June 01, 2020
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Bangor Book Festival to Feature Poetry and Music on Opening Night, Oct. 14

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kathleenellis | BDN
kathleenellis | BDN

BANGOR, Maine — Poets and musicians will kick off the annual Bangor Book Festival at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 14 at the Bangor Public Library. The festival will run through Saturday afternoon, Oct. 15.

Poets Christian Barter, Kathleen Ellis, Leonore Hildebrandt, and Martin Steingesser will read from their work, followed by a musical work, “On Immortality,” by composer Don Stratton, narrated by Nancy Ogle and Rich Tozier, and conducted by Dan Barrett with Swingmatism and UMaine jazz musicians.

Christian Barter is the author of three books of poetry: “In Someone Else’s House,” “The Singers I Prefer,” and “Secret Evidence,” the latter which is the winner of the Isabella Gardner Award from BOA Editions, forthcoming in 2017. His poetry has been featured on The Writer’s Almanac, Poetry Daily, and The PBS Newshour. For over 25 years, he has worked for the trail crew at Acadia National Park as a stone worker, arborist, and supervisor, and he is currently serving there as Centennial Poet Laureate.

Kathleen Ellis has published five poetry collections, including “Narrow River to the North,” “Vanishing Act,” and “Entering Earthquake Country,” and co-edited “The Eloquent Edge: Fifteen Maine Women Writers.” Poems from her manuscript, “Dear Darwin,” were set to music and released as a Parma Recordings CD, nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award. She teaches creative writing at the University of Maine and coordinates the annual POETS/SPEAK! fest at the Bangor Public Library.

Leonore Hildebrandt, author of two poetry collections, “The Work at Hand” and “The Next Unknown,” won the 2013 Gemini Poetry Contest. She has received fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Maine Community Foundation, and the Maine Arts Commission. She was nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. A native of Germany, Hildebrandt lives “off the grid” in Harrington, Maine. She teaches creative writing at the University of Maine and serves on the editorial board of the “Beloit Poetry Journal.”

Martin Steingesser’s poems whisper, shout, and occasionally slam. He is the author of three books of poems, “Yellow Horses,” “Brothers of Morning,” and “The Thinking Heart: the Life & Loves of Etty Hillesum.” “The Thinking Heart” was set to music and performed at the International Etty Hillesum Congress 2014 in Belgium. He is also a member of the performance ensemble Off the Page: 2 Poets & a Musician. He was Portland, Maine’s first Poet Laureate from 2007-2009.

Festival events are free to the public, and books by participating poets and authors will be on sale throughout the festival.