BELFAST — The Belfast Poetry Festival celebrates 16 years of being one of the few community-based poetry festivals in the country with its annual event Saturday, Oct. 16. In view of the continued spread of the pandemic, this year’s activities will be confined to one day and will be primarily on Zoom. All events except workshops are free.

“Aluminum” by Ling-Wen Tsai.

From 1 to 3 p.m., there will be three workshop offerings. Maine Poet Laureate Julia Bouwsma leads a session titled “Body of Language: A Generative Poetry Workshop.” Maya Stein, a freelance writer, editor and cofounder of the publishing platform Toad Hall editions, offers the workshop “Listening for Revision: A Poetry Editing Workshop.” Both of the preceding workshops will be available through Zoom. “Mining Words: A Generative Poetry Workshop,” led by Belfast Poet Laureate Judy Kaber takes place in Studio #2 at Waterfall Arts, 256 High St. Registration for these workshops is open and available at

The evening showcase and multimedia extravaganza, at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom, features the collaborative work of poets with visual artists interspersed with readings from the winners of the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest. Registration for this event is also available at

Featured artists and poets include poet Jan Bindas-Tenney with artist Ling-Wen Tsai; poet Kristen Lindquist with visual artist Anna Strickland; poet Jefferson Navicky with artist and bookmaker Rebecca Goodale; poet Myronn Hardy with installation artist and filmmaker Anita Clearfield; and poet Julia Bouwsma, Maine Poet Laureate, with writer and multimedia artist Asata Radcliffe.

“Tents” by Rebecca Goodale.

The top winners of the 2019 Maine Postmark Poetry Contest will also read as part of the showcase. They include Mike Bove of Portland, First Place, “Basho’s Death Poem, New York City;” Jeri Theriault of South Portland, Second Place, “ode to my father’s body;” Matt Bernier of Pittsfield, Third Place, “The Wolffish;” Anne Rankin of Brunswick, Honorable Mention, “Small Primer on Loneliness;” and Bridget McAlonan of Topsham, Honorable Mention, “Forest Creatures.”

The 16th annual festival is made possible with support from First National Bank, The Maine Review, the City of Belfast, the Belfast Free Library, Waterfall Arts, and the office of the Belfast Poet Laureate. For more information about the program and participant biographies, visit

“Shahai” by Anna Strickland and Kristen Lindquist.