Open Call for Participants
The ninth annual Belfast Poetry Festival, October 18th – 19th, seeks poets and artists for “A Poem to Behold.” Continuing the Belfast tradition of keeping poetry lively and larger than life, the Festival announces the return of this live multimedia pageant of poetry and images. “A Poem to Behold” showcases collaborative work and features live readings of original poetry with a simultaneous projection of original artwork onto three large screens.
Pairs of collaborators, individuals in either medium, or larger teams are encouraged to submit presentation ideas, with examples of work, for this juried show. “A Poem to Behold” gives each presenter or team 6 minutes of verbal time to show a suggested 12 images. To submit, please send 3 images and 2 poems, appropriate bios and web links, and a brief outline of a proposed poetry + image collaboration to the Festival at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15th. Please embed poems in the email text and send images as jpeg attachments. Chosen participants will be notified in June.
The Belfast Poetry Festival draws a devoted crowd of poets and artists from across the state and New England and will also feature readings, workshops, a gallery hunt, the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, and other programming in various venues. The multimedia show will take place Saturday, October 19th. Last year’s presentation was both a success and a sensation, featuring 17 poets and 11 visual artists from all areas of the state and attracting crowds and conversations of memorable proportions.
Whether you’re an artist seeking to interpret works of poetry visually, a poet seeking to spell out the stories told in works of art, or a team of both, eager to create related work in both media, send in your proposal! “A Poem to Behold” will showcase words that respond to art and art that responds to words, shrinking the distance between the visual and verbal media and opening up all kinds of opportunities for poets and artists to inspire each other. This year’s event will feature, on an equal footing, both applicants and invitees.
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.
2012 Steering Committee:
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:
P.O. Box 911
Belfast ME 04915
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Carol Willette Bachofner’s poems have appeared in dozens of journals and publications, including Bangor Metro, The Aurorean, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review, The Cream City Review, The Comstock Review, CT Review, and others. In 2010 Bachofner, currently Poet Laureate of Rockland, Maine founded the successful city-wide celebration of poetry, Poetry Month Rockland. She is the author of 4 books of poetry: Daughter of the Ardennes Forest, Breakfast at the Brass Compass, I Write in the Greenhouse, and most recently Native Moons, Native Days. A member of the New England Poetry Club and Maine Poets Society, Bachofner is a working poet, editing and publishing an online literary journal, teaching workshops, blogging on writing, and mentoring emerging poets.
Joan Braun is an artist and psychotherapist who lives in Weld, Maine. She has exhibited widely throughout Maine and in Philadelphia, most recently at the University of Maine at Farmington’s Emery Art Center. She is a member of the Maine Union of Visual Artists, and received an award from the Philadelphia branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom for her political art activism.
At the 2008 Belfast Poetry Festival Michael R. Brown performed a 12-minute jazz poetry collaboration with saxophonist Alan Crichton. Earlier that year he and his partner Valerie Lawson were featured in Ando Anderson’s New Vaudeville Revue. Co-founder of the Boston Poetry Slam and author of four books of poetry, in 1994 Brown started what became Dr Brown’s Traveling Poetry Show, a two-hour stage presentation of original poetry by a troupe of 15 poets. He has been featured annually with the Jeff Robinson Trio in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and occasionally with other groups in Chicago, Dusseldorf, and at various clubs in Sweden. A teacher for most of his adult life, Brown holds a Ph.D. in English and Education from the University of Michigan, where his dissertation on the poetry of the Harlem Renaissance was directed by Robert Hayden. His travel writing garnered three covers in the Chicago Tribune. Since moving to Robbinston, Maine in 2007 Brown has directed and acted in plays and for a while covered the Passamaquoddy Reservation and public health issues for The Quoddy Tides. He and Valerie Lawson publish Off the Coast, Maine’s International Poetry Journal. They teach poetry at the Sunrise Senior College at U-Maine, Machias, and in workshops at the Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott.
Maryjean Viano Crowe uses materials in unique ways to create mixed media installations that often incorporate clothing as art, large–scale photographic assemblages, light box shrines, artist books, and mixed media paintings. Her work has been exhibited and published nationally. Included in numerous private and museum collections, including the Polaroid International Collection and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, Crowe received a 1995 National Endowment for the Arts in Photography, and a Massachusetts Artists Foundation Fellowship in 1987, a grant for which she was also a three time Finalist. Among the museums where her work has been exhibited are the DeCordova, Danforth and Fuller Museums regionally. Nationally Viano Crowe’s work has been seen at the Southeast Museum of Photography in Florida, the Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum in LaGrange, Georgia, Artemesia Gallery in Chicago and Light Impressions in San Francisco.
Alicia Fisher recently published her first collection of poems, Tenants, through Finishing Line Press. She has also published in The Cafe Review, Words and Images, and Wife of Bath. Last year she was awarded a scholarship to attend the Stonecoast Writers Conference in Freeport, ME. She has also been the recipient of four scholarships through USM, where she currently attends and is working to complete a BA in English Literature. Alicia moved, in her formative years, from Massachusetts to Maine. Her love of Maine is warm and abiding but much of her work is still informed in some way by how it felt to languish, crunching peanuts and watching for the white and brown puffs of ducklings, on the swanboats under the tamped grey skies of Boston.
Rachel Contreni Flynn was born in Paris and raised in a small farming town in Indiana. Her second full-length collection of poetry, Tongue, won the Benjamin Saltman Award and was published in 2010 by Red Hen Press. Her chapbook, Haywire, was published by Bright Hill Press in 2009, and her first book, Ice, Mouth, Song, was published in 2005 by Tupelo Press, after winning the Dorset Prize. She was awarded a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2007. Rachel is a graduate of Indiana University and the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. Her work has often been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, and she received two literature grants from the Illinois Arts Council. She taught poetry at Northwestern University for several years before recently moving to Gorham, Maine with her family. Rachel conducts poetry workshops, seminars, and readings regularly, and is on the editorial board of the Beloit Poetry Journal.
Carolyn Gelland’scollection of poems, Four-Alarm House, was published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company in February, 2012. A second book, Dream-Shuttle, will come out in 2013. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Off the Coast, Iodine Poetry Journal, The Bitter Oleander, RiverSedge, and many others. She reads her poems widely, as well as those of her husband Kenneth Frost (including those from his books Night Flight and, forthcoming in Winter 2012, Time On Its Own).
Valerie Lawson’s first book, Dog Watch, was released in 2007. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Lawson won awards for Best Narrative Poem and Spoken Word at the Cambridge Poetry Awards. In 2008 Lawson was invited as a Legacy Poet to the first Women of the World Poetry Slam in Detroit. Lawson’s artwork and photos have appeared online and in print and in juried shows at the Ellis Center for the Arts in Duxbury, MA and the Cataumet Arts center. In 2001 and 2002, Lawson participated in Optimal Avenues’ multi-media cultural exchanges with Ireland celebrating the UN mandate for a Culture of Peace. In this exchange, Lawson presented both photos and poetry. The Culture of Peace exhibit of art and poems grew out of this exchange and later appeared at various venues in New England. Lawson would go on to collaborate with sculptor Wes Reddick at the Belfast Poetry Festival in 2008. Lawson co-edits Off the Coast literary journal with her partner, Michael Brown. In 2012, Lawson became a member of the board of directors of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance.
Barbaria Maria is the author of two books of poetry, Crossing Time and Palace Boulevard, and a CD of poems with music by Jeff Densmore, called 108 Names~ Poems to the Divine. Her recent work, Soul Migration, is a multimedia installation of image, sound and poetry. Working in photomontage, she combines images that don’t usually go together to open up another dimension or way of seeing – not fantasy, but the extraordinary that exists in the ordinary, a kind of magic realism. She is a consultant to writers and other artists in all stages of the creative process from the development of their initial vision through revision of the work to the final polish. She also leads workshops and groups for experienced and beginning writers, as well as a writing and meditation series.
Jefferson Navicky is a writer and teacher living in Portland, Maine. Originally from Southeast Ohio, he earned his MFA in Writing & Poetics from Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. His work has appeared in Phoebe, Artifice, Smokelong Quarterly, Tangled Bank Anthology, Quickfiction, The New Guard, The Café Review, Six Minute Magazine, Horse Less Review, and Interrobang! His chapbook Map of the Second Person was published by Black Lodge Press in 2007; his hybrid manuscript Transparency was an honorable mention in Starcherone Books’ 2010 Innovative Fiction Contest and his manuscript project The Ancients and the Horribles earned residencies at the IPark Foundation, at the Vermont Studio Center, and on Hirsholmene Island in Denmark. He has collaborated with German installation artist Roger Rigorth, with poet Jason Rawn for the Portsmouth Poetry Postcard Project, and with artist Alina Gallo for work exhibited in The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and elsewhere. As a playwright, his work has appeared in Boston, Portland, Portsmouth, and the Maine Playwright’s Festival. He has led workshops in various cities, and currently teaches English at Southern Maine Community College.
Kristina Buckley (appearing with the Poet Rising Collective) is a student at the Maine College of Art. She specializes in illustration and linoleum block print-making. Recently she produced a handmade block print community poetry chapbook, Welcome Home which was an anthology that included her print work juxtaposed to poems by some of Portland’s most emerging poets.
Sarah Herklots (appearing with the Poet Rising Collective) holds a BFA in Performance from the New School. She recently represented Maine in the Women of the World Poetry Slam, placing in the top 15 in the country. She is passionate about poetry serving as a means to raise the voices of women and queer identified poets as well as its role in providing youth with a means to express feeling that so often remain suppressed.
Greg Mckillop (appearing with the Poet Rising Collective) is a twenty seven year old musician, poet, activist, and community organizer. In 2009 after participating in countless local and national acts he left his budding carreer as a middle school english teacher to be the founder of “Speaker For The Dead”, which has since grown to a national queer poet and music collective which works to raise awareness about empowerment through performance. Mckillop has acted as host for more than 20 open mics across 4 states, many of which he started, and is currently the music director of both The Dirty Gerund Poetry Show in Worcester MA and Rhythmic Cypher in Portland ME. He has released 12 albums, and tour from coast to coast 6 times.
Tina “TLove”Smith (appearing with the Poet Rising Collective) is a performance poet and community builder. She has won several slam competitions in Portland and co-hosts, books, and promotes the weekly event, Rhythmic Cypher. She was a member of the 2009 and 2012 Portland Slam Teams, competed in the 2009 National Poetry Slam, and was the first Individual Slam Champ for Portland. Recently she was published in the Passion and Pride: Poets in Support of Equality anthology with Poets Laureate Betsey Sholl, Martin Steingesser, John-Michael Albert, and Bruce Spang among many other accomplished poets.
Kayla Wheeler (appearing with the Poet Rising Collective) is a poet, performer, and feminist blogger from New Hampshire. She is made of six cervical vertebrae, coffee-stained teeth, and a syringe of hope. Her work has appeared in the 2011 and 2012 editions of The Zephyr, as well as WRITE ON!! Poetry Magazette and the Portland Community Chapbook. Kayla attends and reads at The Frost Place Poetry Readings held during the Conference on Poetry and Teaching. Her first chapbook, dead birds and skeleton keys, was released in March 2012, and is currently working on her second. She loves New England and wants to read poems in your living room sometime.
Julieanne Reed paints her waking dreams. Animals and beings appear and are gathered in her images and the telling of the ‘story’ is left to the viewer. She loves color and magic and joyfully creates with attention to both. All of her recent work is done on paper, with high-quality oil pastel. Julieanne’s painting, “Creator’s Rites,” is traveling in the current “Painters, Players and Poets” show, paired with a poem by Kenneth Frost, “Coring the Moon.” Other pieces of her work have been reproduced in the Tiferet Journal and her images have been shown in various locations throughout Maine.
Kathryn Robyn is a writer, editor, and producer of literary and theatrical works that explore the human condition. She has developed, produced, and performed in live theater and musical events, including a NYC production of her musical, Eclipse (Listen!); worked in editorial departments at Warner Brothers Records and Scribner Educational Publishers in NY, and published poems, articles, short stories, and film reviews in numerous trade journals and anthologies. Her scriptwriting credits include STEPS: A Musical, A Lighter Shade of Pearl (a film by Dawn Ritchie which won honorable mention at Newport, RI’s Clamdance Film Festival), Eclipse (Listen!): An Experiment in 3 Movements and The Snow Queen, both original productions in New York City’s East Village theatre, the W.O.W. CAFÉ, and the one-woman song and spoken word show Arias. Kathryn was Associate Editor of four national healthcare trade magazines, writing cover stories, product reports, and in-depth profiles (one of which won her Cygnus Business Media’s Best Profile Award of 2005). Her articles and poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Valley Life Magazine, EMS Magazine, The Larcom Review, Hers 3, Soulful Living.com, Calyx, Woman Artist News, Earth’s Daughters, Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review, The Larchmont Chronicle, and Sinister Wisdom. She is also the author of two books that have been published and translated in over ten countries, both published by New Harbinger Publications: the top selling Spiritual Housecleaning (2001), and The Emotional House (2005). Kathryn is presently copyediting, consulting with authors, and writing plays, songs, poems, and prose in Belfast, Maine.
Carrie Scanga makes etchings, drawings, and sculptural installations from delicate hand‐printed paper. Born in rural Pennsylvania, she studied printmaking at Bryn Mawr College and went on to receive the MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle. Her work has been exhibited at venues around the globe, including this year at the Janet Turner Print Museum in Chico, California; Golden Parachutes in Berlin; Rose Contemporary in Portland, Maine; Space 1026 in Philadelphia; and many university art museums, including those of U Mass Dartmouth, U Colorado, Nicholls, Murray, and Utah State Universities, and the University of Central Florida. Her recent solo exhibitions have included Plug Projects in Kansas City (2012), the Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Texas (2012), the St. Louis Craft Alliance in Missouri (2011), and the Salina Art Center in Kansas (2010). She has received Winter Fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, residencies at The MacDowell Colony, the Blue Mountain Center, Fundación Valparaíso, Sculpture Space, Artspace, and the Salina Art Center, and grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein and Pollock Krasner Foundations. Her art can be found in the permanent collections of the University of Washington, the Free Library of Philadelphia, The Women’s Studio Workshop, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and the Little Berlin Gallery in Philadelphia. She currently has a studio in Maine and is a professor at Bowdoin College.
Lee Sharkey is the author of seven chapbooks and four full-length volumes of poetry, most recently Calendars of Fire (Tupelo Press, forthcoming) and A Darker, Sweeter String (Off the Grid Press). Her poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, Drunken Boat, Field, The Pinch, Prairie Schooner, The Seattle Review, and other journals. She was the Maine Arts Commission’s 2010 Fellow in Literary Arts and the 1997 winner of Zone 3’s Rainmaker Award in Poetry. Lee teaches a writing workshop for psychiatrically labeled adults and co-edits the Beloit Poetry Journal.
Robert Shetterly is a self–taught artist. A 1969 graduate of Harvard College with a degree in English Literature, he was active in the Civil Rights and Anti-War movements. As an undergraduate, he took a couple of drawing courses, which changed the direction of his creative life. A collection of his drawings and etchings, Speaking Fire at Stones, was published in 1993 with poems by William Carpenter. He is well known for his series of 70 painted etchings in response to William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell, and for another series of 50 painted etchings reflecting on the metaphor of the Annunciation. For the past eight years he has been painting the series of portraits (numbering now about 180) called Americans Who Tell the Truth. The show has been traveling around the country for over seven years. In 2005, Dutton published a book of the portraits by the same name, which in 2006 won the top award of the International Reading Association for Intermediate Non–fiction. He has also engaged in a wide variety of political and humanitarian work with many of the people whose portraits he has painted. His painting has tended toward the narrative and the surreal, and his paintings & prints are in collections all over the U.S. and Europe. Since 1990, Shetterly has been the President of the Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA), and producer of the UMVA’s Maine Masters Project, an on–going series of video documentaries about Maine artists. He has received Honorary Doctorates from the University of New England and the University of Maine at Farmington, and in 2005 was named an Honorary Member of the Maine Chapter of Veterans for Peace. He lives with his partner Gail Page, a painter and children’s book writer and illustrator, in Brooksville, Maine.
Lucy Ellen Smith is a fine artist, specializing in portraits, the figure, and still life paintings. Graduating from Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio and having studied at The Art Institute of Chicago; Palette and Chisel, Chicago; The American Academy of Art, Chicago, and with Richard Halstead and Daniel Greene, Lucy strives to incorporate classic drawing and painting skills into her own style of work. She has exhibited throughout the Midwest and New England, and her work has won awards at numerous juried shows, including numerous times at the Pastel Painters of Maine International Juried Shows and Members’ Shows, Retinal Delights at USM Gorham, the Bangor Art Society Juried Show, Rivertree in Kennebunk, The Carver Hill Gallery in Rockport, and Aucocisco Gallery in Portland, as well having been shown in solo shows at the Oak Park, Illinois Library, the Sultzer Library in Chicago and at the Pastel National Juried Show in Wichita, Kansas. She now teaches classic drawing skills, portrait, and the figure in private classes throughout the year. Lucy enjoys the beauty and lifestyle of Maine, and its supportive network of artists and cultural activity.
Elizabeth Tibbetts’ book of poems, In the Well, Bluestem Press won the 2002 Bluestem Poetry Award. Perfect Selves, a chapbook in the Walking to Windward chapbook series, was published by Oyster River Press (2001.) Poems have appeared in many journals such as: The American Scholar, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Green Mountains Review, Northwest Review, North American Review, and Prairie Schooner; and in anthologies, including: The Maine Poets, and Maine in Four Seasons. She participated in the radio program, Words from the Frontier-Poetry in Maine, and received a 2002 Maine Arts Commission Fellowship and a 2007 Maine Arts Commission Good Idea Grant for a writing project in Guatemala. Her work has been featured on the Writer’s Almanac. Elizabeth lives in Hope, ten minutes from where she was born. She works as a registered nurse.
Margaret Weston has over 25 years of experience in leadership positions within the photo industry. She started her career in marketing for a regional photofinishing company, Bicknell Photo Service. After Bicknell was acquired by Konica in 1988, and merged with Konica’s existing lab facilities, Ms. Weston became President of Konica Quality Photo East, a network of seven labs processing over 45 million rolls of film annually. Ms. Weston left to become President of a newspaper with a circulation of over 125,000. Following that, she was CEO of Printlife, a global digital imaging start-up that was founded in Israel. She built operations in Tokyo and in the U.S. and launched products in both markets within one year’s time. In the past few years Ms. Weston has operated a successful consulting practice focused on helping companies and retailers make the transition from conventional to digital imaging. This March, she became president of Maine Media Workshops + College in Rockport, Maine. Her passion throughout life has been photographing volcanoes around the world.
Downtown Belfast Maine [map]
The Hutchinson Center
80 Belmont Avenue (Route #3), Belfast, Maine
207-338-8000 / Toll Free: 1-800-753-9044
The Hutchenson Center is less than 2 miles from downtown Belfast, and there is plenty of free parking. Many restaurants and shops all within striking distance of the Festival venue. Come and join us on this Autum weekend!
Support for the Belfast Poetry Festival is greatly appreciated. In appreciation we list supporters on our website, along with a link to their website. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for the 2012 festival please contact Jacob Fricke for more info.
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