Congratulations to the hard working poets and organizers of the Belfast Poetry Festival! The Belfast Poetry Festival was awarded a $1550 grant from the Waldo County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. This grant will make it possible to bring Chicago slam poet Adam Gottlieb, one of the youth poets featured in the documentary film “Louder than a Bomb”, to the Belfast Poetry Festival to perform and lead a workshop as part of the Festival’s 10th annual program, October 17 and 18, 2014.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring Adam to this year’s festival,” says Jacob Fricke, chair of the festival’s steering committee. “Someone with that much thunder and kindliness, that much talent and willingness to lift up others – and with style – is a rare treat. Adam’s performance at Friday night’s Poetry & Performance Arts Showcase and his workshop on Saturday afternoon, “Imagining a Future Utopia,” will be among the main attractions of this year’s event. One of the big goals of this year’s programming is to reach out to youth, to infect more students with the power that comes from the poetic voice. We are very pleased to now have the means to make all this happen.”
As part of the festival’s outreach to young people, all of the festival’s workshops will be offered free to students. A youth speak-out workshop with Tina “TLove” Smith and the Poet Rising collective of Portland is being created specifically for area youth.
The Belfast Poetry Festival began in 2004 under the auspices of Festivo, a small steering committee that later disbanded. It has been run by the current Belfast Poet Laureate (appointed by the Belfast City Council) and a Waldo County steering committee of volunteers each October since then.
One of the few community-based, non-academic literary festivals in the country, the Festival is an inclusive and collaboration-driven event that gives poets, artists, and audience broad opportunity to make connections, share ideas, and discover possibilities for the arts beyond the merely expected. All events are free or low cost to the public.