Courtesy of South Portland Public Library

Local poet Jeri Theriault is visiting the South Portland Public Library on Saturday, April 29 at 2 p.m. She will give a reading of her work along with student poets from South Portland High School.

Theriault is a Franco-American poet born and raised in Waterville. She has written books such as “Radost, my red” and “Self-Portrait as Homestead.” She is the editor of “Wait: Poems from the Pandemic.” She has received recent awards including the 2023 Maine Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship, a 2023 Monson Arts Fellowship, and the 2022 NORward Prize from New Ohio Review.

Theriault has also held a 34-year-old teaching career including six years as the English Department chair at the International School of Prague. Theriault now lives in South Portland with her husband, Philip Carlsen.

“Self-Portrait as Homstead,” her newest book, “presents various speakers as the accumulated voice of one character who is girl —woman — mother — grandmother,” Theriault said. She explained that the collection’s title is a reflection on “her focus on her family and heritage.”

“‘Homestead’ is a motif as suggested by street addresses (‘12 Gold Street’ and ‘2 Moor Street’), but also becomes the ‘household,’ a woman’s place, as in ‘Route 201, Fairfield’ and ‘Wife as Beekeeper: 1955,’” Theriault said. “In this sense the collection suggests the confinement by role, home and religion of the women characters, and their pushing against those constraints.”

Theriault contacted Tasha Graff, English and poetry teacher at South Portland High School, looking for student poets who might want to share their work. Three students, Madolyn Roy, Cecilia Tangi, and Iris Young, will read their poems with Theriault in celebration of National Poetry Month.

For more information about Theriault and her work, visit

Theriault’s newest book, “Self-Portrait as Homestead”. Courtesy of Jeri Theriault

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