Robert L. Petrillo

Robert L. Petrillo

Rob is a former English teacher who has played at poetry for many years. He thinks it may be time to get serious, but he can’t seem to keep whimsy out of his work. Rob is enjoying the daily and even hourly challenges of living extemporaneously while pretending occasionally to be purposefully occupied in some pursuit or another, though, in fact, he sometimes is. He especially appreciates Walt Whitman’s lines: “I loaf and invite my soul, I lean and loaf at my ease observing a spear of summer grass."

When not loafing, he takes OLLI (senior college) courses at USM, where he participates in the poetry workshop, as well as volunteering, traveling, brushing up on his Spanish, biking and playing as much tennis as possible. Most of his inspiration comes from simple observations of mundane events and the occasional flight of fancy. His work has appeared in several local literary magazines including Reflections and The Presumpscot Review.

Rob graduated from the newly-named USM in 1980 after a several-years hiatus from academia during which he worked at carpentry, traveled, and, well, loafed. He went on to teach, as mentioned, in several local schools, finally deciding to give some younger, more tech-savvy upstarts the chance to love the profession as he did. He lives in the present in Westbrook, Maine, a former thriving mill town, now an exburb of Greater Portland, in which area he’s made his home for the past 44 years.