Posted by Bob Martin

Stuart Kestenbaum is the Interim President of the Maine College of Art. Previously, he served as the director of the Haystack, a crafts school in Deer Isle, Maine, where he established innovative programs for 27 years that combined craft, writing, and new technologies. Prior to that he worked at the Maine Arts Commission and the Children’s Museum of Maine. He remains active in the field of craft as an honorary fellow of the American Craft Council and a recipient of the Distinguished Educator’s Award from the James Renwick Alliance. He is also Maine’s fifth poet laureate, a five-year post created by Maine’s Legislature in 1995, which he was awarded in March of 2016.

He is the author of four collections of poems: Pilgrimage (Coyote Love Press), House of Thanksgiving (Deerbrook Editions), Prayers and Run-on Sentences (Deerbrook Editions), and Only Now (Deerbrook Editions), as well as a collection of essays entitled "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, including Tikkun, the Sun, the Beloit Poetry Journal, and Northeast Corridor and on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac

Former United States Poet Laureate Ted Kooser said, “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.”