create. support.

Nurturing the creative spirit


The Poetry Loft is a non-profit collaborative of poets and writers in Rhode Island and Southeast Massachusetts that provides ongoing and supportive workshops, readings, and creative fellowship. Created in 2008 on the belief that poetry enriches the lives of all citizens, the Loft seeks to foster the appreciation of writing and reading poetry, encouraging excellence and education in the literary arts. Our vibrant community of poets and writers nurture and inspire each other in the development of craft.  

TPL is supported by the enthusiastic volunteer efforts of poets who join together as partners in the writing life. Our common bond is poetry's greatest treasure - its transformative power in our lives, to change, to shape and uplift.


Our free, ongoing workshops offer a welcoming and supportive environment for writers to develop their craft and share new works in progress. Group size is limited to allow for effective feedback and discussion. To inquire about workshop openings in our Rhode Island location, please email us with a brief sample of your writing at  We look forward to hearing from you!


                    Announcing the release of  Lay Bare the Canvas:                   
                                        New England Poets on Art                                   

                                            Edited by Beatrice Lazarus with introduction by B.K. Fischer

                                 Includes the Loft Prize for Poetry winner judged by Denise Duhamel

                                      Now available at Amazon and the Brown University Bookstore 
                                                              For more info, visit here


the Winner 
                           of the 2014 LOFT Chapbook Series

The Poetry Loft is excited to announce that Jane Lunin Perel has selected Summer Drowning 
by Ira Schaeffer of Warwick, RI, for the Editor's Choice LOFT Chapbook Award. 

Professor Emerita Perel noted that Summer Drowning
"has a deeply lyrical quality with alluring tones and imagery. . . The chapbook is aesthetically complex and compelling."

Our Congratulations to Mr. Schaeffer for this beautiful collection!

The Finalists are:

Deborah Barchi -- 
The Song of Toads
James Celenza -- Complications Due to Unintentional Suicides
Ellen McCluskey --
Symphony in Fade
Sandra Moran --
Thoughts Form a Ladder Woven of Nights
Julia Simpson --
Lost Children of the Prairie

Finalist chapbook Thoughts Form a Ladder Woven of Nights by Sandra Moran was selected for publication as well.

The winning chapbook will be published in December and distributed to bookstores and libraries in RI. Copies will also be available at the Chapbook launch reading (date to be announced). 

Jane Lunin Perel, 2014 Guest Editor of the Loft Chapbook series, is Professor Emerita of English, Creative Writing in Poetry, and Women's Studies at Providence College. Visit the "Loft Chapbooks" page for more information.

                     Congratulations to all the poets and writers for their splendid submissions!


The Poetry Loft would like to thank everyone who attended and read at the (standing room only) Hope Street book launch party at Symposium Books! What a fabulous and inspiring afternoon of poetry and friends! Special thanks to our Guest Poet Heather Sullivan for her rich and superbly crafted poems that touched the hearts of all there! Warm Bravos to the Hope Street contributors who enchanted us with selections from their book and to our gracious host Ann Marie, Symposium Books owner. Much gratitude goes to Joan Fishbein and the kindness of many others for their generous donations! Thank you all for a wonderful afternoon in more ways than you know!

Join us at Symposium Books for a Book Launch Reading and Reception to celebrate the contributors of
Hope Street: Poems on Love and Loss, an anthology of Loft poets published by Main Street Rag, 2014. 

Meet the poets and share your own poems on love and loss at the Open Mic following the reading. Reception with pastries, snacks, and refreshments.            
                                                       Hope Street Reading and Reception 
                                            Guest Poet: Heather Sullivan

                                          Sunday, September 21, at 3 PM 
                                                       Symposium Books, East Greenwich


There are urgent messages in these powerful and moving poems by writers of The Poetry Loft.  A harsh beauty and truthfulness drive these uniquely compelling verses that navigate realms of loss with grace, precision and insight.       

Meet the Authors: 
Nancy E. Brown • James Cronin •  Michael Crowley • Diane Dolphin • Joan Fishbein •    Karen Haskell  Maureen Lapre  • Beatrice Lazarus • Sandra Moran

fiery and numbing by turns… Hope Street’s poems bring truth to tragedy.” 
Laura Cherry, author of Haunts

"... in these superbly crafted poems is the weight of modern life's disappointments and the lasting shine of possibilities."      
Lori Desrosiers, author of The Philosopher's Daughter



              To introduce readers to new titles from local and regional authors,
                            The LOFT is pleased to announce our GoodBooks Give-Away               


                     Published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company 

                          Our GoodBooks drawing runs until September 21.  Entry is free.
                                                Winners will receive signed copies.      
                             To Enter -- Email your name to:
                               For more information about Hope Street, please visit:


New Release

Hope Street: Nine New England Poets on Love and Loss 

                                                    Edited by Beatrice Lazarus

Congratulations!  Nine Poetry Loft poets from RI and MA have been published in Hope Street, poems on love and loss, from Main Street Rag Publishing Company (June 2014).  

"... in these superbly crafted poems is the weight of modern life's disappointments and the lasting shine of possibilities."      
                                           --Lori Desrosiers, author of The Philosopher's Daughter

Price: $11   ISBN: 1-59948-476-5
To read samples and pre-order this poignant and evocative collection, visit:


                                            Loft Prize for Poetry 2013                                               


                                         Poetry Judge: Denise Duhamel

                            2013 Loft Prize for Poetry: $1000 and publication

                  Sponsored by The Poetry Loft and the Providence Public Library


We extend our Congratulations to Philip E. Burnham, Jr. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, winner of the 2013 Loft Prize for Poetry for his poem " New York Blizzard."

Denise Duhamel, final judge, comments: "That a poet could arrest the frenetic swish and angles of Frederick Childe Hassam's "A New York Blizzard" is remarkable--that Philip E. Burnham, Jr. could do so in a sonnet is astonishing! ...

Philip E. Burnham, Jr. was awarded  the $1000 prize and his poem will be published in Lay Bare the Canvas: New England Poetry and Art (September, 2014). 

Second Place: Sara D. Rivera for her poem "Winnowing."

Third Place: Calvin Olsen for his poem "Cast."

Winners and finalists of the Loft Prize for Poetry contest read their poems at the Providence Poetry and Art Gala held in the Grand Hall of the Providence Public Library, June 2013.

Special Thanks to our Guest Poets from throughout New England for attending and reading their ekphrastic poems from Lay Bare the Canvas.  A truly amazing and memorable evening at the LOFT Poetry and Art Gala!


Much heartfelt gratitude goes to our esteemed and generous Judge Denise Duhamel who selected the winning poems of the 2013 Loft Prize for Poetry. We are truly humbled and honored. 
The winning
poems have been published in Lay Bare the Canvas: New England Poets on Artavailable at bookstores and libraries, as well as Amazon. 



                   New England Poetry and Art Gala         
                            Providence Public Library, Grand Hall
                                             June 6, 5-9 PM, 2013
Join us to celebrate Lay Bare the Canvas: New England Poetry and Art contributors, including the winners and finalists of the 2013 Loft Prize for Poetry.

                                              An amazing evening of Poetry, Art, and Music! 

Join us for a celebration of New England Poetry and Art at the historic Providence Public Library, Grand Hall, Providence, RI. Enjoy a light dinner buffet, music, artwork displays and refreshments with our Special Guest Poets and Loft Prize finalists.





            The Loft Anthology: 2012 Poetry Awards
was selected as a Finalist 
                               for the ForeWord Book of the Year Award. 



he 2012 Loft Anthology
                         Poetry Reading/Reception
                                       Brown University Bookstore
                                           October 10, 6 PM

                                   Guest Poets: Judges Rick Benjamin, RI Poet Laureate 
                                    and Lisa Starr, RI Poet Laureate Emeritus

                                                         ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist

The Loft Anthology 2012: Poetry Awards showcases the Winners and Finalists of the 2012 "Write Across Rhode Island" Poetry Challenge

Judges: Lisa Starr, RI Poet Laureate Emeritus, and Rick Benjamin, RI Poet Laureate, teacher at Brown and RISD.  A treasure-trove of

All proceeds donated to the RI Community Food Bank.

Available at the following bookstores in Providence, RI: 
Brown University Bookstore
Books on the Square
Cellar Stories Books
Symposium Books

Our heartfelt thanks to those who generously donated to the RI Community Food Bank by purchasing The Loft Anthology 2012. 


                                  The Poetry Loft in partnership

                                  with RI Schools and Libraries presents:

         Write Across Rhode Island 2012            
               "Poetry Challenge"                         

                           Lisa Starr, Poet Laureate of RI and Poetry Judge

                                                Submission Deadline: April 30, 2012

WARI is a statewide poetry writing and reading event for all ages and skill levels.  
The Poetry Challenge is a creative, fun, stimulating and rewarding approach to
developing skills in poetry
writing, reading, and understanding.  Participants range from students to teachers, emerging to established writers, all coming together to share, teach, grow and discover the power and value of poetry in their daily lives. 

How: The goal is to write an original poem from a statewide prompt written by a nationally acclaimed writer. During the month of April, share it with others for feedback or fun and submit it to the WARI Poetry Challenge for a chance to become a Finalist or Winner in our annual Statewide contest.  

Look for the WARI poem and prompt posted in libraries, schools, bookstores and various locations in during the month of April.  Get ready to write, revise, read, polish and submit your poem!  Winning and Finalist entries will be displayed for public viewing in participating Libraries and Schools, and on our website.   



Special Thanks to the 2011 Write Across Rhode Island Poetry Judge Cathleen Calbert,   Professor of English at Rhode Island College.

                                             Write Across Rhode Island 2011

                                Poetry Reading and Reception
                                                      Saturday, April 30, 1 PM   

                                                   Tom Chandler  RI Poet Laureate Emeritus
                                                            Lisa Starr  RI Poet Laureate
                                                                  Darcie Dennigan

                                                                     followed by Guest Participants
reading their WARI poems:

                            Kara Provost, Joan Fishbein, Jim Cronin, Andrew Browder, Maureen Lapre, 
                              Julia Simpson, John Kotula, Heather Sullivan, Diane Dolphin, Kim Baker

                                             A memorable and inspiring afternoon of poetry! 


                                                 ART INSPIRED POETRY


Authors On Art  
Pordenone, oil on linen, Sandra Desano Pezzullo

            Poems and Paintings
"looking at Italy through another eye." 
To read
Barbara Schweitzer's compelling sonnet and other art-inspired poems visit Events

The Poetry Loft partnered with URI Providence F
einstein Gallery to present "Authors on Art", a multi-genre event for the Gallery's Abbondanza: Italian Heritage exhibit.

Special Guest Authors Ann Hood, Robert Leuci, and Christine Palamidessi joined eight poets from The Poetry Loft to read personal narratives, prose and dazzling new poems inspired by the exhibit's Italian artwork.

Feel free to email your questions, comments and poetry news at 

NOTE: These Copyrighted images and poems are not for distribution or reprinting without the written permission of the authors, artists and publisher

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