College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

USM Professor to Read New Poetry Book on Thursday

April 9, 2013

Contact: Jeanne Curran, (207) 780-4198

PORTLAND, Maine –Annie Finch, Maine poet and University of Southern Maine (USM) professor, will read later this week from her new book of poetry, the first full-length collection of her work to be issued since her appointment as director of USM’s Stonecoast Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.

Finch’s book, “Spells: New and Selected Poems,” published by Wesleyan University Press, is a collection of the poet’s most memorable and important poems written over the past four decades and includes new and previously unpublished poems.

“Because it’s my selected poems,” Finch said this week about her new book, “it shows my growth over the last 40 years, and it is of interest to students in showing the development of a poet.”

“Annie Finch is one of the most creative and productive members of our College faculty,” said Lynn Kuzma, dean of USM’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, which oversees the Stonecoast graduate program. “Her work offers depth and meaning in creative writing for all our graduate students.”

The details of the event are:

  • “Spells: New and Selected Poems,” a reading by poet Annie Finch, 7 p.m., Thursday, April 11, Longfellow Books, One Monument Way, Portland. Phone: (207) 772-4045.

The author of nearly 20 books of poetry and poetics, Finch was educated at Yale and Stanford universities.  She was named as director of the Stonecoast MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine in Portland nine years ago.

Finch sees a strong resurgence in the interest in poetry. “Poetry is really on its way back,” she noted. “The pendulum is swinging back.”

With new technology and social media, such as YouTube and the evolution of new forms such as rap, “more people are listening to poetry again,” she said. Finch pointed out that April is National Poetry Month and her other book, “A Poet’s Craft,” released last year, “grew directly out of my teaching at Stonecoast.”

Finch’s latest book, “Spells,” is “putting my own ideas into action,” she said. The book was formally launched in March at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs annual conference and book fair in Boston and was received “really well,” the poet said. The book was completely sold out, including her own personal reading copy, she said.

Finch had a column printed this week about poetry in the Portland Press Herald, suggesting ways to enjoy poetry:

More information about Annie Finch's life and writing can be found at her website at

For more information about USM’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, go to:

For more information about USM, contact:

USM Office of Public Affairs