Maine Postmark Poetry deadline is Aug. 1

Jul 06, 2018
Timothy Liu

Belfast — Poet Timothy Liu of New York will judge the 2018 Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, a statewide competition in conjunction with the 14th annual Belfast Poetry Festival (Oct. 13). 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.

Deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 1. 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 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 Liu, 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, and the 10 finalist poems and winners will be announced.

Liu's publications include “Of Thee I Sing” (2004), a Publishers Weekly Book of the Year; “Vox Angelica” (1992), a Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award winner; “Bending the Mind Around the Dream’s Blown Fuse” (2009); and several others. He is the editor of Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry (2000). The son of Chinese immigrants, Liu was born in San Jose, Calif., and spent two years as a missionary in Hong Kong, although he no longer practices Mormonism. He has taught at William Paterson University and Bennington College’s Graduate Writing Seminars; and currently lives in New York City.

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, accompanied by a cover letter listing the poet’s name, contact information (address, email, phone) and title of the poem(s) submitted, so they 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 Belfast Free Library. All poems must be original and previously unpublished. Poems will not be returned, so do not send original copies or SASE. Simultaneous submissions are accepted; note on the cover letter and notify the festival immediately of acceptance elsewhere. The 10 finalists will be notified by Sept. 1st; 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 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 14th annual Belfast Poetry Festival is an all-arts festival with poetry as the driving force, combing variety show, short film festival, art exhibit and literary showcase. It is made possible with support from The Maine Review, City of Belfast, Belfast Free Library, and the office of the Belfast Poet Laureate. For more information, visit

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


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