BELFAST, Maine — The Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, a statewide competition, is happening again this year in conjunction with the seventh Annual Belfast Poetry Festival, to be held Oct. 14-15.
This year’s judge will be Emily Wilson. Wilson grew up in Maine, and after graduate work at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Center for the Book, she moved to Portland, where she opened Spurwink Press, a letterpress publisher of poetry. Wilson is the author of “Micrographia” (Iowa, 2010) and “The Keep” (Iowa, 2001), holds degrees from Harvard and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She spent many years in Brooklyn and now lives with her family in Iowa City. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and has taught at Colby College, Grinnell College and the University of Montana.
New this year: Maine residents and those with access to a Maine post office or mailbox this summer are invited to enter. Citizens, residents and visitors are all welcome; the only rule is that all entries must bear a Maine postmark.
To enter, submit entries of up to two pages of poetry (one poem per page — two short poems or one longer poem). Each entry must be accompanied by a $5 reading fee. Proceeds will be used to support the festival. Entrants may submit more than one entry, but each additional entry is an additional $5.
The Belfast Poetry Festival committee will screen entries and forward finalists to an outside judge, a poet of national reputation, who will choose first, second and third place winners. Winners will be invited to read the winning poem and be honored at the Belfast Poetry Festival in October; winning poems will be announced and published in the Maine press and receive a special volume of Maine poetry.
Submissions deadline is Thursday, Sept. 1; only submissions received with a Maine postmark dated Sept. 1 or earlier will be accepted and read. Poems should be sent without the poet’s name on the poem and accompanied by a cover letter listing the poet’s name, address, email and phone number and the title of the poem or poems submitted so that poems can be read anonymously. Cover letters need not include biographical information. Poems sent without a cover letter will be disqualified. All poems must be original and previously unpublished. Poems will not be returned, so do not send originals or a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Send entries — up to two pages and no more than two poems, accompanied by a cover letter with contact information and a check for $5 made out to the City of Belfast, to: Jacob Fricke, Belfast Poet Laureate, Attn: Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, P.O. Box 911, Belfast 04915.