Twelfth Annual Belfast Poetry Festival
The annual Belfast Poetry Festival marks its twelfth year with a full plate 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 Waterfall Arts in Belfast. An all-arts festival with poetry as the driving force, the event combines variety show, short film festival, art exhibit, and literary showcase. 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 24 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 “With Loaded Arms: Readings In Memoriam of Six Maine Poets,” honoring Maine poets of recent memory who have passed, including Kate Barnes, Henry Braun, Theodore Enslin, Kenneth Frost, Russell Libby, and Michael Macklin, a program produced by the Maine Writers & 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; see here for details.
The festival offers an opportunity to make new connections among its statewide audience at a lunchtime shop talk session hosted by poet Bruce Pratt, from 12 pm – 1:30 pm at The Bagel Cafe, 159 High Street, Belfast, an informal opportunity for poets to meet, exchange ideas about craft, and discuss the writing life.
Saturday afternoon sees a return of last year’s popular panel discussion with “Bright Stars: A Panel on Extraordinary Contemporary Poets,” 2 pm – 4 pm at the Belfast Free Library. Panelists from a variety of backgrounds – publishing, performance, teaching, contemporary criticism – will survey some of the most exciting and ground-breaking poets writing today, and what their work can teach us about the latest directions in American poetry. Panelists include Arielle Greenberg, Valerie Lawson, John Rosenwald, and Shana Youngdahl. An open discussion, audience participation is strongly encouraged.
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.
Join our email list!
Schedule & Details 2016
Friday, October 14th
6 pm Welcome Reception
7 pm With Loaded Arms: Readings In Memoriam of Six Maine Poets
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
Abbott Room, Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street, Belfast
10 am – 12 pm Youth Poetry Workshop cancelled
12 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch Time Shop Talk Session
with Bruce Pratt
The Bagel Cafe, 159 High Street, Belfast
2 pm – 4 pm Bright Stars: A Panel on Extraordinary Contemporary Poets
Gammons Room, Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street, Belfast
Thomas R. Moore, moderator
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
Penny Guisinger (Lubec) & Heather Lyon (Blue Hill)
Sally Jaskold (Belfast) & Elaine Ng
John Rosenwald (Farmington) & Ann Arbor (Farmington)
Shana Youngdahl (Farmington) & meg willing (Vienna)
Katherine Ferrier (Portland) & Pamela Vail (Lancaster, PA)
Michelle Lewis (West Bath) & Ariel Hall (Spruce Head)
Wren Pearson (Pownal) & Jamie Pearson (Pownal)
Elizabeth Kirschner(Kittery) & Jacinda Martinez (Rockland)
Frank Giampietro (Farmington) & Jaap Helder (Belfast)
Weslea Sidon (Seal Cove) & Kea Tesseyman (Camden)
Lee Sharkey (Portland) & George Mason (Nobleboro)