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.


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 at


                                                             New Release  
Hope Street: Nine New England Poets on Love and Loss
                                             Edited by Beatrice Lazarus
                   Poems By : Nancy E. Brown, Michael Crowley, James Cronin, Diane Dolphin,
               Joan Fishbein, Karen Haskell, Beatrice Lazarus, Sandra Moran, and Maureen Lapre. 


* 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 (May 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:


* The Loft Anthology: 2012 Poetry Awards
 was selected as a Finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year Award. Congratulations to all the talented contributors!  

Showcasing 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 writing!

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 2012 Loft Anthology!                         



Loft Prize for Poetry 2013

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, to be released April 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.

2013 Loft Prize for Poetry Finalists: 

"Smoke of Ambergis" - Amy Nawrocki 
"On Egg's version of the death of Buckingham" - Amy Pickworth  
"Cast" - Calvin Olsen
"Something to do with direction or navigation, maybe" - Dale J. Rappaneau;
"The Prize Fight" - Dita Ondek 
"One More Day of Fishing" - Fay Martineau
"My Lady Greensleeves" - Helen M. Casey
"Renaissance Woman" - J.B. Sisson
"That you" - James Celenza
"The Women of Amphissa
" - James Cronin
"West Wind, Appledore" - James Najarian
"Desire for Water" - Joyce Ray
"Harvester Holding Her Sickle" - Julie Hassett
"Portrait of a Lady in Pink" - Kara Provost
"Granite Retrospective" - Kate Melone
"White Hats and Other Sexual Metaphors" - Kim M. Baker
"Imago Lover" - Kim Horton
"Stone Eclogue," -  Leslie McGrath
"Women at the Well" - Louella Bryant
"The Goldfish Widow" - Meredith E. Brady
"New York Blizzard" - Philip E. Burnham, Jr.
"Bird Watching" - Renee B. Lute
"Winnowing" - Sara D. Rivera
"Everything About You" - Tricia Orr
"The Faithful Colt" - Vivian Shipley 

Much gratitude to our special Guest Poets from throughout New England for attending and reading their selections at the memorable Poetry and Art Gala held at the Providence Public Library. 

Thank you to everyone who submitted such excellent poems to Lay Bare the Canvas: New England Poetry and Art. We are humbled and proud to have received your work. 

                                                                    Poetry Judge: Denise Duhamel

                                       2013 Loft Prize for Poetry: $1000 and publication

                             Sponsored in part by the Providence Public Library, Providence, RI

                                   Visit for additional information.


                               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.
Don't miss this celebration of New England Poetry and Art at the historic Providence Public Library, Grand Hall, 225 Washington Street entrance, Providence, RI.  Enjoy a light dinner buffet and refreshments with Guest Poets and Loft Prize finalists.

  A very special evening of Poetry, Art, Music, with
Guest Poets, good food and poetic fun! 


Past Events
hank you to all The Loft Anthology 2012 contributors and those who joined us for the Anthology reading at the Brown University Bookstore!  For photos, visit

                                           The 2012 Loft Anthology
                                          Poetry Reading

                                      Brown University Bookstore
                                             October 10, 6 PM

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



                    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.  Please visit the WARI page for submission guidelines.

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.   


 Thank you to the Providence Public Library and all the remarkable writers and poets who attended and participated in:

                                        Write Across Rhode Island 2011

                                            Poetry Reading
                                              Saturday, April 30, 1 PM - 2:30 PM  

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


                                                                    followed by Guest Participants
reading their Write-A-Thon 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.

         Copyrighted images and poems are not for distribution or reprinting without the written permission of the authors, artists and website publisher.
     Feel free to send us your comments at  We look forward to hearing from you!

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