11th Annual Belfast Poetry Festival features Jazz Poet, Panel on Social Dialogue, and More- October 16th and 17th
The annual Belfast Poetry Festival marks its eleventh year with a full slate of ways to celebrate poetry, community, and artistic possibility, Friday and Saturday, October 16th and 17th, 2015, at the Belfast Free Library, the Colonial Theatre, and throughout downtown Belfast, Maine, with talent hailing from across the state and beyond.
The 2015 festival will include a Friday night of unadulterated poetry readings; a late-night open mic; writing and community-building workshops; a panel discussion and public forum on “Poetry as a Force for Social Dialogue”; a Gallery Hunt featuring the winners of the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest in downtown Belfast art galleries; a parade; and a Saturday evening multimedia extravaganza of poetry, visual art, and performing arts collaborations; all featuring 14 poets, 7 visual artists, and 14 performing artists from across Maine.
Friday, October 16th will feature a full night of unadulterated poetry readings, including guest poet Elizabeth McKim, “the Jazz Poet of Lynn, Massachusetts”; winners of the sixth annual Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, and a late-night open mic. Readings begin at 7:00 pm at the Belfast Free Library with late night open mic to follow.
Saturday morning, October 17th, begins with a slate of workshops from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm at the Belfast Free Library. Workshops are available for writers of all skill levels and include featured guest workshop Sounding the Stone/Finding Your Poem with Elizabeth McKim, All Our Queer Voices with Belfast Poet Laureate Toussaint St. Negritude, Leap after Leap in the Dark with Bangor poet Annaliese Jakimides, and a guest workshop with Lady Zen of Portland. Space is limited and pre-registration is required; send $25 payable to “Belfast Free Library” to Jacob Fricke, Belfast Poetry Festival, P.O. Box 911, Belfast, ME 04915. All 2015 workshop offerings are free to high school and college students; students may email firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate their choice and the school they attend.
Saturday afternoon features what is hoped to be a landmark panel discussion, Poetry as a Force for Social Dialogue, a conversation about the possibilities and challenges of using poetry as a force for social dialogue in turbulent times. The panel discussion, from 2 pm to 4 pm at the Belfast Free Library, will involve a diverse slate of panelists hosting a robust public conversation that will subsequently be prepared as a documentary handbook for governments and arts organizations for furthering their own work using the arts to engage community. This event is free and open to the public, and open discussion with audience participation is strongly encouraged – show up and speak up!
Throughout the weekend, the 10 winning poems from the 6th annual Maine Postmark Poetry Contest will be on display in downtown Belfast art galleries. Winners include “That Moon Again”, Jackie Ascrizzi, Montville; “The Cage”, Jay Franzel, Wayne; “Losing Integrity”, Lenora Goldman Jackson, Rockland; “Waiver”, Russell Buker, Alexander; “Signs”, Peggy Gannon, Palmyra; “Six-thirty, Tuesday Morning, Six Below”, Elizabeth Tibbetts, Hope; “How To Burn Your Bridges”, Chuck Marecic, Washington; “Tenebrae: a prose sonnet”, DiTa Ondek, Friendship; “Ogunquit Beach at Dawn, 6/18/15”, Richard Foerster, Cape Neddick; and “Before”, Laurence Coe, Rockland.
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 Colonial Theatre at 4pm and the main presentation from 5 to 8 pm, featuring music, dance, live readings, projected artwork, and more. Poetic styles range from socially urgent and historically documentary to mythic, classical, nature-based, and contemporary liturgical to jazz-experimental, bop-driven, and slam urban. Art will include upturned historical tropes, historical and documentary photography, nature-inspired mixed media, action abstracts, and tattoo art. Performing arts will include opera, choir, piano, drum, jazz, experimental, jazz dance, contemporary dance, and more. See www.BelfastPoetry.com for a full list of participants.
The Belfast Poetry Festival, one of the few community-based, non-academic poetry festivals in the country, is now in its 11th year of production with support from Off the Coast, the Maine Humanities Council, the City of Belfast, the Belfast Free Library, The Belfast Co-op, and Front Street Shipyard. All programming except the workshops is free of charge. For more information, email Jacob Fricke at email@example.com , see www.belfastpoetry.com, or www.facebook.com/BelfastPoetryFestival.