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  • Brenda Smith

Valentine Love Letter in New Anthology

Updated: Feb 13

Just in time for Valentine's Day, I'm excited to announce that 12 Willows Press selected one of my essays to be included in their beautiful, just published anthology called Rivers of Ink. In my essay, "A Penobscot Bay Love Letter," I express my lifelong enchantment with the bay, starting from the moment my baby pink toes first splashed in its shallow foam.


If you live in Maine's Midcoast area, come listen to 10 of the authors featured in the anthology, including me, read our heartfelt selections at the Belfast Free Library on May 7th from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

On the pages of Rivers of Ink readers are invited to explore the Penobscot River watershed’s rich history, its pivotal contribution to industry and daily life, and the profound personal ties of those living along its shores. The collection also addresses the river’s current significance, shedding light on environmental and climate challenges while celebrating its resilience.


Through evocative essays, fiction, and poetry, Rivers of Ink vividly portrays the Penobscot’s legacy, echoing the sights, sounds, and heart of this influential waterway.


“The writers in Rivers of Ink speak to us about the power of place, how one river connects us all. It is as if writers and readers alike are on the banks of the Penobscot together, taking the time to look closely, learn from the past, and look toward the future. Each story, each poem becomes part of the flow in this river of words, and we travel through geologic time, indigenous time, and industrial time, to a time that—we hope—will be one of renewal.”


—Stuart Kestenbaum, former poet laureate of Maine and author of six collections of poetry


Proceeds from Rivers of Ink will be donated to the Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters’ campaign “A Monumental Welcome,” which will provide funding for a visitor contact station, priority park projects, and Wabanaki-directed projects.



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