BELFAST — The 16th Belfast Poetry Festival returns this year on Saturday, Oct. 16, to offer a mostly virtual event including workshops and the Evening Collaborative Showcase.

On Saturday, Oct. 16, from 1 to 3 p.m., the Belfast Poetry Festival is offering three simultaneous workshops, including one by Julia Bouwsma, the current Maine State Poet Laureate.

In “Body of Language,” Bouwsma will use a quote by Natalie Diaz as a jumping-off point. This generative workshop will approach the writing of poems as a deep physical listening and sensual engagement using the motions present within our bodies, our environments, and our poems and applying these cadences to the page. This workshop will be held on Zoom.

How do we grow and refine the practice of editing our own words? In “Listening for Revision,” writing facilitator and poet Maya Stein will share ideas, methods and insights on revising work, and will guide participants through exercises that will help them identify ways to strengthen their writing through revision. Participants are encouraged to bring an unrevised or unfinished work to share with the group. This workshop will also be presented on Zoom.

“Mining Words: A Generative Poetry Workshop” led by Judy Kaber, current poet laureate of Belfast, will start off examining works by poets who are masters in the use of language. Participants will dig deep into what works and pry free words to stitch into their own writing, and develop strategies to use form, rhythm and sound to enhance the emotional and semantic content of their poems. This workshop is in person and will be held at Waterfall Arts, 256 High St.

To register, visit and find the workshop links. Workshops are $25 each. Early registration is encouraged because space is limited.

At 6:30 p.m., newly appointed Maine State Poet Laureate Julia Bouwsma offers a special reading to kick off the Evening Collaborative Showcase of poets and artists. This event will take place on Zoom.

Visit for more information and to register for the Zoom link.

The 16th Belfast Poetry Festival is made possible with major support from The First National Bank, and additional support from the City of Belfast, Belfast Free Library, Waterfall Arts and The Maine Review.