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The 21st Annual Poets/Speak! Voices Sowing Change

The 21st Annual Poets/Speak! Voices Sowing Change In-Person

Welcome to the 21st Annual Poets/Speak!


  • Music by guitarist Josh Small
  • Welcome: Kathleen Ellis, host
  • Annaliese Jakimides, Jacob Fricke, Ellen Sanders, Sareena Toothaker
  • University of Maine Student Poets: Emma Crawford, Paige McHatten, Rachel Ouellette
  • Poetry Out Loud Winners: Inanna Piccininni, Bangor High School; Abby Case, State of Maine
  • Musical Interlude & Poems from Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower
    • Nancy Ogle, reading; Josh Small guitarist
  • Poets reading from their recent books
    • Linda Buckmaster - Elemental: a Miscellany of Salt Cod and Islands
    • Stefania Irene Marthakis - Case Memory
  • New Lit Zine: A Conversation with Annaliese Jakimides & Nola Prevost, co-editor of Wayward Literary Magazine
    • This magazine just published its first volume of fiction, prose, poetry, and everything in between.
  • University of Maine Student Poets: Ava Bloom, Marguerita Fairfield, Sam Mills with guitarist Luke Marsanskis

POETS/SPEAK! was initiated in 2003 by Orono poet Kathleen Ellis at the invitation of former Bangor Public Library director Barbara McDade to celebrate National Poetry Month at the library. From the outset, the annual event has aimed to demonstrate the power of poetry to foster broad transcultural conversations through the vision it presents, the questions it raises, and the ideas it can inspire. In the spirit of fostering community and change, POETS/SPEAK! has used the words of Walt Whitman as a guide: "Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me/ why should you not speak to me?/ And why should I not speak to you?"

POETS/SPEAK! is intended to be an inclusive event involving the community of greater Bangor as well as the nearby University of Maine students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to read their own poetry as well as engage with a wide diversity of published poets, state and local poets laureate, area high school Poetry Out Loud winners, and other writers and publishers from central, Downeast, and midcoast Maine. For our 21st annual event, this year's theme is "Voices Sowing Change." It will feature poets and students reading poems that address social justice and climate change, interspersed with readings from Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower, highlighting the demands of our time for invention and renewal.

This event is sponsored by the University of Maine Department of English.  This year, Poets/Speak!  is offered as part of Parable Path Maine, a framework for community organizing and artistic engagement based on Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower. This initiative is led by multi-hyphenate musician Toshi Reagon, Bowdoin College’s Joseph McKeen 2022-23 Visiting Fellow, and is supported by Maine Humanities Council, Indigo Arts Alliance, and Bowdoin College.

Thursday, April 13, 2023
5:00pm - 6:30pm
Norman Minsky Lecture Hall
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