The way Glenn Morazzini sees it, when he shows up for coffee he’s going to work for you and me.

In December, the Maine Arts Commission named the 63-year-old poet from Cumberland the state’s 2015 Literary Arts Fellow, an honor that distinguishes him as a notable Maine literary voice.

He says the $5,000 grant represents his contract with the taxpayers of Maine – the guy from Hebron who fixed his roof, a lawyer from Gorham he encountered at work, the gas technician from North Yarmouth who hooked up his burner.

In return, he writes poetry that helps us understand our emotions and feelings.

The grant rewards work well done and “creates space” for good work in the future, he said. “It’s especially rewarding that it comes from the people of Maine,” Morazzini said. “This is where I live. This is where I raised my children. This is home. It’s nice to be recognized.”

Morazzini makes his living as a psychotherapist, with an office in Falmouth where he sees clients. He uses the coffee shops of Portland as his mobile office for writing.

He shows up at 7 at Arabica on Commercial Street most Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. Other mornings, he’s with patients.

He grabs a table toward the back that’s large enough to spread out his papers and that has an electrical outlet to keep his computer charged.

The barrister brings him his “half-decaf/half-caf” coffee. Headphones cancel the surrounding noise.

The energy filters through. People leave him alone, but he’s tuned in to the rhythm of morning. He observes people and the surroundings for long stretches, and he writes words, lines and phrases on loose sheets of paper that he organizes in folders, revising nearly as quickly as one sheet turns into the next.

The volley – observing, writing, revising – continues four, five, six hours.

“Writing is a lonely business. There are times it’s nice to be around people,” he said, acknowledging the communal buzz fueled by caffeine and sweets.

As he talks from a favorite table that looks across the bustling, open cafe, a blast of sunshine bursts through the front windows. “And you don’t have to be Vermeer to appreciate the light. If I need a break, I can just go outside and walk along the waterfront trail or up Munjoy Hill.”

His professional work as a therapist – “the talking cure,” as he calls it – is analytical and logical. Poetry expresses inner emotion. “Imagination is the soul’s will,” he said.

Morazzini often draws on his Italian-American heritage and growing up in Connecticut in the 1960s in his writing.

His poems have won the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award, Paumanok Poetry Prize, a Martin Dibner Poetry Fellowship and the Amy Clampitt Residency Poetry Fellowship. The latter, in 2012, came with a $15,000 prize. His work has been published in poetry journals, and he’s received a Pushcart Prize nomination.

Morazzini is in the process of writing poems for what he hopes will be his first book.

The Maine Arts Commission grant supports that effort, one cup of coffee at a time.