Deadline for the 12th annual Waldo County Young Poet Laureate contest is Saturday, April 23 at 8 p.m. The current Waldo County Young Poet Laureate is Genevieve Shepard, a senior at Searsport District High School.

Open to all Waldo County residents between the ages of 12 and 21, the contest will feature an awards ceremony with readings from contestants and the publication of a spiral-bound anthology containing all poems submitted. Last year’s book included the work of 21 local young poets. To enter, poets should bring up to three typed poems to Mr. Paperback in Belfast’s Renys Plaza, Route 3; send email entries in Microsoft Word format to; or mail to Mr. Paperback, 1-F Belmont Ave., Renys Plaza, Belfast, ME 04915. Entries should include name, telephone, mail and email addresses, age and school affiliation, as applicable. No “epic” poems, please.

Judges and performers at the awards ceremony will include poet, publisher, and bookseller Gary Lawless; Susan Guthrie of the Belfast Institute of Lifelong Learning; and Carolyn Locke, poet and longtime educator in creative writing.

Winning poets will be announced during the ceremony, which will be held Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m. at Mr. Paperback. The new Young Poet Laureate and three runners-up will receive gift certificates as prizes, and the winner will be ceremonially topped with a poet’s crown. Anthologies will be available at the event. All poets and interested parties are encouraged to attend and to read their work or the work of a favorite poet.

For more information, call Nancy Burnham or Jacob Fricke at Mr. Paperback, 338-2735, or send them an email.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to