The Belfast Poetry Festival and Belfast Free Library are pursuing their mission of community education and community engagement through poetry by offering a tribute reading of beloved Maine poets recently deceased; a panel discussion surveying contemporary poets and the future of poetics; and opportunities for poets to talk shop and exchange ideas about craft at various downtown venues during this year’s poetry festival Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14 and 15.

The Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance will present WITH LOADED ARMS: Readings In Memoriam of Maine Poets Friday at 7 p.m. at Waterfall Arts, 256 High St., preceded by an hour-long reception. Various distinguished Maine poets will read from the work of well-beloved Maine poets who have died in the last five years, with the hope of keeping their voices in memory and part of poetry’s ongoing public conversation. Afterwards, special guest poet Connie Voisine will read from her work and introduce the 10 finalists of the seventh annual Maine Postmark Poetry Contest.

From noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, poet Bruce Pratt of Eddington will lead and host an informal shoptalk session at The Bagel Café, 159 High St. This is an informal opportunity for poets to meet, exchange ideas about craft and discuss the writing life.

From 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, the Belfast Poetry Festival and Belfast Free Library will present Bright Stars!: A Panel on Extraordinary Contemporary Poets, hosted by Belfast poet Thomas R. Moore at the Gammons Room of the library, 106 High St. Panelists include Arielle Greenberg, columnist for American Poetry Review; Valerie Lawson, co-editor of Off the Coast literary journal and former MWPA board member; John Rosenwald, Fulbright scholar and celebrated editor at the Beloit Poetry Journal; and Shana Youngdahl, assistant professor of English at UMaine Farmington and co-director of the Longfellow Young Writers’ Workshop. Panelists and audience will survey some of the most exciting and groundbreaking poets writing today; and explore what their work can teach us about the latest directions in American poetry.

The 12th annual Belfast Poetry Festival also includes a master class and multimedia showcase of collaborations between poets, visual artists and performing artists. For more information and to see the complete festival schedule, visit belfastpoetry.com.

The Belfast Poetry Festival is made possible with support from Off the Coast, the Belfast Free Library, Waterfall Arts, BCTV, the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and the City of Belfast. For more information, email Jacob Fricke at jacob@belfastpoetry.com; visit the website; or check out the Facebook page.