Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair will open the seventh annual Belfast Poetry Festival with a reading Friday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Gammons Room of the Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

The program will also include a collaborative performance by Belfast Poet Laureate Jacob Fricke and saxophonist Alan Crichton of Liberty. The winner of this year’s Maine Postmark Poetry Contest also will read from his or her work.

McNair is the author of nine volumes of poetry and two books of nonfiction, and he has edited five anthologies of Maine writing including three that feature Maine poetry. Few authors are as well versed in the history of Maine poetry or the work of Maine’s contemporary poets as McNair, who recently read his poems at the Library of Congress and was selected for a United States Artists Fellowship as one of America’s finest living artists.

The recipient of numerous awards in poetry, McNair has held grants from the Guggenheim and Fulbright foundations, two Rockefeller fellowships and two grants in creative writing from the National Endowment for the Arts. McNair’s latest book is the newly released volume “Lovers of the Lost, New & Selected Poems.”

The two-day festival will continue Saturday, Oct. 15 with a morning poetry writing workshop led by Arielle Greenberg. Participation is limited, and poets are invited to apply to Greenberg at

On Saturday afternoon, the festival’s famous downtown gallery walk will begin at 1 p.m. at Åarhus Gallery. Collaborating poets and visual artists will exhibit and read from their work as the walk continues at Belfast Free Library and Waterfall Arts Belfast. The festival will conclude with a reception and open call-and-response reading at the arts center.

For complete information, visit The Belfast Poetry Festival is co-sponsored by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to