I’ve put hundreds of miles on my car in the last two weeks driving around New Hampshire with/for a variety of Folded Word authors during our first ever September tour. The tour’s centerpiece was the inaugural New Hampshire Poetry Festival, a joint venture between the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Institute of Art.
No sooner had I picked William O’Daly up from the airport after his long flight from California, then we drove to Dan Szczesny’s program at the Smyth Public Library in Candia. Dan was previewing his forthcoming chapbook with us, MOSQUITO RAIN, a collection of travel essays with poetic turns of phrase about his backroads trip through Alaska.
The next day, William and I crossed Lake Winnipesaukee on the M/S Mount Washington to begin the research for our forthcoming chapbook about the waterways of New Hampshire. We also circumnavigated the lake on our way to and from our program at the Wolfeboro Library, featured in The Conway Daily Sun. Prior to the program, we had the pleasure of eating supper at a lakeside restaurant with Barbara Flaherty, our submissions editor.
Friday was a whirlwind with William and I sneaking in a hike around the Lake Waukewan watershed before Rose Auslander and Elizabeth J. Coleman arrived. We all pitched in to prepare cheese and veggie trays just in time for our showcase at the VynnArt Gallery in Meredith, featured in The Laconia Daily Sun. After a cookout supper back at Folded HQ, I introduced the gang to whoopie pies — great ones from Moulton Farm. It was difficult to end the fun in time to sleep before our early start on Saturday for the poetry festival in Manchester. We all met so many amazing poets at the festival that we all want to return. So lovely to end the day with a reading by former Poet Laureate of the US, Charles Simic.
Sunday we took an easy day, lunching in Portsmouth as members of the group slowly disbanded and headed for their respective homes. At points along the way, William and I toured the banks of the Piscataqua River and the Atlantic Ocean. We made it back to the Lakes Region in time to see the sunset illuminate Lake Winnipesaukee from the overlook at Alton Bay. My last day of research with William on Monday included kayaking on Wickwas Lake, hiking along the Piscataqua River in the Flume Gorge, and checking out the Connecticut River below the Moore Hydroelectric Plant. Fitting that the tour ended with a visit to the northern border of New Hampshire, within sight of Vermont.
I took so many photos along the way that I haven’t had time to process them all yet. Key photos from the author events may be found on Flickr now. Photos from our water research will slowly emerge on Flickr as the year goes along, supplemented by winter and spring photos that I’ll take to contrast with the late summer photos I took while William was here. Thanks to all the fantastic people we met at events and excursions along the way. And if we missed you on this one, maybe we’ll catch you next year:-)