For the first time in its 10-year history, the American Folk Festival on the Bangor riverfront will including readings by Maine poets as part of the annual celebration of the traditions and diversity of the state’s cultural communities.

Included will be a Sardine Project reading by Karin Spitfire, former Poet Laureate of Belfast and author of two collections, “Standing with Trees” and “Wild Caught”; and Gary Lawless, poet and owner of Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick. The pair organized For the love of herring — A Sardine Extravaganza last summer with events up and down the coast to raise a ruckus for herring and celebrate our human relationship with them.

Spitfire and Lawless will read twice on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 12:30 and 3 p.m. on the Children’s Village stage. The festival also offers three performance stages, a Narrative Stage and a Dance Pavilion. Music and dance performers will offer entertainment from Indian, Irish, Quebecois, Cajun and Eskimo traditions; and there is a fair amount of blues including two artists who appeared at the 2009 North Atlantic Blues Festival, Eden Brent and Super Chikan.

Admission continues to be free, but a suggested donation of $10 per day is requested. The festival will run Friday through Sunday, Aug. 27 through 29 on the downtown waterfront. In addition to music, dance and poetry, there are children’s activities, traditional craft demonstrations and exhibits, dozens of food vendors offering ethnic food, regional specialties and traditional festival favorites, a marketplace offering unique, handcrafted items and Taste of Maine treats for sale.

The American Folk Festival is produced by the Bangor Folk Festival, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit

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