2014 Merriconeag Poetry Festival

So sorry, this event is now full.

Registration is closed.

So sorry, this event is now full.

Registration is closed.

Richard Blanco Selects Finalists for Merriconeag Poetry Festival

     Renowned poet Richard Blanco has chosen twenty high school finalists to read at this year's seventh annual Merriconeag Poetry Festival, to be held in early May. Blanco, a resident of Bethel, Maine who rose to national prominence as President Obama’s choice to deliver the Inaugural Poem in 2013, selected the finalists from a submission pool originally containing over 150 entries from twenty regional public and private high schools.
      Catherine McAuley High School provided the largest number of finalists, with six; other schools with multiple winners included Hyde School, Merriconeag Waldorf High School and Gorham High School. The remaining finalists attend Edward Little, Cape Elizabeth, Chop Point, Falmouth, Yarmouth, South Portland, and Greely High Schools. All finalists will be honored at an awards ceremony and reception on May 4, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. at Merriconeag Waldorf School, 57 Desert Road, Freeport. The event is free and open to the public but due to limited seating, registration through www.merriconeag.org is required.
      The event will also feature the student poets reading their prize-winning work. Blanco, author of award-winning collections, including City of a Hundred Fires, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, and Looking for The Gulf Motel, will read his own work as well and speak briefly on the power of poetry. He will also reveal the first, second and third prize winners, whose poems will be displayed on a poster to be distributed to all high schools in the region. All finalists will receive gift certificates and a festival booklet containing all the selected poems.
      The Festival, announced in late January, invited all public and private high school students in Cumberland, Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties to submit their work, which could be on any subject and in any poetic form. It was a “blind judging;” entries were only identified by titles, so Judge Blanco had no idea about the identity or school affiliation of the poet.
      The finalists, in no particular order, include; Kelsey Talbutt, Gigi Chen and Dow Drukker, from Hyde School; Zoe Konstantino and Jesse Saffeir, Merriconeag Waldorf High School; Elizabeth Lemieux and Charlotte Feinberg, Gorham High School; Danielle Guibord, Akech Allolding, Jennifer Devine, Mikayla Carney, Meredith Wheeler, and Emily Norman, all from Catherine McAuley High School; Natalie Dedon, Greely High School; Caroline Dyhrberg, Falmouth High School; Sydnee Harris, Edward Little High School; Kevin Jackson, South Portland High School; Emmy Shaffer, Chop Point School; Ambrosia Klenda, Yarmouth High School; Jane Vaughan, Cape Elizabeth High School.
      The Festival was made possible, in part, by a generous grant from the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine Arts Commission, as well as by donations of gift certificates from Longfellow Books in Portland, Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, and Sherman’s Books & Stationery in Freeport.