The Mindful Storyteller in You: Fall 2023 Programming


The Mindful Storyteller in You  

Presented by Alexandria Peary 

What stories connect you to the Granite State? In this workshop led by New Hampshire State Poet Laureate Alexandria Peary, we'll focus on jumpstarting your most important place-based stories. You'll practice mindful writing techniques that offer a fresh way to start a story you may have contemplated telling for a while, and in the process, could discover unexpected stories that have been waiting to be told. Developing an openness to the present moment, you'll free yourself from thinking there are stories you "should" write. Learn how to practice "moment tracking" to develop a path your story may take. The session will close with strategies to continue the creative momentum at home and give you more tools to finish your story. We'll also talk about how to remain receptive to changes in the draft, keeping an open mind about its final form through genres like flash nonfiction, the personal essay, and prose poetry.

Choose your date and location:

Wednesday, September 20 at 5:00 pm

Wayfarer Roasters Downtown CafĂ©, 626 Main Street, Laconia RSVP

Friday, October 6 at 2:30 pm

AVA Gallery, 11 Bank Street, Lebanon RSVP

Saturday, October 21 at 10:30 am

Historical Society of Cheshire County, 246 Main Street, Keene RSVP

As part of our multi-year initiative, Becoming New Hampshire, these workshops will culminate in a heartfelt and lively on-stage conversation between New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult and New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alexandria Peary in Jodi Picoult and the Writing Life: More Than a Good Story at the New Hampshire Humanities Annual Celebration on Wednesday, November 8 at 5 pm at The Palace Theatre. DETAILS

2023 Annual Celebration of the Humanities with Jodi Picoult


Join me for this wonderful event happening on November 8, the 2023 Annual Celebration of the Humanities, when I have the joy of interviewing Jodi Picoult, NH's writer of writers, live on stage!

The program, “Jodi Picoult and The Writing Life: More Than a Good Story,” will feature a heartfelt and lively conversation between author Jodi Picoult and New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alexandria Peary, as they discuss Picoult's lengthy career as a virtuoso of the human story. Exploring gripping contemporary social and ethical issues in her storytelling, Picoult has tackled a wide range of topics including school violence, racism, discrimination, teen suicide, spouse abuse, children’s legal rights, childhood cancer, gay rights, the death penalty, war criminals, faith, and the value of life. Known as a prolific author and passionate researcher, Picoult has often been the subject of controversy, especially recently when a Florida school district banned 20 of her books.

Often set in rural New Hampshire, Jodi Picoult's novels are an expanding archive of the controversies and dreams of 21st-century America. Hear about Picoult's writing and research process, her collaborations with other writers, including her daughter, what brings her joy, and what it is like to see the disparate reactions to her books, which have been both banned and adapted into popular films and an off-Broadway musical. Audience members will glance into the remarkable work habits of a prolific writer of 30 novels, who, when asked what she considered her greatest accomplishment as an author, said she had "literally worn the letters off two consecutive computer keyboards." FOR MORE INFO

Summer 2023 News from Under the Madness Magazine


July 2023 

Dear Readers, Writers & Supporters of Teen Writing,

We hope you are enjoying summer alongside Issue #4 with its Ukrainian teen special section, writing from our very successful 2023 National Poetry Month Competition, and all the stellar stories, poems, and creative nonfiction from our authors.

The magazine has been in the news again! We appeared in June (on the same day) in The Boston Globe and the Littleton Courier, with a spotlight cast on our managing editors and a Ukrainian teen published in Issue #4.

In other news: We're currently running two contests. Both offer prize money and publication with no entry fee. The Charles Simic Tribute Contest deadline is coming up very soon (July 30); it's a poetry contest open to all teen from around the globe. We're running the contest in partnership with the Poetry Society of New Hampshire. Our Flash Creative Nonfiction Contest, open to writers ages 13-15 from around the globe, has a deadline of August 25. Check out our website (contest tab) for submission details along with our flash nonfiction prompts, designed by editor Rieth Breed.

We're open for submissions for Issue #5: Writers Ages 13-15 from Around the Globe, plus a special section on writers ages 13-15 from India. If you're 13-15 years old, send us poems/fiction/creative nonfiction by August 25.

Because we love to read teen work, we're also accepting submissions right now for Issue #6. For this issue, we're opening the magazine back to any teen ages 13-19 from around the globe.

Stay tuned for another super cool & different writing contest to be announced in the Fall.

To hear the very latest, including about contests and opportunities, follow us on Instagram @underthemadnessmagazine, on Facebook, or on Twitters @NHPoetLaureate.

Under the Madness Magazine is made possible with the generous support of the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Arts Alive!, the Academy of American Poets, and Salem State University.

On behalf of the editorial team,

Alexandria Peary
NH Poet Laureate

Announcing Issue 4 of Under the Madness Magazine


Announcing Issue 4 of Under the Madness Magazine, a magazine edited by teens, publishing teens from around the world!

Issue 4 features work by Ukrainian teen writers, winning poems from the 2023 National Poetry Month Competition, and many fine poems, stories, and pieces of creative nonfiction.

Check out the interview with Diana Bilobrova, Ukrainian teen author, on our magazine blog and her magnificent poem sequence, "Resurrection Series."

We're closed for submissions right now, but follow us on Instagram #underthemadnessmagazine for updates including calls for upcoming special issues.

Send the teen writers a note about their work! See the "Letters to the Editor" info on the Contests/Events tab at the magazine: Issue 4.

Charles Simic Tribute Poetry Contest (For Teens and Adults)



The Poetry Society of New Hampshire is accepting tribute poems in honor of Charles Simic.

Tribute poetry is broadly defined as work speaking to the incredible poetic legacy of Charles Simic. Contest poems should connect in some way to Charles Simic, whether through content or form. Possibilities include poems which borrow a line, title, or image from Simic or poems which describe Simic as a poet, teacher, friend, or colleague. Include a brief statement of no more than 150 words explaining the contest poem's connection to Charles Simic.

The judge is Alexandria Peary, Poet Laureate of New Hampshire. This contest is open to everyone with a separate category for teens (13-19). You do not have to be a resident of New Hampshire or the USA: everyone is welcome.

Winners, as well other submissions, of the contest will be published in the fall/winter issue of The Poets' Touchstone.

The first-place teen poem will win a 250 dollar prize from the state laureate and be published in Under the Madness Magazine as well as the fall/winter issue of The Poets Touchstone.

All contest submissions will be read anonymously and identifying information should not appear in the submission. Submissions are open now until July 30th.

More Info Here:

Essay on Creative Emptiness at WBUR Cognoscenti to Celebrate National Poetry Month


I've published a piece at WBUR's Cognoscenti on mindful writing to celebrate National Poetry Month. It's about how I handle creative emptiness and also about how poetry started in my life because of a medication and birth defects.

You can find the article here.

Online Talk on Mindful Writing (April 14, 2023) for New Hampshire Humanities


I'll be giving a Mindful Writing presentation for NH Humanities on April 14, 2023,  5 PM EST. This talk is sponsored by NH Humanities and is online & free to the public. 

This Very Moment is Perfect for Writing

Mindful writing is the nonjudgmental observation of the ever-changing present to gain a healthy perspective on our internalized critics, better manage our preconceptions, and enjoy access to continuously arising wording and ideas. Mindfulness at the desk leads to increased self-confidence in our creativity and stronger connection with others. This session provides an overview of mindful writing as well as hands-on practice with techniques easily replicated later at home.

Registration required:

The Mindful Storyteller in You: Fall 2023 Programming

  The Mindful Storyteller in You     Presented by Alexandria Peary  What stories connect you to the Granite State?  In this workshop led by ...