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Degree Offered: B.A.
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Terry Plunkett Poetry Festival words2015 Fesitval Dates: April 17th & 18th

Stay up-to-date on what is happening by following the Terry Plunkett Poetry Festival Facebook Page.

Questions? Email the festival planners at uma.plunkettpoetryfestival@gmail.com.

About Terry Plunkett

The Terry Plunkett Maine Poetry Festival, held in April each year, was established in 2002 to honor the memory and accomplishments of Terry Plunkett, an English professor at the University of Maine at Augusta for nearly thirty years. An outstanding teacher and mentor to many students, Terry was also co-editor of Kennebec: A Portfolio of Maine Writing, an annual magazine published by the university from 1977-1992 and distributed free throughout the state. Many Maine writers first saw their work in print in Kennebec, thanks to Terry’s encouragement and guidance.

A poet and fiction writer as well as a teacher and editor, Terry helped organize and direct the Maine Poets Festival, a hugely popular celebration of poets and poetry, which ran from 1976-1983 at UMA, the College of the Atlantic, and the Maine College of Art.

To honor his memory...Terry Plunkett

In Terry’s spirit, the annual Plunkett Poetry Festival encompasses diverse Maine voices: young and old, emerging writers and those who are well published, traditional and experimental forms. To encourage new writers, the Festival also includes poetry contests for high school and university students as well as an open microphone.

A featured poet highlights the Friday evening program; this year the poet is Tony Hoagland, winner of numerous awards. Past years have included the U.S. poet laureate Donald Hall and the Maine poet laureates Betsy Sholl and Wes McNair. Friday evening concludes with a reception that offers jazz music, good food, and good conversation. Saturday’s events include readings, music, and a panel discussion on a topic related to the university’s annual theme; this year the topic is Innovation and Poetry.

Because Terry worked to make poetry accessible to all, the Plunkett Poetry Festival is always free and open to the public.

Related to the Festival is the UMA Terry Plunkett Maine Writers Collection in the Katz Library. Established in October 1999, the Plunkett Collection consists of books and videos by and about Maine authors. The primary focus of the Plunkett Collection is contemporary Maine fiction and poetry.

2015 Program

Download the 2015 Program »

Quilt-for-poster-2015-flattenedFriday Evening, April 17th, 2015
Jewett Hall Auditorium
7:00 – 9:30 PM

  • Welcome and introductions: John McLaughlin
  • Remarks by President Glenn Cummings
  • Readings by High School Poetry Contest winners
  • Readings by UMS Poetry Contest Winners
  • Introduction of Tony Hoagland by Peter Harris
  • Reading by Tony Hoagland

Reception in the Danforth Gallery from 8:30 – 9:30
With music by Sassquatch (UMA music students)


Saturday, April 18th, 2015
Richard Randall Student Center, Fireplace Lounge
9:45 AM - 4:00 PM

  • 9:45 Welcome and introductions: Chris Fahy
  • 10:00 –11:00: Readings: Adrian Blevins, Peter Harris, Tony Hoagland, Bruce Spang
  • 11:15 - 12:30: Panel discussion on Innovation and Poetry:
      • Panelists: Adrian Blevins, Peter Harris, Tony Hoagland,Mihku Paul, Bruce Spang
      • Facilitator: Duff Plunkett
  • 12:30 – 1:30: Lunch
  • 1:30 – 2:00: Marcia Gallagher: Jazz pianist and vocalist
  • 2:00 – 2:20: Mihku Paul
  • 2:20 – 2:40: Gibson Fay LeBlanc
  • 2:45 – 3:00: Tribute to Henry Braun
  • 3:05 – 3:20: Senior College Poets
  • 3:20 – 3:50: Open Mic


A special Thank You to these organizations for helping to fund this festival:

Undergraduate English Conference
Office of the Provost
Diversity Committee
Cultural Events Committee
Augusta Student Programming Fund

plunkett poster 2015

Keynote Poet

Tony Hoagland

Hoagland’s books of poetry include Sweet Ruin (1992), which was chosen for the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and won the Zacharis Award from Emerson College; Donkey Gospel (1998), winner of the James Laughlin Award; What Narcissism Means to Me (2003), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Rain (2005); and Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty (2010). He has also published a collection of essays about poetry, Real Sofistakashun (2006).

Hoagland’s many honors and awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. He has received the O.B. Hardison Prize for Poetry and Teaching from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Poetry Foundation’s Mark Twain Award in recognition of his contribution to humor in American poetry, and the Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers.

Formerly an instructor at both Colby College and the University of Maine at Farmington, Hoagland currently teaches at the University of Houston and in the Warren Wilson MFA program.

2015 Poetry Contests

Plunkett Poetry Festival’s 2015 Poetry Contests

All University of Maine System Students may submit Up To 3 pieces of original work [Maximum of 52 Lines Per Poem] by March 10 to: plunkettpoetrycontest.submittable.com

Juried Awards:

  • 1st prize $100 gift certificate for books
  • 2nd prize $75 gift certificate
  • 3rd prize $50 gift certificate


All Maine High School Students may submit Up To 3 pieces of original work [Maximum of 52 Lines Per Poem] by March 10 to: plunkettpoetrycontest.submittable.com

Juried Awards:

  • 1st prize $100 gift certificate for books
  • 2nd prize $75 gift certificate
  • 3rd prize $50 gift certificate