Submissions from makers and writers are sought for the annual Plunkett Maine Poetry Festival, a hybrid event of visual and literary arts to be held on Friday, April 30. Literary and art submissions are due Monday, March 1. Anyone interested in contributing one or more creative works to the festival should visit uma.edu/plunkett for details.

The past year has been challenging, with quarantining, masking, “pivoting,” rising up, breaking down and trying to keep it together. To mark the events, the Plunkett Maine Poetry Festival will Break Out of its usual format to celebrate the University of Maine at Augusta’s 2020-2021 academic theme of “Outbreak,” a topic inclusive of viral outbreaks, outbreaks of social justice and outbreaks of creativity.

Accordingly, the festival will partner with the UMA Danforth Gallery and call on makers and writers of all kinds to contribute to a multifaceted literary and arts event, to filled with readings, art exhibits, an art installation and performance by artist and UMA part-time lecturer, Patricia Brace. Brace’s work addresses the relationship between intersectional feminism and politics through her use of dance, new media and installation.

Providing the keynote will be Maine’s former poet laureate (2000-2006), Baron Wormser. He is the author of nine collections of poetry, as well as two texts on pedagogy, a memoir and two collections of essays. He is an avid defender of poetry, peace and the power of language to make collective change. Wormser will speak on UMA’s academic theme of Outbreak, as well as read some of his work.

The Terry Plunkett Maine Poetry Festival, held in April each year, was established in 2002 to honor the memory and accomplishments of Terry Plunkett, an English professor at the University of Maine at Augusta for nearly 30 years. An outstanding teacher and mentor to many students, he was also co-editor of Kennebec: A Portfolio of Maine Writing, an annual magazine published by the university from 1977-1992 and distributed free throughout the state. Many Maine writers first saw their work in print in Kennebec due to Plunkett’s encouragement and guidance.

A poet and fiction writer as well as a teacher and editor, he helped organize and direct the Maine Poets Festival, a popular celebration of poets and poetry, which ran from 1976-1983 at UMA, the College of the Atlantic and the Maine College of Art.

Additional details about the April 30 event are available on uma.edu/plunkett.