The Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, a statewide competition, is held in conjunction with the 13th annual Belfast Poetry Festival, set for Saturday, Oct. Maine residents, and everyone with access to a Maine post office or mailbox this summer, are invited to enter. The only rule is that all entries must bear a Maine postmark.

To enter, submit one poem of up to two total pages in length. Each entry must be accompanied by a $5 reading fee; proceeds will be used to support the festival. Entrants may submit more than one poem, but each additional poem is an additional $5.

The Belfast Poetry Festival committee will screen entries and forward 10 finalists to an outside judge, poet Katharine Rauk of Minneapolis, who will choose first, second and third place winners. The first-place winner will receive a $100 cash prize and publication in The Maine Review. Winners will be invited to read the winning poem and be honored at the festival; and the 10 finalist poems and winners will be announced in the Maine press.

Rauk has published two volumes of poetry: “Basil,” a chapbook from Black Lawrence Press (2011); and “Buried Choirs” from Tinderbox Editions (2016). She has published in numerous magazines including Harpur Palate, Cream City Review and Harvard Review; and in the Best of the Net. She lives in Minneapolis, teaches at North Hennepin County Community College and currently serves as one of three conveners for the annual Conference on the Great Mother and the New Father, held at Camp Kieve in Nobleboro.

Submissions are welcome until Aug. 1; only submissions received with a Maine postmark dated Aug. 1 or earlier will be 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 or entry fee will be disqualified; checks should be made payable to the Belfast Free Library.

All poems must be original and previously unpublished. Poems will not be returned, so do not send originals or a SASE. Simultaneous submissions are accepted; please note on the cover letter and notify the festival immediately of acceptance elsewhere. The finalists will be notified by Sept. 1; other confirmation of receipt should not be expected.

Entries, accompanied by a cover letter with contact information and a check for $5 per poem made out to the Belfast Free Library, should be sent to Jacob Fricke; Belfast Poetry Festival Attn: Maine Postmark Poetry Contest; P.O. Box 911; Belfast, ME 04915.

The 13th annual Belfast Poetry Festival also will host its distinctive showcase of collaborative work. An all-arts festival with poetry as the driving force, the event combines a variety show, short film festival, art exhibit and literary showcase; and is made possible with support from The Maine Review, the City of Belfast, the Belfast Free Library and the office of the Belfast Poet Laureate. For more information, see visit

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