envelop search menu cross pencil arrow-up


Submissions now open for the annual Maine Postmark Poetry Contest


The Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, a statewide competition, is happening again this year in conjunction with the 13th Annual Belfast Poetry Festival, to be held Saturday, October 14, 2017. Maine residents and everyone with access to a Maine post office or mailbox this summer are invited to enter. Citizens, residents, and visitors to our great state are all welcome: the only rule is that all entries must bear a Maine postmark.

To enter, submit one poem of up to two (2) total pages in length; each entry must be accompanied by a $5 reading fee. Proceeds will be used to support the festival. Entrants may submit more than one poem, but each additional poem is an additional $5.

The Belfast Poetry Festival committee will screen entries and forward ten finalists to an outside judge, poet Katharine Rauk of Minneapolis, who will choose first, second, and third place winners. The first-place winner will receive a $100 cash prize and publication in The Maine Review. Winners will be invited to read the winning poem and be honored at the Belfast Poetry Festival in October 2017; the ten finalist poems and winners will also be announced in the Maine press.

Katharine Rauk has published two volumes of poetry – Basil, a chapbook from Black Lawrence Press (2011) and Buried Choirs from Tinderbox Editions (2016). She has published in numerous magazines, including Harpur Palate, Cream City Review, Harvard Review, and in the Best of the Net. She lives in Minneapolis, teaches at North Hennepin County Community College, and currently serves as one of three conveners for the Annual Conference on the Great Mother and the New Father, held at Camp Kieve in Nobleboro, Maine.

Submissions are welcome from now until August 1, 2017; only submissions received with a Maine postmark dated August 1 or earlier will be read. Poems should be sent without the poet’s name on the poem and accompanied by a cover letter listing the poet’s name, contact information (address, email, and phone), and the title of the poem(s) submitted so that poems can be read anonymously. Cover letters need not include biographical information. Poems sent without a cover letter or entry fee will be disqualified; checks should be made payable to the Belfast Free Library. All poems must be original and previously unpublished. Poems will not be returned, so please do not send originals or a SASE. Simultaneous submissions are accepted; please note on the cover letter and notify the festival immediately of acceptance elsewhere. Ten finalists will be notified by September 1st; other confirmation of receipt should not be expected.

Send entries accompanied by a cover letter with contact information and a check for $5 per poem made out to the Belfast Free Library—to:
Jacob Fricke, Belfast Poetry Festival
Attn: Maine Postmark Poetry Contest
P.O. Box 911 Belfast, ME 04915

The thirteenth annual Belfast Poetry Festival will also host its distinctive showcase of collaborative work on Saturday, October 14, 2017. An all-arts festival with poetry as the driving force, the event combines variety show, short film festival, art exhibit, and literary showcase, and is made possible with support from The Maine Review, the City of Belfast, the Belfast Free Library, and the office of the Belfast Poet Laureate. For more information, see BelfastPoetry.com.