BELFAST — On Oct. 15, Belfast will put out a call for odists, versifiers, rhapsodists and rimers. All have been summoned to the 17th Belfast Poetry Festival.

“We expect that this year’s celebration of poetry, community and artistic possibility will be even more inspiring than in the past,” said Belfast Free Library Assistant Director Brenda Harrington. “If you’ve never been to the evening showcase, where poets and artists share their collaborative work in a multimedia setting, then you must check it out.”

A pop-up open reading at the United Farmers Market of Maine kicks off the Oct. 15 event at 10 a.m. Belfast Poet Laureate Judy Kaber hopes the location will generate more fans of poetry.

“I’m especially excited this year that we will be working collaboratively with Belfast Senior College and the United Farmers Market,” Kaber said. “We hope that the location of the (pop-up poetry) reading will lure in some people who don’t usually listen to poetry.”

The festival’s Evening Collaborative Showcase will be held on the evening of Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Troy Howard Middle School. The Showcase will be preceded by a reception and will include poetry, performances and a visual arts multimedia show.

This year the Poetry Festival features a pair of simultaneous workshops at the Belfast Free Library.

One, “A Walk on the Wild Side: Turning Animal Encounters into Poetry and Art,” will be run by local poet and artist Leslie Moore.

Local poet and artist Leslie Moore will run a workshop at the Oct. 15 Belfast Poetry Festival.

In this workshop, participants will write poems and/or make art featuring animal encounters in the wild, or in their own backyards. Often, chance encounters with wild creatures leave us stunned and speechless. Recollected in tranquility, these meeting may demand to be put into words or made into art.

Participants should bring writing and/or art materials, and a device that allows them to access the internet. Participants will research and, in the process, learn something about the animals chosen as well as themselves.

The second workshop, “Elegy: Poetry of Return, Poetry of Mourning,” will be led by Claire Milliken. Milliken is a poet based in coastal Maine and the author of eight collections of poetry.

Milliken will take on the poetic form of the elegy, or the poem of mourning, asking the question of how poetry and mourning intersect and need each other. As we move beyond a pandemic that has cost so many lives, participants may find themselves aware of the process of mourning and want to bring the process of poetry to this work of mourning.

In this workshop, participants will briefly gloss over the history of the elegy, and read and discuss a few examples of poems from the works of Ross Gay, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Gwendolyn Brooks and Anne Carson. The main thrust of the workshop is to talk about where poetry and mourning meet and how they need each other. Working from a few prompts, participants will write new poem drafts and discuss them. Participants are asked to bring a notebook and pen.

Both workshops will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Belfast Free Library.

The Belfast Poetry Festival is made possible through support from the city of Belfast Free Library, Waterfall Arts, United Farmers Market of Maine, Belfast Senior College and The Maine Review.

Registration and more information on the Belfast Poetry Festival is available at