BELFAST — Poet Virginia Konchan, author of four poetry collections and whose poems have appeared in The New Yorker, has been announced as the judge of the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, a statewide competition happening this year in conjunction with the 17th annual Belfast Poetry Festival, to be held Saturday, Oct. 15. Maine residents and everyone with access to a Maine post office or mailbox this summer are invited to enter. 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 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 Konchan, 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 Belfast Poetry Festival in October 2022; the ten finalist poems and winners will also be announced in the Maine press.

Konchan is the author of four poetry collections, “Bel Canto” (Carnegie Mellon, 2022), “Hallelujah Time” (Véhicule Press, 2021), “Any God Will Do” and “The End of Spectacle” (Carnegie Mellon, 2020 and 2018); a short story collection, “Anatomical Gift” (Noctuary Press, 2017); and four chapbooks; as well as coeditor of the craft anthology “Marbles on the Floor: How to Assemble a Book of Poems” (University of Akron Press, 2023). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Boston Review, The Walrus, and The Believer. She lives in Halifax, where she is an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University.

Contest submissions are welcome from now 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 All poems must be original and previously unpublished.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 please do not send original copies or a SASE. Simultaneous submissions are accepted; please note on the cover letter and notify the festival immediately of acceptance elsewhere. Ten finalists will be notified by Sept. 1; other confirmation of receipt should not be expected. People already showcased in this year’s festival or involved in its production are not eligible to participate. Entries are to be sent accompanied by a cover letter with contact information and a check for $5 per poem made out to the Belfast Free Library—to: Jacob Fricke, Belfast Poetry Festival; Attn: Maine Postmark Poetry Contest; P.O. Box 911; Belfast, ME 04915.

The 17th annual BPF will take place the weekend of Oct. 15,  for more details about this year’s festival, visit belfastpoetry.com.