Twelfth Annual Belfast Poetry Festival

The annual Belfast Poetry Festival marks its twelfth year with a kaleidoscope of ways to celebrate poetry, community, and artistic possibility, Friday and Saturday, October 14th and 15th, 2016 at the American Legion Hall, the Belfast Free Library, and throughout downtown Belfast, Maine. All events except workshops are free and open to the public.

The 2016 festival will include a tribute to Maine poets who have passed; readings of the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest winners; Connie Voisine, Maine Postmark Poetry Contest judge; master class and youth poetry workshops; an open and energetic panel discussion on contemporary poetics; and a Saturday evening multimedia extravaganza of poetry, visual art, and performing arts collaborations; all featuring 18 poets, 9 visual artists, and 6 performing artists from across Maine and beyond.

Friday, October 14th

Friday, October 14th will feature readings from Maine Postmark Poetry Contest judge Connie Voisine and all ten winners of the seventh annual Maine Postmark Poetry Contest and a reading honoring Maine poets of recent memory who have passed, hosted by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance.

Saturday, October 15th

Saturday morning, October 15th, begins with workshops, from 10 am – 12 pm. A master class led by contest judge Connie Voisine will focus on honing one’s work; admission is by application process – stay tuned for more details.

Festival participants are invited to a brown bag social lunch from 12 pm – 1:30 pm (venue to be announced), an opportunity to reach out by discussing craft and other poets’ shop talk in a casual and social setting.

Saturday afternoon sees a return of last year’s popular panel discussion with a consideration of contemporary poetics , 2 pm – 4 pm at the Belfast Free Library. Panelists from a variety of backgrounds – publishing, performance, teaching, contemporary criticism – will each approach the question of the state of the field by discussing two of their favorite contemporary poets. This event is free and open to the public, and open discussion with audience participation is strongly encouraged – show up and speak up!

Once again, the festival culminates in a Saturday evening celebratory showcase of poetry, visual art, and performing arts collaborations, an extravaganza of artistic possibility, with a reception at the American Legion Hall at 4 pm and the main presentation from 5 pm – 7:30 p , featuring music, dance, live readings, projected artwork, and more.

The Belfast Poetry Festival, one of the few community-based, non-academic poetry festivals in the country, is now in its 12th year of production with support from Off the Coast, the City of Belfast, the Belfast Free Library, The Belfast Co-op, Front Street Shipyard, the Belfast Downtown Merchants Association, and the office of the Belfast Poet Laureate.  For more information on this year’s events, the contest, or the workshops, contact Jacob Fricke or see the facebook.

Schedule & Details 2016

Friday, October 14th

6 pm Welcome Reception
7 pm The MWPA Honors Maine Poets Who Have Passed
8 pm – 9 pm Connie Voisine, Maine Postmark Poetry Contest Judge Winners of the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest
Waterfall Arts, 256 High St, Belfast

Saturday, October 15th

10 am – 12 pm Master Class with Connie Voisine
Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street, Belfast

10 am – 12 pm Youth Poetry Workshop
Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street, Belfast

12 pm – 1:30 pm  Lunch Time Shop Talk (at The Bagel Cafe, 159 High Street)
                                 Facilitated by Bruce Pratt
2 pm – 4 pm Panel Discussion
Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street, Belfast

Panel Discussion: Contemporary Poetics
Thomas R. Moore, moderator
Arielle Greenberg
Valerie Lawson
John Rosenwald
Shana Youngdahl

4 pm – 7:30 pm Poetry, Performance, and Visual Arts Multimedia Show
American Legion, 143 High St, Belfast
4 pm – 5 pm Welcome Reception – Food and Drink
5pm – 7:30 pm Poetry, Performance, and Visual Arts Collaborations

7:30 pm – 9 pm Afterparty

2016 Featured Poets, Performers, and Artists

Shana Youngdahl (Farmington) & meg willing (Vienna)
Sally Jaskold (Belfast) & Elaine Ng
Kea Tesseyman (Camden)
Michelle Lewis (West Bath) & Ariel Hall (Spruce Head)
Penny Guisinger (Lubec) & Heather Lyon (Blue Hill)
Elizabeth Kirshner (Kittery) & Jacinda Martinez (Rockland)
Frank Giampietro (Farmington) & Jaap Helder (Belfast)
Lee Sharkey (Portland) & George Mason (Nobleboro)
Wren Pearson (Pownal) & Jamie Pearson (Pownal)
Katherine Ferrier (Portland) & Pamela Vail
John Rosenwald (Farmington) & Ann Arbor (Farmington)