The 10th Annual 2014 Belfast Poetry Festival
Announces Open Call for Participants in Juried Exhibition/Showcase

Seeking Poets and Artists for Collaborative Works

BELFAST, MAINE - The 10th Annual Belfast Poetry Festival, October 17-18, 2014, seeks teams of poets, performers and artists for the annual juried presentation of original collaborative works featuring poetry combined with other visual and performance arts.

This year’s festival will include two evening (Friday and Saturday) celebratory showcases. We are seeking collaborative submissions of two types:

  • Combinations of poetry and dance, music, or other performance art. This will be presented live on a stage with a sound system on Friday night in Belfast.
  • Combinations of poetry and visual art. This will be presented live on Saturday night at The Hutchinson Center in Belfast in a multimedia hall with projection of artwork onto three large screens.

Each type of collaboration, visual and performance, will have 6 minutes for presentation of work in its respective showcase.

The Belfast Poetry Festival draws a devoted assemblage of poets and artists from across the region and beyond. The festival will also include open readings, featured readings, workshops, book signings, a gallery hunt, the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, and other programming in various Belfast venues over the two-day period celebrating our first continuous decade commemorating poetry’s excursions into visual art and community.

Submission Info:

All submissions will be juried by the Festival Committee.

To submit, email a sample of two or three poems plus images, clips, video or website of the collaborating artist’s work and a brief written concept of your proposed poetry and art collaboration. Please include appropriate bios and web links.

Address submissions to by April 15th, 2014.

Please embed poems in the email message text and send images and/or clips as attachments. Selected participants will be notified in May.

Collaborations by group teams (more than two people) are welcome for either evening.

We welcome your submission to be part of a diverse and rich celebration of the power of poetry to move hearts and minds. For more information, and for reference to previous festival performances, browse the festival website, friend The Belfast Poetry Festival on Facebook, or email .

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MWPA logoThe Belfast Poetry Festival is co-sponsored by the
Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance.

Schedule & Details 2013

Friday, October 4, 5-8 pm | Downtown Belfast
Gallery Hunt begins during Belfast’s First Friday Art Walk. Continuing throughout October.

Friday, October 18
7 pm | Belfast Free Library, Abbott Room
Performance Poetry Night and Open Reading

Saturday, October 19

Morning Workshops

10-11:30 am | Belfast Free Library, 3rd Fl Conf Rm
Poetic Models: Two Poets. Two Poems.
with Joel Lipman

10-11:30 am | Belfast Free Library, Abbott Room
Stand Up Poetry
with Ellen Sander

Afternoon Workshops

12:30-2 pm | Belfast Free Library, 3rd Fl Conf Rm
Making Poems Sizzle: Oblique Writing with Carol Bachofner

12:30-2 pm | Belfast Free Library, Abbott Room
Spoken Word Workshop with Robin Merrill

A Poem to Behold Feature Presentation

Hutchinson Center, Belmont Ave. (Rte 3)
4 pm | Welcome Reception - Food and Drink
5 pm | A Poem to Behold Live Multimedia Show

2013 Participants

  • Gibson Fay-LeBlanc & the work of Paul Klee
  • Linda Buckmaster & Jan Owen
  • Betsy Headley and Dianne Schelble
  • Jason Canniff & Ben Potter
  • Kimberly Callas & Judy Perry
  • Lisa Panepinto & Annadeene Konesni Fowler
  • Toussaint St. Negritude
  • Leonore Hildebrandt & Heidi Daub
  • Lauren Murray & Joan Proudman 
  • Teresa Murray, Shirley Bell, Casey Weibust, Coral Hines, and Anne Kuhn-Hines
  • Francois Amar & Kris Engman
  • Thomas R. Moore & Jeff Loxterkamp


The Belfast Poetry Festival celebrates poetry and artistic possibility.

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.

The Festival joins poets and artists in collaborative work that stretches the limits of each medium.

We bring together established, recognized poets and emerging voices, a broad range of genres and techniques, poets from different regions across the state, and a mix of the familiar and the innovative.

Annual Celebration

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, and is one of the few community-based, non-academic literary festivals in the country. All events are free or low cost to the public.

Activities have included poetry readings, workshops, art exhibits, evening performances, poetry contests, and book displays by Maine bookstores, publishers, and authors. A highlight of the festival is a curated show of collaborative projects between poets and visual and/or performing artists in Belfast galleries and other venues. These 9 artist/poet teams are chosen by the Poet Laureate and Steering Committee and consists of professionally recognized Maine artists and poets. The teams’ projects are displayed for the month of October in local galleries and coordinated with Belfast’s First Friday Art Walks. During the Festival weekend, audience members move from gallery to gallery to see the artwork and hear the poetry read live. Projects have included sculpture, musical performance, dance, painting, printmaking and broadsides, book arts, and installations.

2013 Steering Committee:

Ellen Sander
Brenda Harrington
Karin Spitfire
Ellen Goldsmith
Tom Maycock
Arielle Greenberg
Jacob Fricke


All Festival events are free and open to the public, with donations encouraged.

Donations can be made out to the City of Belfast and mailed to:

Jacobe Fricke
Poet Laureate
P.O. Box 911
Belfast ME 04915

For more information, keep checking this site for regular updates, or contact us.

Or follow us on Facebook!

2013 Poets & Artists

Carol Willette Bachofner’s is a seasoned workshop presenter, teacher, and mentor of poets. On November 1st, 2012, Carol embarked upon a year-long course of a poem a day. In order to fulfill the 365 Project she has found new ways to make her poems fresh, to strike out anew with every sunrise. Carol, currently the president of Maine Poets Society, is in her second year as Poet Laureate of Rockland.

Shirley Bell began painting in watercolor 25 years ago. Paralyzed in a car accident when she was 16, Shirley has been determined to live a full and prosperous life in spite of her limitations. She is continuously inspired by her natural surroundings on Conanicut Island, centered in Narragansett Bay in Jamestown, Rhode Island. Shirley began selling originals in galleries and gift shops throughout the country, then, trying to keep up with demand, began reproducing her artwork in giclee form. In 2006 she launched Shirley Bell Designs, which features over 300 of her images on beautiful stationery and gift items.

Linda Buckmaster’s poetry, essays, fiction, and journalism have appeared in regional and national journals. Former Poet Laureate of Belfast, she has published three chapbooks of poetry, including Heart Song & Other Legacies, which received second place in the Maine Writers and Publisher Alliance annual competition. She is currently at work on a mixed-genre collection about growing up in Florida.

Kimberly Callas has been sculpting the human body for over fifteen years. She studied with the top figurative instructors in the US, earning her BFA from the University of Michigan and a MFA from the New York Academy of Art. Her work has won several awards, including a Creative Capital Professional Development Grant, two Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grants, and a Stobart Foundation Grant. Callas’ work has been exhibited recently in New York City, Chicago, and as far afield as Bulgaria. She was included in the 2012 Green issue of Off the Coast: Maine’s International Poetry Journal. Drawing from her rigorous academic training and her study of comparative theology, Callas combines the body with nature’s patterns and abstractions to explore the human being’s spiritual, psychological, and physical relationship with the earth. Her website contains sample work and further discussion.

Jason Canniff grew up in the Mid-Coast area of Maine before coming to Orono, where he received his BA in English at the University of Maine in 2011. He continued on into the Master’s program, where he graduated with concentrations in Creative Writing and Poetry and Poetics this May. His work has most recently appeared in Stolen Island (Issue #2). Jason lives with his fiancé, Brie, and their dog, Tucker, in Orono. Currently, he is an Adjunct Faculty member in the Department of English at UMaine.

Heidi Daub was raised in the hill and valley region of Binghamton, New York, and is a graduate of Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts. In addition to her visual work, she has been involved with writer’s groups in both Vermont and Maine, and was part of the Quaking Grass Collective in Brattleboro, Vermont, an organization presenting poetry readings, workshops, reader’s theater performances, and a published collection of poems. In 2008 she compiled a collection of 29 original paintings and poems entitled Eve Of A New Round. Daub has lived and worked in Maine since 1984, and has exhibited her paintings throughout New England since 1987, most recently being represented through KPK Gallery, London. Her work is housed internationally in both private and corporate collections. Her paintings evolve from an introspection, and are like poems, coming out of an awareness, a remembering, a stilling. Her work springs from a surrender, and a giving reverence to the natural world, the pulse of which we are a part, and sustains us. By opening to this reception, she attempts to find form and movement to express what we cannot describe, but feel; like the divine, like the deep forest place, like the essence of water, like the complexity and simplicity of love.

Kerstin Engman was born in New England and educated at the Maine College of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Pennsylvania. She has traveled throughout Europe, living for a time in Eastern Europe while teaching in the Hungarian Public Schools. In 1997, she founded Project Kalocsa, a cultural exchange between Kalocsa, Hungary and Belfast, Maine. She now lives in Liberty and teaches in the Art Department at the University of Maine in Orono. For the past decade, she has worked directly from the Waldo County landscape which is her home, finding the most interesting behaviors in the light of every season in Maine. Her most recent landscape studies are based around specific design elements and colors, incorporating repetition, grids, dots, angles, shapes, and overlaps. Using plein air photography to provide visual avenues to shallow space, texture, and pattern, she manipulates these sample images on a computer to allow the originals to interact with memory and innovation until a sense of territory emerges, and the resulting studies become the foundation for paintings done in the studio. She feels connected to the woods and waterways of Midcoast Maine and believes that by painting the ‘ordinariness’ of these surroundings, she and her community can be reminded of how beautiful it is in its natural state. Seeing beauty in something may lead to safeguarding it.

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc is a writer and teacher. His first collection of poems, Death of a Ventriloquist, was chosen by Lisa Russ Spaar for the Vassar Miller Prize and published by the University of North Texas Press in 2012. His poems have appeared in magazines including 32 Poems, Blackbird, Guernica, Linebreak, Maine Magazine, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, Tin House, The New Republic, Poetry Northwest, Western Humanities Review, and Verse Daily, and in the anthologies Satellite Convulsions: Poems from Tin House and From the Fishouse. His articles and reviews have appeared in Boston Review, Guernica, Pleiades, Publishers Weekly, and Time Out New York. He has received awards for his poems from the Bellevue Literary Review and the University of California, Berkeley. With graduate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University, he has taught writing and literature in public and private middle schools, high schools, and colleges in California, Vermont, New York, and Maine. In 2011 he was named one of Maine’s “emerging leaders” by the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media for his work directing The Telling Room, where he still occasionally teaches writing. He lives in Portland, Maine with his family and is at work on a novel.

Annadeene Konesni Fowler grew up on the island of Islesboro and in the hills of Appleton, Maine. She and her family lived in a tent the year she was seven, while her father built their house around them out of some new, but many recycled, materials. The house, as it grew, was always filled with music, good food, and games, and this vibrant upbringing in Maine is where Annadeene’s creativity was fostered. She graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2004. Her home and studio are filled with color, vibrance, music, and dance, much of which is visible in her collage work. She is a self-described packrat, a collector, a recycler – anything catching her eye with an interesting shape, color, pattern, or texture will be quickly swooped up and stashed in her studio for a future project. Fragments, found objects and scraps, be they washers, petals, wire, or the liner from a fancy envelope, fill her work with memories of other lifetimes. Her compositions are alive and passionate. They are not created from the far end of a long paintbrush. Her fingers are engaged in dance; as they feel each crevice, place each object, and smudge layers of color in, they tap along, coaxing the scraps to meld together into a new order and a revived life. Through this process, she allows her hands and imagination to partner as she seeks to convey the freedom of spontaneity and exhilaration of creation that she feels when stitching together these pods of her travels.

Betsy Headley resides in Belfast, where she loves living on the coast and participating in numerous art and poetry events. After earning a BA in Anthropology and Fine Arts at Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado, Betsy established a freelance photography business. She relocated to Portland, Maine in 2004, and continued her photography business and passion for poetry. At the University of Southern Maine, she was fortunate to attend a poetry workshop taught by Maine’s former Poet Laureate Betsy Sholl. Currently an active member of the Belfast poetry group led by Barbaria Maria, Betsy benefits from the weekly critiques and support of her poetry. Betsy’s photography and poetry have been published in several journals, including Off the Coast. She received 2nd Place in 2011 and an Honorable Mention in 2012 in the Rockland Poetry Swarm contest. She has also participated in open mic events at Aarhus Gallery, Belfast Free Library, and Unity College. Currently, her artwork is expressed through photography, digital abstracts, acrylics, and mixed media, utilizing photo collage. In 2003-2009 Betsy lived in and taught English in China and Japan. The experiences had a profound effect on her artistic vision. Her photographs and articles were printed in Avenues, an English journal based in Nagoya, Japan. Betsy’s past juried shows in Maine include: 2011, 2012 Maine Open Juried Show, Waterville; 2010, 2011, 2012 River Arts Gallery, Damariscotta; 2011 The Maine Art Gallery, Wiscasset; 2012 The Maine Photography Show in Boothbay Harbor (2nd Place in Black and White). Juried and one-person exhibits in 2013 include: Primavera 2013, Galerie Dufour, Belfast; Archetype VI Art Show, May 2013, Bucksport; 2013 Maine Open Juried Show, Waterville; Bangor Library Art Exhibit, July 2013; and Belfast Co-op, one-person show, September 2013.

Leonore Hildebrandt has work published or forthcoming in the Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, Cimarron Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Poetry Salzburg Review, Quercus Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review, among other journals. Translations of Rilke’s elegies appeared in Cerise Press. Her letterpress chapbook, The Work at Hand, is available from Flat Bay Press, and a first book-length collection, The Next Unknown, is forthcoming with Pecan Grove Press. A native of Germany, Hildebrandt lives ‘off the grid’ in easternmost Maine and teaches writing at the University of Maine. She is a member of the Flat Bay Collective, serves as an editor for the Beloit Poetry Journal, and runs the Maine Writers Series at the University of Maine at Machias. Her work has received support from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Maine Arts Commission, and the Maine Community Foundation. Her poem Rock Me won first prize in the 2013 Gemini Poetry Contest.

Daughter/mother duo of multimedia fabric artists Coral Hines and Anne Kuhn-Hines create crazy aquatic-inspired quilts, wall hangings, and pillows that reflect their observations of and fascination with the magical marine world. Coral graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2010 with a BS in Marine Biology. She grew up in Jamestown, Rhode Island and enjoys just about any activity that involves the ocean. She is a certified Rescue Scuba Diver with over 200 dives. Anne Kuhn-Hines has a PhD in Landscape Ecology and Environmental Sciences from the University of Rhode Island and is a Research Ecologist at the US Environmental Protection Agency in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Joel Lipman studied the craft of poetry with Gwendolyn Brooks and James Wright. Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Toledo, Joel is Poet Laureate of Lucas County, Ohio and a summer resident of Northport. His poems appeared in Poetry in 2008 and 2011.

Jeff Loxterkamp earned an MFA at the University of Iowa in 1989. He was named among the “Ones to Watch” in the April 2009 edition of Maine Home & Design. Loxterkamp»s cityscapes feature old-fashioned villages and downtowns that speck the Maine Coastline from Kittery to Mt. Desert and along the Blue Hill Peninsula. “His colors pop off the canvas, with deep, brooding skies and wildly fluid brushstrokes. There’s a sense of motion…a feeling of change.” In his own words, “I like playing with paint. I try to make a painting seem as sensuous as possible, so you almost want to touch it but shouldn’t.” View Jeff’ webpage on Maine Art Scene containing samples of his work and info.

Robin Merrill is a Maine-based freelance writer and editor, with current clients including Bible League International, World Outreach International, and Scholastic. She has written five children’s books, all available through Scholastic. Two poetry collections have been published by Moon Pie Press. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared in hundreds of publications, including The Cafe Review, Ledge Magazine, Margie, Pearl, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Stolen Island Review. Three of her poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. She has performed her poetry and fiction at dozens of venues all over New England and New York. She is a member of the 2013 Rhythmic Cypher National Slam Team from Portland. She is also a Rhythmic Cypher finalist for the Individual World Poetry Slam. She has her MFA from Stonecoast and frequently leads creative writing workshops for writers of all levels.

Thomas R. Moore’s first book of poems, The Bolt-Cutters, was published by Fort Hemlock Press in November 2010 and was one of three Finalists in the 2011 Maine Literary Awards competition. Two poems from The Bolt-Cutters were featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac in January 2011, and two were 2012 Pushcart nominees. His poem Calving in Te Awamutu won first prize in the 2010 Naugatuck River Review’s annual narrative poetry contest, and Chet Sawing won the 2011 Maine Postmark Poetry Contest. His second book, Chet Sawing, was published by Fort Hemlock Press in November 2012 and was one of three finalists in the 2013 Maine Literary Awards competition. Moore taught English for 40 years in Iran, Turkey, Mali, and the United States. He lives in Brooksville, Maine.

Lauren Murray is a poet who lives and works in Belfast, Maine. She also works as an occupational therapist in the Midcoast area. In 2012 Lauren publishedhear if you dare, a book of poems and art, with artist Joan Proudman. Murray and Proudman also collaborated on performances of Ova Dreams and The Mystery of Love, written by Murray and danced by Proudman. Originally from Boston, Murray was inspired at a young age by live poetry performances from Allen Ginsberg, Robert Bly, Gary Snyder, Carolyn Forche, Dona Stein, and Maya Angelou. Murray writes her own poetry as “a score for the breath,” works to be spoken. She enjoys cross-fertilization in the arts, and has worked in collaboration with dancers and musicians for performances with the Create and Construct Movement Theatre of Massachusetts and at Naropa Institute, Boulder, Colorado. She appreciates the Belfast community for its warm reception of experimental ventures by and for poets.

Teresa Murray is a young woman and poet from Jamestown, Rhode Island. Her first book of poetry, Attitude to Gratitude, was recently published in 2012. Her poems reflect her love of nature and her relationships with family and friends. She is a vibrant member of the Jamestown island community, working at the local grocery, McQuades, an active member of her church, and a volunteer at the local theatre. Teresa has Down Syndrome and is an advocate for herself and for others with special needs. Red more about Teresa’s story and about her work. Click to watch this video at one of Teresa’s readings.

Jan Owen is a calligraphic book artist writing words by old masters and contemporary authors. Her work in broadsides and sewn books incorporates color and pattern, brush marks and formal hand lettering. Her work may be seen at CRAFT in Rockland, in the Library of Congress and many special collections. Her website contains sample work and further discussion.

Lisa Panepinto is the author of the chapbook Island Dreams and the collection poems on this borrowed bike, forthcoming from Three Rooms Press. She co-edits the literary broadside/online journal Cabildo Quarterly, and lives with her partner Ryan in Orono.

Judy Perry came to Maine from New York’s Hudson River Valley. She received her MFA in 1996, and has been exhibiting her work for more than twenty years. Judy’s interest in the lives of other artists led to an ongoing interviewing project, Artists and Writers in their own words. Many of her interviews have been published in newspapers, journals, catalogues, and, now, on her blog. Her mixed media works are based in nature and reflect the power of the natural world. Each piece is a subtle reminder that relationship and connection are fundamental to building and nourishing our lives. As the foundation of her recent studio practice, she has been painting trees from various approaches for more than a dozen years, creating “portraits” which explore their life-sustaining movement and their reach to maximize their participation in the world, creating aesthetic avenues by which to consider the inter-connectedness of movement, stillness, and our relationship to nature as both witness and participator.

Ben Potter grew up in Sewanee, Tennessee, and both of his parents are teachers. He attended Williams College, where he double-majored in Fine Art and Biology, and has spent substantial time on the whitewater rivers of the Northeast. After an internship with the New York Zoological Society on St. Catherine’s Island in Georgia, he decided to pursue a degree in art at the California College of the Arts in Oakland. After this MFA, he taught college courses in Vermont and Wisconsin before landing at Unity College. He lives in Belfast with his wife and three children, and can see the ocean in the wintertime from his house. View a sampling of his work.

Joan Proudman, a dancer as well as visual artist, specializes in photo-illustration. Her work has shown in local and international galleries, as book illustration and cover design, and in online journals. Joan and her husband photographer Johan Selmer-Larsen create posters and flyers as Freedom Graphics for local venues. Joan received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Southern Maine. Joan's painting “Bird Brain” was chosen for this year’s festival image. View some of Joan’s work.

Belfast Poet Laureate Ellen Sander has been an intimate of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project in New York, of the San Francisco Scene poetry community in Bolinas, California, and of the Beyond Baroque center in Los Angeles. Ellen writes with wit, critical insight, and a buoyant, streetwise sensibility. A pioneering rock journalist and a bearer of witness to the full force of creative ferment that was the 1960’s, she says that poetry must be “intriguing, electrifying, and inclusive.” A sometime resident of Beijing and versed in dance, mime, software writing, and all stripes of authorship, Ellen Sander brings a world of perspective to the work of poetry and of performance.

Dianne Schelble received her BA from the University of Michigan School of Art. After raising four children, she returned to watercolor, and has since appeared in numerous publications and exhibited in galleries from the coast of Maine to Georgia. Dianne’s paintings are vibrant works with generously applied paint, creating a unique look resembling, from afar, a palette knife technique in watercolor. These paintings are alive in the moment – energetic and bold with intriguing light. Her recent body of work reflects the colors that she “feels” and senses in her environment. Some of Diane’s work can be viewed here.

Down from the Sierras and the Green Mountains too, through snows and returning snows again, bringing a hardy compendium of voices, from the poem, to the bass clarinet, to the alchemy of hat-making, poet Toussaint St. Negritude is a well-hatted resident of Northern New England, and has recently become a fond member of the Belfast poets’ community. Born in 1959, raised in the liberations of San Francisco, Toussaint established an early appreciation of the arts and the connecting refuge of nature, particularly of the surrounding mountains. Following his horizons further, at 19 he found his way to the profoundly African and surrealist slopes of Haiti, living in the hills of Port-au-Prince for three amazing years. This period in Haiti soon proved to be his most pivotal introduction to the interdependent universe of art and spirituality, and the resulting revolution of powers summoned from one’s own freed creativity. Returning to the States, Toussaint has long since honed his literary and creative skills in several key communities, including Houston, Paris, Savannah, Philadelphia, and, primarily, his home town of San Francisco. It was in the foggy climbs of the Bay Area that, well into his 30’s, Toussaint suddenly found himself playing the bass clarinet, opening and giving tonality to his voice as a poet in ways broader than he could have ever imagined. In the spring of 2009, hearing again the call of the mountains, Toussaint St. Negritude ascended the Historic John Coltrane District in Philadelphia, and caught a train to Northern Vermont, permanently dashing the concrete gridding of urban life for the open territory of high spruces and above-cloud views far beyond the hum of a single human restraint. From Vermont to Belfast, Toussaint St. Negritude is deeply appreciative of the expansive wealth of nature’s enlightening sources of wonder, from the toes of Mount Mansfield to the strolls of Penobscot Bay. His recent publications include appearances in PoemCity, The I’ve Known Rivers Project, SOMA Magazine, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Philadelphia Stories, and his recent recordings include Life Truth Speak (2012), The Great Blue Heron Suite, and Turquoise Passage (2008). Visit his webpage to view some of his work.

Casey Weibust graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Printmaking. She is a printmaking instructor and camp instructor at the Jamestown Arts Center in Jamestown, Rhode Island. Casey also works as an Art Advisor Assistant for the East Bay Met Arts Advisory and is the leader of the East Bay Met’s Arts Team. Her goal as an artist is making the surreal and magical world which she so often imagines, a “Middle Earth” with witches, goblins, wizards, and fairies, believable. Her interest in the fantastical world derives from her childhood in Jamestown, where her house was surrounded by woods, brooks, gardens, and, of course, witches, fairies, and gnomes!

2013 Workshops

The 2013 Belfast Poetry Festival was pleased to present various workshops during the morning and afternoon of Saturday, October 19.

Poetic Models: Two Poets. Two Poems.

(Riot, by Gwendolyn Brooks; A Centenary Ode: Inscribed to Little Crow, Leader of the Sioux Rebellion in Minnesota, 1862, by James Wright)
Joel Lipman | 10-11:30 am  Belfast Free Library, 3rd Fl Conf Rm

In our morning workshop we’ll closely and creatively read and spontaneously write in response to two lesser-known poems by 20th Century master poets Gwendolyn Brooks and James Wright, discovering fertile inspiration in each poem’s emotive and inventive language, conceptual structure, themes, social vision and concretely specific allusions. Poems and prompts provided.

Stand Up Poetry

Ellen Sander | 10-11:30 am  Belfast Free Library, Abbott Rm

Don’t just recite that poem, re-excite it!
There’s a reason you wrote it or found it and love it enough to read it aloud, so make that reading radiate.

Performance poet Ellen Sander, the Poet Laureate of Belfast, will coach the heights and depths and drama, the humor, the pathos and the vibrancy out of your poem and your performance. Bring something you want to read ravishingly. Have stage fright? Lose it here. We’ll map out your poem, work on your confidence and impulses, explore theatrical exercises and elements of performance art to put you on the road to an unforgettable performance.

A maximum of 8 students for this workshop so everyone can get personal attention and work in a close group.

Making Poems Sizzle: Oblique Writing

Carol Bachofner | 12:30-2 pm  Belfast Free Library, Third Floor Conference Room

There is nothing more wonderful than a fully-fleshed poem rife with images, a poem that surprises and satisfies. Conversely, there is nothing quite so disappointing than a poem that is predictable, flat, and derivative. Poets need to dazzle their readers, finding ways to elaborate/expand content, underpinning each image with fresh foundations. Writing obliquely is good way to mine for novel images. Handouts will be provided.

Spoken Word Workshop

Robin Merrill | 12:30-2 pm  Belfast Free Library, Abbott Room

On-page is great. On-stage can be great too. Get in touch with your inner performer. Some poems just beg to be heard!


Gallery Hunt

Belfast Poetry Festival Commemorative Button 2013New to the Belfast Poetry Festival in 2013 – a scavenger-hunt styled showcase of award winning poetry!

Reacquaint yourself with Belfast’s downtown art galleries, take in some award-winning poetry, peruse at your own pace, and welcome the surprises of the unexpected.

During the month of October, beginning with the First Friday Art Walk, Friday, October 4, and up until the end of the Festival, Saturday, October 19, the ten finalist poems from the 2013 Maine Postmark Poetry Contest will be on full display in Belfast art galleries. Gallery Hunt cards, available at Yo Mama’s Home, list the randomized poem titles and locations. Visit all ten galleries and fill the card in with the gallery ID for each poem, and the Gallery Hunt cards are redeemable at Yo Mama’s Home for this year’s commemorative Festival button, which features this year’s festival banner image, “Bird Brain”, by Joan Proudman.

Participating galleries and establishments include:

Aarhus Gallery
The Belfast Free Library
Betts Gallery
Daniel Anselmi’s Studio
Square the Circle Gallery
Harbor Artisans Gallery
Northern Lights Gallery
High Street Studio & Gallery
Raven’s Nest Gallery

Stay tuned for more news about the contest winners!


2013 Participating Addresses

A] Downtown Belfast Maine [map]

B] The Hutchinson Center
80 Belmont Avenue (Route #3), Belfast, Maine
/ Toll Free:
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The Hutchenson Center is less than 2 miles from downtown Belfast, and there is plenty of free parking. Galleries, restaurants and shops are all within striking distance of the Festival venue.

Aarhus Gallery
50 Main Street, Belfast, Maine

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The Belfast Framer & Betts Gallery
96 Main Street, Belfast, Maine

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The Belfast Free Library
106 High Street, Belfast, Maine

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69 Main Street, Belfast, Maine

Daniel Anselmi’s Studio
75 Main Street, Belfast, Maine

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Square the Circle Gallery
137 High Street, Belfast, Maine (2nd floor)
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Harbor Artisans
60 Main Street, Belfast, Maine

Northern Lights Gallery
33 Main Street, Belfast, Maine

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High Street Studio & Gallery
149 High Street, Belfast, Maine

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Raven’s Nest Gallery
65 Main Street, Belfast, Maine

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Yo Mama’s Home
96 Main Street, Belfast, Maine

website »

Location Map

Belfast Poetry Festival Map


2013 Festival Supporters

Support for the Belfast Poetry Festival is greatly appreciated. In appreciation we list supporters and link to their website.

City of Belfast
Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance — 2013 Co-sponsor
Hutchinson Center
Belfast Free Library
Brambles, Daniel Anselmi
Square the Circle Gallery
Harbor Artisans
Northern Lights Gallery
High Street Studio & Gallery
Raven’s Nest Gallery
Yo Mama’s Home

Special thanks to Joan Proudman for providing us with this year’s festival image “Bird Brain”.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for the 2013 festival please contact for more info.


Love poetry, art & music? Want to be a part of the 2013 weekend activities? Why not volunteer? It’s a great way to contribute to a unique occasion and meet people.

Contact us and tell us how you would like to help.

Contact Us

For questions, suggestions, or general info please feel free to contact us.

Due to spam we no longer use a contact form.
Please use the email addresses below to contact us. In your email leave your prefered contact info along with a detailed message.

NOTE: [at] represents the @ symbol. It’s intentionally spelled out to deter spambots. When emailing us please use the @ symbol without spaces. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

  • For general festival info: jacob [at]
  • To contact the Webmaster: catlin.barnes [at]
  • You can also leave comments on Facebook!


Attention: No longer Maintained