The annual Open Mic Plus series returns Wednesday, May 16, at 7 p.m. at the Sandy Point Community Hall, 684 Route 1. The events run the third Wednesday of every month, May through October.

The 7 p.m. Open Mic hour is open to all ages and levels of talent — poets, storytellers, jokesters, musicians of all stripes. After a 15-minute break for refreshments, the feature performance hour begins about 8:15 p.m.

The 2018 season kicks off with folksinger Gordon Bok, deemed by Time magazine the “poet laureate of those who go down to the sea in ships.” Bok grew up in Camden, where he started singing and playing guitar early, inspired by both his musical family and the coastal environment. He worked on or near the water much of his earlier years in shipyards and on sailing vessels, serving in every capacity from dishwasher to captain. As the original first mate on the sloop Clearwater, Bok toured the New England coast with the Hudson River Sloop Singers.

Bok's music is largely self-taught. He has learned many songs and stories from people he has worked with; and he performs with 6- and 12-string guitars, as well as a self-designed baritone viol da gamba. He also sings a cappella, applying his resonant bass-baritone voice to a rich repertoire. Bok has a treasure trove of ballads of Maine and the Maritimes, songs and dances of the Americas and abroad, stories of boats and sailors, tales of seafolk and "cantefables" of his own composition, contemporary songs and instrumentals.

Sliding-scale donation is $3 to $10, free for children younger than 18. For more information, call 567-4044. The historic Sandy Point Community Hall overlooks the mouth of the Penobscot River, 3.5 miles south of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.

Featured performers upcoming this season are: June 20, Lara Herscovitch, singer/songwriter with folk, blues and jazz roots; July 18, Miners Creek, progressive bluegrass; Aug. 15, Diane Linscott, soulful jazz crooner of the Great American Songbook; Sept. 19, Jordan Benissan, master African drummer; and Oct. 17, Amos Libby, Middle Eastern oud player and singer of Arabic music.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.