Newly appointed Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair will publicly announce his first statewide poetry initiative Wednesday, April 20 at a gathering in the Blaine House.

In collaboration with Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, McNair will offer newspapers across Maine one previously published poem by a Maine poet each week. McNair will select each poem and write a brief introduction about the poet’s background and connection to Maine, as well as the history, context or themes of the poem.

The column will be called “Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry.” VillageSoup will run the feature in the Arts & Entertainment section of The Herald Gazette, The Republican Journal and The Bar Harbor Times.

McNair is the fourth Maine Poet Laureate. He is the author of nine volumes of poetry and two books of nonfiction, and he has edited five anthologies of Maine writing including three that feature Maine poetry. Few authors are as well-versed in the history of Maine poetry or the work of Maine’s contemporary poets as McNair.

For the first time since the inception of the state’s poet laureateship, the MWPA will support the position as an office of the Maine Poet Laureate. This partnership will bolster and propel the laureate’s statewide initiatives. The MWPA is committing David Turner, a graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, to serve as a special assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to dernest@villagesoup.com.