What is a Maine Story? Chapter Four: Maine Poetry

April, National Poetry Month, is the perfect time to reflect on Maine's poets, past and present. 

Did you know that Maine has a Poet Laureate? Maine’s Poet Laureate position is an appointment designed to promote poetry throughout the state while honoring an eminent Maine poet for his or her achievements.  The position was established by Maine statute in 1995.  The position is currently held by Julia Bouwsma, who was appointed to a five-year term in 2021. Bouwsma is the author of two books of poetry, including Midden (Fordham University Press, 2018). Learn more here.

Blackout Poetry

Intimidated by the thought of writing poetry yourself? Then we have a great activity that will help you try your hand at poetry.

We provide some text and you “blackout” it out to leave words to make a poem. We've got a worksheet for you with instructions plus some books on all kinds of found poetry in our reference lobby on the 2nd floor.

Bring your sheet back and you will become part of our display of Maine poetry.

Here are some sample poems submitted by patrons:

22nd Annual Poets/Speak!

Join us on Thursday, April 25, 20224 for this annual celebration. This year's theme is “Writing the Watershed: Celebrating National Poetry Month in the Heart of Maine!” 

Come early to browse books, and enjoy live music and refreshments in our 3rd floor Lecture Hall. The event will run from 5 to 7pm.


  • Welcome: Kathleen Ellis, host
  • Readings by University of Maine students
    • Molly Dyer, Ava Evans, Ben Grossman, Gabe McKenney, Emily Mundy, Brinley Seward
  • Maine Poetry Out Loud winner.
  • Anthologizing the Penobscot Watershed: Readings from the Rivers of Ink Anthology
    • Steven Long, 12 Willows Press
    • Linda Buckmaster, Leslie Moore, Gary Rainford, Karin Spitfire
  • Art of Penobscot Bay by Carl & David Little
    • Presentation and reading
  • Hollie Adams: poems from her year-long Acadia Writer-in-Residence at Schoodic Point
  • A Coastal Companion: celebrating the reissue
    • Catherine Schmitt, editor
    • Readings by Annaliese Jakimides, Kathleen Ellis, and Cheryl Daigle
  • Conversation, Q&A, book sales and signings