Belfast contest names Camden poet Kristen Lindquist award winner

Posted:  Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 11:15am
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BELFAST - The 10th Annual Belfast Poetry Festival named Kristen Lindquist, of Camden, as winner of this year's Maine Postmark Poetry Contest. The contest, now in its fifth year, is a statewide poetry event; more than 140 entries by poets from 47 different towns representing all regions of Maine were received.

Contest judge Gary Lawless, of Nobleboro, who is also a  poet, publisher at Blackberry Books, co-owner of Gulf of Maine Books, and Belfast native, said of the winning poem, "Mill": "The poem invokes a great longing for the Belfast of my youth [in the 1950s and 1960s]. We did not have mills, but we had poultry plants, a sardine plant. We had the whistle of the sardine factory, when the boats came in, full of fish. We did have the 9 a.m. whistle, the fire whistle used as a curfew. We did have the red plastic hats, given to us when the firemen visited the schools. And yes, we had the river, the river speaking to us. I did hear the river, the voice saying 'Don't go back there, you've escaped' and yet the heart yearns for home — we all have these places, these voices."

Lindquist's poetry and other writings have appeared in Down East Magazine, Maine Times, Bangor Metro, Northern Sky News, Bangor Daily News, Penobscot Bay Pilot on the Writer's Almanac, as well as in various literary journals and her haiku blog Book of Days (klindquist.blogspot.com). Her publications include Invocation to the Birds and Transportation, which was a finalist for a 2012 Maine Literary Award. Lindquist will receive $100 and "Mill" will be published in the fall issue of Off the Coast, 'Maine's International Poetry Journal.'

Runners-up include Arnold Greenberg of Blue Hill, second place, for "No One Said Goodbye"; Mary Dowd of Yarmouth, third place, for "Feral"; and Kathryn Robyn of Belfast, honorable mention, for "Attainment." Other finalist poems include "Dalton" by Charles Brown of Owls Head, "The Liberator" by Darcy Shargo of Palermo, "Persian Elegy" by Douglas Woodsum of Smithfield, "Gone Coastal" by Russell Buker of Alexander, "Meleagris Gallopavo (Wild Turkey)" by Judy Kaber of Belfast, and "Boggle Hole, 12/28/2012" by Jay Franzel of Wayne. Readers may visit the ten poems on display in ten downtown Belfast art galleries during October as part of the Belfast Poetry Festival's second annual Gallery Hunt. See www.belfastpoetry.com for locations.

Lindquist will read "Mill" during the festival's multimedia showcase of poetry and visual art collaborations, Saturday, Oct. 18, at 5 p.m. at the Hutchinson Center, Route 3, Belfast.

Finalists will be featured during the Friday showcase of poetry and performance arts collaborations, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 143 High Street in Belfast. Both evenings will also feature performances by the festival's guest celebrity poet, star Chicago slam poet, rapper, and activist Adam Gottlieb from the award-winning documentary Louder Than a Bomb.

The 10th annual festival will also feature a late night open mic with the Poet Rising collective from Portland, free youth programming, and 8 workshops by Gottlieb and Maine poetry notables.

The 10th annual festival is made possible by grants from the Maine Community Foundation, the City of Belfast, Front Street Shipyard, and Bangor Savings Bank, and support from the Belfast Free Library, Waterfall Arts, and WERU. For more information, email Jacob Fricke at jacob@belfastpoetry.com , see www.belfastpoetry.com, or www.facebook.com/BelfastPoetryFestival.