Plunkett Maine Poetry Festival
The 2023 Plunkett Poetry Festival will be held on April 28th. This year’s Festival theme is Disability Visibility.
The festival is free and open to all. Event details are in the works – check this page often for details as they are finalized.
Our keynote speaker will be Molly McCully Brown.
Brown is the author of the essay collection Places I’ve Taken my Body— which was published in the United States in June 2020 by Persea Books, and released in the United Kingdom in March of 2021 by Faber & Faber— and the poetry collection The Virginia State Colony For Epileptics and Feebleminded (Persea Books, 2017), which won the 2016 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize and was named a New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2017. With Susannah Nevison, she is also the coauthor of the poetry collection In The Field Between Us (Persea Books, 2020).
Brown’s poems and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, Tin House, The Guardian, Vogue, The New York Times, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. She currently teaches at Old Dominion University. Visit Brown’s website for more information.
2023 Plunkett Festival Program
Workshop with Keynote Speaker Molly McCully Brown
2:00 – 3:30 pm, Klahr Center Classroom
As part of the festival, we are offering a workshop with Brown on April 28th at 2:00. This is open to poets, students, and teachers (who may earn Professional Development hours). Registration is limited. Please contact Ellen Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a space.
Panel Discussion on Poetry and Disability Visibility
4:00 – 5:45 pm, Katz Library and Online
featuring Betsy Sholl, Alisha Goldblatt, and Jason Whitney
This panel discussion will be in person with limited capacity, as well as live-streamed on Zoom. To reserve a space in person, please register here.
6:00 – 7:15 pm, Katz Library
We are thrilled to return to our tradition of sharing a meal together between the panel discussion and the evening program. This time allows poets and others to reconnect and rekindle connections and flare creative sparks. Entertainment will be provided by UMA Student Musicians, Duane Edwards Trio.
The dinner is free to all who register. To attend the community dinner, please register here.
7:30 – 9:00 pm, Katz Library and Online
This evening program will be in person with limited capacity, as well as live-streamed on Zoom. To reserve a space in person, please register here.
- Introductory Comments by Dean Pam MacRae.
- Student Poetry Contest Winners, introduced by Charlotte MacDonald.
- Keynote Poet, Molly McCully Brown, introduced by Maine Poet Laureate Julia Bouwsma.
- Book Sales, courtesy of Hello, Hello Books, 316 Main Street, Rockland, Maine.
About the Plunkett Poetry Festival
The 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.
His son, Duff Plunkett, also a poet, was a champion of the arts in general and the Plunkett Festival in particular. He sat on the organizing committee for 17 years, where he brought his signature wit, creativity, and ingenuity to the festival program. In Portland, Duff was a mainstay at readings and a supporter of both developing and celebrated poets. He worked as an international economist, traveling extensively around the globe, especially in Africa. Fluent in at least eight different languages, Duff’s cultural breadth was extensive.
To honor the memory of both Terry and Duff, the festival has been renamed the Plunkett Poetry Festival.