Upcoming Appearance: TONIGHT! Spidora poems featured in Clare Gallery

She’s Alive!!!

4 Spidora - vintage photo 3

Spidora exhibit, c. late 1800s. Photographer unknown.

Two “Spidora” poems will be featured in an exhibit and reading at the Clare Gallery in Hartford.  “Spidora Embroiders Her Words,” a concrete poem from my Strange Girls collection, will be on display, and the poem “Spidora’s in the Pink” inspired by contemporary artist Amy Hannum’s work, will be highlighted in tonight’s reading.

Clare Gallery
Thursday, September 20th
6 pm to 8 pm, reading begins at 7 pm
Free, parking also free in Saint’s Lot

The Webs We Weave is the newest Clare Gallery installation and includes paintings by international artist Amy Hannum and poems by poets inspired by her Spiderweb Series.  Ms. Hannum captures abandoned webs onto her canvas, making the web itself part of her medium, and during an artist talk in October will share her method for transferring the delicate web into her paintings.

Other poets included in the exhibition are: Joe Adomavicia, Eileen Albrizio, Steve Balkun, Tarringo T. Basile-Vaughan, Joanie DiMartino, Brent Terry, and Rhonda Ward.

The exhibit will be on view until Wednesday, October 31.

Clare Gallery is located in the Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry at 285 Church Street, Hartford, CT. Free parking is across the street in Saint’s Lot. The entrance is handicapped accessible. Phone: (860) 756-4034.

Upcoming Appearance: TWO this weekend–Book Barn & Colchester History Museum

Happy National Poetry Month!

I’m kicking off the celebrations in a big way–with a featured reading followed by leading an informal workshop!

Front Cover FINAL

Book Barn
Niantic, CT
Poetry Reading
Friday, April 6th
6 p.m., Free

Joanie DiMartino, Suzy Lamson, student voice Holly Richmond and Glenn Shea will read their work.  Refreshments to follow.  This reading will take place at Book Barn Store Four.  For directions click here.

Last summer I had the pleasure of reading along with Suzy and Glenn, and it was such a wonderful evening we decided to have an encore performance, inviting youth poet Holly Richmond to join us!  I’ll be reading selections from Strange Girls and my upcoming manuscript, “Wood to Skin.”


Colchester History Museum
Colchester, CT
First Saturday
Saturday, April 7th
11 a.m. to 2 p.m., free

CHS museum administrator and poet Joanie DiMartino will lead an informal workshop on writing poems inspired by history and historic artifacts, then write your own poem about the history of Colchester or an artifact in the Museum!

For more information or directions, email administrator@colchesterhistory.org or visit the CHS website.

Upcoming Appearance: Tea & Talk on Militant Suffrage at The Barnum Museum


Alice Paul (seated, far right) and members of the National Woman’s Party strategize over tea. c. 1923.

‘No More Pink Teas:’ The Militant Surge for Woman Suffrage

The 19-teens saw an increase in bold suffrage activity, from large parades in state capitals, such as the one held in Hartford, CT, to picketing the White House. Join Progressive-era suffrage historian Joanie DiMartino to discover how national and CT suffragists participated in a surge of militant political activism that led to women gaining the right to vote in 1920.  A perfect way to celebrate Women’s History Month!

Sunday, March 25, 2018
2 PM; free for members / $7.50 suggested donation for non-members
includes refreshments
Seating is limited; to register click here
Barnum Museum
820 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT

Bidding For Good: Woman Suffrage Talk

I’m pleased to offer my presentation, “‘No More Pink Teas’: The Militant Surge for Woman Suffrage” talk as part of a fundraiser for the Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO), an amazing state-wide organization that serves the CT history community.


Alva Belmont’s tea service.

For the link to bid, click here.  The deadline is November 18, 2017.  A description of the talk, which can also be found on another page of my website, follows:

“The 19-teens saw an increase in bold suffrage activity, from large parades in state capitals, such as the one held in Hartford, CT, to picketing the White House.  Join Progressive-era suffrage historian Joanie DiMartino to discover how national and Connecticut suffragists participated in a surge of militant political activism that led to women gaining the right to vote in 1920.

An excellent talk to celebrate Women’s History Month (March), Women’s Equality Day (August 26), voting in November–or any time!”

As for the fine print regarding the auction:

“This talk may include an exhibit of reproduction suffrage memorabilia and/or handouts.  Speaker will travel to your site / public location to present this talk, and will offer suggestions to help you plan the event. This program pairs well with a tea!

This item must be redeemed between March 1 and November 30, 2018.

Speaker will travel within 2 hours / 100 miles driving distance from Mystic, Connecticut.”

If you know a historic site, library, or organization willing to rent a public space to host my talk, please bid–opening bid only $50!–it supports a dynamic league which accomplishes great work throughout the state of CT for large and small museums alike, and my talk is engaging, informative, and marvelous fun!  (And I’ve no doubt the women in the photo below would agree!)


National Woman’s Party taking tea.

Interview & Poems at Poor Yorick Journal

I’m thrilled to announce that I have a lengthy interview and several poems from my “Wood to Skin” manuscript up at Poor Yorick: A Journal of Rediscovered Objects.

Poor Yorick Journal features contemporary literature inspired by rediscovered objects of material culture, so it was a natural fit to send them my poems based on whaling and the Charles W. Morgan, herself an artifact.


Charles W. Morgan under sail, 1920.

The interview, by Kevin Hudson, can be found here.

Three poems also appear in the journal; one directly relates to the Morgan, and was inspired by Mrs. Tinkham’s cabin, a small deck house built for Captain Tinkham’s wife after she suffered repeated bouts of seasickness.  Click here to read the poem.


Mrs. Tinkham’s cabin, recreated.  Photo courtesy of Mystic Seaport.

What makes Poor Yorick Journal unique is that it doesn’t simply post the poems; it also connects readers to the visual art of material culture through photos and images, and offers essays on the artifacts or topics featured in the poems or prose.  This allows readers to discover more in-depth information about the object in history that inspired the writer.  In the case of the particular poem I wrote, Beth Mann offered a footnoted essay on “Sister Sailors,” or captain’s wives who joined their husbands at sea, and what their lives were like aboard a whaler.  I enjoyed Beth’s essay, and you can too, here.

The final two poems of mine in Poor Yorick Journal are taken from a series of ekphrastic vignettes I wrote inspired by early engravings of whaling.


“The Capture of a Whale Off St. Annaland, Holland, Oct. 7, 1682.” From Whale Ships and Whaling: A Pictorial History.

The titles of the poems are taken from the titles of the engravings and images.  The companion poem to the above artwork can be read here.


“[New Bedford from Fairhaven, 1853].” From Whale Ships and Whaling: A Pictorial History.

The engravings can be enlarged and viewed in closer detail on the Poor Yorick Journal website.  They are featured next to each vignette, followed by a short bio.  The above engraving is of New Bedford, the Charles W. Morgan’s original home port, and in my poem I imagine that the vessel in the image is the Morgan herself, as she sailed out of New Bedford in 1853 on her fourth voyage.  Captain Ripley’s son served as cabin boy. This poem can be enjoyed here.

As “Wood to Skin” continues to grow into what I hope is a unique collection of substance, I’m proud to have the support and interest of history-centered literary publications, such as Poor Yorick Journal. 

STRANGE GIRLS available locally!

The circus–and sideshow!–returned to town this summer!

I’m happy to announce that due to my reading there last week, Strange Girls is back in stock at Bank Square Books in Mystic, our local, fiercely independent, bookstore!  I’ve heard from many people who would like to purchase a copy, and I recommend supporting a local business in the process! Nowhere near Mystic?  Don’t worry–Strange Girls is also available on the Bank Square Books website.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey may be gone, but the wild sideshows and daredevil circus acts at the turn of the 20th-century can be revisited again and again inside these pages!  On with the show!

Front Cover FINAL


Upcoming Appearance: THIS Thursday, Poetry Reading at Bank Square Books


I will be a featured reader with Glenn Shea and Suzy Lamson at Bank Square Books in Mystic.  Join us!

Bank Square Books
Thursday, June 29th
53 W. Main St., Mystic
6:30 p.m., free
refreshments served

Glenn Shea
Glenn Shea was born and has lived most of his life in Connecticut. He has worked in the library of a cancer clinic and in the French department of a foreign-language bookshop, washed dishes in the Scottish Highlands, gone to pilgrim’s mass in Santiago, and eaten really good tex-mex in Chengdu. He has read his poems in local libraries and shops and at venues in Dublin, Paris and Verona. He works with a group of illuminati in a huge used-book shop in Connecticut. His poetry collections, Find A Place That Could Pass for Home and The Pilgrims of Tombelaine, are published by Salmon Poetry in Ireland.

Suzy Lamson
Waterford resident Suzy Lamson is the author of Red Riding Hood at Sixty and Rose Between Her Teeth. Her poems have appeared in a number of literary journals, including the Connecticut River Review, Caduceus, and The Underwood Review. Several poems were performed by the East Haddam Stage Company. She has been a featured reader in various venues throughout Connecticut, and her poems were part of the Hoxie Gallery’s Painting and Poetry Exhibit in Westerly in September 2005.

Joanie DiMartino
Joanie DiMartino has work published in many literary journals and anthologies, including Modern Haiku, Alimentum, Calyx, and Circe’s Lament: An Anthology of Wild Women. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Licking the Spoon and Strange Girls, and is completing her third manuscript, “Wood to Skin,” about the 19th-century whaling industry, for which she was a 38th Voyager on the Charles W. Morgan. Her work was most recently on display at the Hygienic Art Gallery in New London, CT, where she performed poetry interspersed with whale song as part of the Gaia’s Lament: Art Cry environmental awareness exhibit. DiMartino lives in Mystic, CT with her family and two very literary cats.

Come enjoy a lazy summer evening with chilled wine and poetry!