 p.m. McNair will discuss "How I Became a Poet," which will include readings of poems to illustrate his points.

Following his talk and question and answer session, McNair will sign his most recent book, Lovers of the Lost: New & Selected Poems, which will also be available for purchase.

McNair has an extensive and distinguished career. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright, and Guggenheim Foundations; a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in Literature; two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships for Creative Writers; and in 2006, a United States Artists Fellowship of $50,000, fifty of which were awarded across the arts to a selection of "America's finest living artists."

In remarks earlier this year at the Blaine House - Maine's Governor's Mansion in Augusta, McNair said, "We turn to poetry whenever we come to one of life's milestones because it expresses an emotional truth we can find nowhere else. Poems are read at school convocations and college commencements because they remind us that no human journey is complete without hope. I am a poet because creating poems opens my imagination to the wonder of the world we've taken for granted or called by the wrong names."

McNair has received multiple honors and has read his poetry at the Library of Congress and at a wide range of colleges and universities. A television series aired over affiliates of PBS on Robert Frost, for which he wrote the scripts, received an Emmy Award. He has received three honorary degrees for literary distinction. He has appeared 14 times on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac, in the Pushcart Prize Annual, in two editions of The Best American Poetry, and in over 60 anthologies and textbooks. He has served four times on the nominating committee for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

McNair's web site,, gives more complete information about his work.