On June 16 2022, for the first time in Beat Night’s twenty three year history, we have sitting state poet laureate Alexandria Peary featuring along with soulful newcomer Gina Puorro.
She has an MFA in poetry from the Iowa writers workshop at the University of Iowa, a second MFA in poetry from the University of Mass Amherst and a PhD in English composition from the University of New Hampshire.
Her work has received many awards including a 2020 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship, Best of NH, the Iowa Poetry Prize, and several Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations.
She specializes in mindful writing and gives frequent talks on the topic including a TED talk on how mindfulness can transform the way you write.
Her activities as poet laureate include the 2020 North Country Young Writers’ Festival, helping NH writers get published, and facilitating mindful writing workshops for people affected by the opioid crisis.
She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Under the Madness, a new literary magazine edited by NH teens.
She is a professor in the English Department at Salem State University where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in creative writing and mindful writing.
She was born in Dover and lives in my home town of Londonderry New Hampshire
Gina Puorro says on her website, she is a student of magic, love, grief, intimacy, myth and story, ritual arts, and the wild and vast terrain that we call nature and that her writing is inspired by the exploration of good questions, by relating with her human and non-human kin, and by her pursuit of beauty and awe.
Former NH state laureate Maxine Kumin called Mary Oliver “a guide to the nature world.” I think Gina Puorro is a new and important guide and voice for the natural world and our place in it. in her book The Wild Will Call You Back, she implores us to be, not passively, but profoundly and actively with ourselves and each other and the world in this moment.