The Belfast Poetry Festival has been awarded a $1550 grant from the Waldo County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. This grant will make it possible to bring Chicago slam poet Adam Gottlieb, one of the young poets featured in the documentary film “Louder than a Bomb,” to the Belfast Poetry Festival to perform and lead a workshop as part of the fest’s 10th annual edition Oct. 17 and 18.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring Adam to this year’s festival,” said Jacob Fricke, chairman of the festival’s steering committee. “Someone with that much thunder and kindliness, that much talent and willingness to lift up others — and with style — is a rare treat.”

Gottlieb’s performance at the Friday night Poetry & Performance Arts Showcase and his Imagining a Future Utopia workshop Saturday afternoon will be among the main attractions of this year’s event. One of the big goals of this year’s programming is to reach out to youth, to infect more students with the power that comes from the poetic voice, said Fricke, adding “We are very pleased to now have the means to make all this happen.”

As part of the festival’s outreach to young people, all of the festival’s workshops will be offered free to students. A youth speak-out workshop with Tina “TLove” Smith and the Poet Rising collective of Portland is being created specifically for local youth.

The Belfast Poetry Festival began in 2004 under the auspices of Festivo, a small steering committee that later disbanded. It has been run by the current Belfast Poet Laureate (appointed by the Belfast City Council) and a Waldo County steering committee of volunteers each October since then. One of the few community-based, non-academic literary festivals in the country, the festival is an inclusive and collaboration-driven event that gives poets, artists and audience broad opportunity to make connections, share ideas and discover possibilities for the arts beyond the merely expected. All events are free or low cost to the public.

The 10th annual Belfast Poetry Festival will also feature two nights of showcased collaborative work (poetry and performance arts collaborations Friday; poetry and visual art collaborations Saturday), as well as writing, performance and community-building workshops, a gallery hunt, and a lively open mic. For more information, visit

A statewide organization with offices in Ellsworth and Portland, the Maine Community Foundation partners with donors and nonprofits to strengthen Maine communities. For more information, visit or call (877) 700-6800. Other sponsors of this year’s Belfast Poetry Festival include Front Street Shipyard, Bangor Savings Bank, the Belfast Co-op, the City of Belfast and private donors.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or