A Letter from Brian Turner

Brian Turner at the FishouseBrian Turner at the Fishouse, Pittston, Maine.

December 27, 2011
Dear Fishouse Poets and Friends of Fishouse,
When Matt asked me if I would write this year’s Fishouse appeal, I was grateful for the opportunity to ask others to support a poetry archive and audio site that means a great deal to me.
One beauty of the Fishouse is its accessibility, anywhere in the world; another is its incredible diversity of voices and styles. A couple of us Fishouse poets are working to expand a new translation section to increase the Fishouse global content as well. While traveling during the past couple of years, I recorded several Egyptian, Iraqi, Swedish, Irish, Scottish, and British poets for Fishouse. Curtis Bauer has been recording emerging poets in their native Spanish, and Fishouse has recent inquiries from French, Cambodian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Romanian, Russian, German, and Slovakian poets and translators.
This past year, Fishouse added more 300 audio files of poems and 80 audio Q&A segments by 40 poets, along with a dozen new live readings. Editorial assistant Sarah Moore, from the University of Maine-Farmington, spent the year following up with all of our 200-plus poets to update their bio pages.
This growth is truly exciting for Fishouse, and for us lovers of poetry, and Matt tells me he is close to hiring a web firm to enhance the Fishouse website with important new features like these:

  • Better navigation and a new structure that will allow Fishouse to categorize poems by subject or style and implement a powerful search feature
  • A teaching section with downloadable lesson plans for material on the site;
  • A K-12 mirror site for age-/public school-appropriate material;
  • Social network integration across the site and for individual poets; including poets’ ability to upload new material/update bio after initial posting;
  • An updated visual design.

The key to the growth of Fishouse is time—time to process recordings, time to identify and collect recordings of international voices, time to categorize the existing poems and content, time to build the new site—and the key to more time is more money.
Once again, we have some passionate and dedicated supporters who have agreed to match whatever contributions we can raise between December 24 and January 15—dollar for dollar—up to $5,000.
Please help us reach this goal—with the match, your $20 will become $40; your $50 becomes $100, and so on. Any gift of any size will bring us that much closer to launching the new website.
To encourage you—and your friends and family—to help us reach this year’s goal, I’ve written and recorded a new poem to share with all those who contribute.
Gratitude can be contagious—if you’re as grateful for the Fishouse as I am, please join me in supporting it and helping build it a better home.

You can make a secure online donation here through PayPal:

Or you can mail a check to:
From the Fishouse
87 Stage Road
Pittston, ME 04345
Thank you,
and best wishes for the holidays,
Brian Turner
Special Thanks to The Following Whose Gifts & Pledges Have Been Received:

  • Samantha Abrams
  • Dan Albergotti
  • Justin Barclay
  • Curtis Bauer
  • Margo Berdeshevsky
  • Diann Blakely
  • Henry Braun
  • Michael Broek
  • Stacey Brown
  • Doug Bruns
  • David Cappella
  • Jocelyn Casey-Whiteman
  • Nandi Comer
  • Bob Cording
  • Becky & Rodger Cuthbert
  • Kyle Dargan
  • Camille & Ray Dungy/Black
  • Philip Ellsworth
  • John Olivares Espinoza
  • Robert Farnsworth
  • Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
  • Charles Flowers
  • Becky Foust
  • Glenn Freeman
  • Gabriel Fried
  • Jules Gibbs
  • Rigoberto González
  • Jenn Habel
  • Tom Healy
  • Lee Herrick
  • Kevin Johnson
  • Peter Kline
  • Sydney Lea
  • Reb Livingston
  • Valerie Loveland
  • Djelloul Marbrook
  • George Marsh
  • Tim Mayo
  • Leslie McGrath
  • Carmen Menéndez
  • Seth Mercier
  • Emily Merriman
  • Thorpe Moeckel
  • Michael Morse
  • Aimee Nezhukumatathil
  • Mary Noonan
  • Tim O’Donnell
  • Liz O’Donoghue
  • Billy Ramsell
  • Ronald Ransom
  • Marilyn Reizbaum
  • Rachel Richardson
  • David Roderick
  • Emily Rosko
  • Ira Sadoff
  • Jane Satterfield and Ned Balbo
  • Tim Seibles
  • Cindy Stocks
  • Laura-Gray Street
  • Lynne Thompson
  • Jeffrey Thomson
  • Jennifer Tseng
  • Brian Turner
  • Anthony Walton
  • Emily Warn
  • Estha Weiner
  • Helen Wickes
  • Colby Willis
  • Cori Winrock
  • Doug Woodsum

Please Note: If you’ve made a gift or pledge, and your name doesn’t appear above, apologies in advance! Please let Matt know the date and amount of your gift/pledge, and we’ll correct the list as soon as possible. Thanks for helping us keep our donation records in shape!