The 12th annual Terry Plunkett Poetry Festival will feature several poets from around the state, as well as readings from local high school students and college students from campuses throughout the University of Maine System.
The University of Maine at Augusta will host the festival on Friday evening in Jewett Hall and all day Saturday, April 12, in the Fireplace Lounge of the Richard Randall Student Center.
As part of the festival theme, Granting Poetic Licenses, local poets Robin Merrill and Dawn Potter held poetry workshops at Monmouth and Hall-Dale high schools in February and March to help teach and inspire students to write poetry, and during the festival there will be a panel discussion about the role of poetry in schools.
The keynote speaker is Allen Feldman, an award-winning poet and professor emeritus of English at Framingham State University in Massachusetts. His poetry collections include “The Happy Genius” and “A Sail to Great Island.” His writing has appeared in “The Atlantic,” “The New Yorker,” “The Nation,” “Poetry,” “The Kenyon Review,” “The Southern Review,” “Ploughshares,” “Iowa Review,” “Threepenny Review,” “Virginia Quarterly Review” and many others.
The Terry Plunkett Poetry Festival, which honors the memory of Plunkett, who taught English at the university for nearly 30 and died in 1998, is free and open to the public.
Friday’s program is 7-9 p.m. in the Jewett Hall Auditorium and will feature Feldman and readings from university and high school students. There will be a reception in the Danforth Art Gallery, and UMA’s Jazz On Tour student band will provide music.
Saturday’s program begins at 10 a.m. There will be readings by poets from UMA’s Senior College and established Maine poets, who have been paired with emerging poets of their choice. Marcia Gallagher will provide music in the afternoon.
The event ends with an open mic session at 3:30-4:15 p.m.