The Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, a statewide competition, is happening again this year in conjunction with the seventh annual Belfast Poetry Festival, set for Oct. 14 and 15.  New this year, the contest is open not only to Maine residents, but also to anyone with access to a Maine post office or mailbox this summer. Citizens, residents and visitors to our great state 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, so either 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; winning poems also will be announced and published in the Maine press and the poet will receive a special volume of Maine poetry.

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, contact information (address, email and phone) and the title of the poem(s) 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 All poems must be original and previously unpublished.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 an SASE.

Submissions, accompanied by the cover letter and a check for $5 made out to the City of Belfast, should be sent to Jacob Fricke, Belfast Poet Laureate, Attn: Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, P.O. Box 911, Belfast, ME 04915.

For more information contact Arielle Greenberg at ariellecg@yahoo.com.