Annual Plunkett Maine Poetry Festival calls on makers and writers to contribute works for hybrid event of visual and literary arts on April 30

This past year has been challenging. We’ve been quarantining, masking, “pivoting,” rising up, breaking down and just trying to keep it together.

To mark the events of this moment, the annual Plunkett Maine Poetry Festival will break out of its usual format to celebrate the University of Maine at Augusta’s (UMA) 2020-21 academic theme of “Outbreak,” a topic inclusive of viral outbreaks, outbreaks of social justice, and outbreaks of creativity.

Accordingly, the Plunkett Festival will partner with the UMA Danforth Gallery will call on makers and writers of all kinds to contribute to a multifaceted literary and arts event scheduled to take place on April 30.

Anyone interested in contributing to one or more creative works to the Plunkett Festival should visit uma.edu/plunkett for details. Submissions are due by March 1.

The April 30 event will be filled with readings, art exhibits, an art installation, and performance by artist and UMA part-time lecturer, Patricia Brace. Brace’s work addresses the relationship between intersectional feminism and politics through her use of dance, new media, and installation.

Providing the keynote for the event will be Maine’s former poet laureate (2000–06), Baron Wormser. Wormser is the author of nine collections of poetry, as well as two texts on pedagogy, a memoir, and two collections of essays.  He is an avid defender of poetry, peace, and the power of language to make collective change.  Wormser will speak on UMA’s academic theme of Outbreak, as well as read some of his work.

Additional details about the April 30 event will be made available on uma.edu/plunkett in the coming weeks.

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, Plunkett helped organize and direct the Maine Poets Festival, a hugely popular celebration of poets and poetry, which ran from 1976-83 at UMA, the College of the Atlantic and the Maine College of Art.