NORWAY – An unusual poetic event will take place in downtown Norway on July 12, featuring amateur and professional poets alike.

As part of the upcoming Norway Summer Festival, the Poets on the Porch event will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 12, at the Weary Club.

The first hour will feature the work of four professional Maine poets. Lisa Moore of Harrison will read some of her lighthearted verse. Arizona Zipper of Fryeburg, known for his haiku, will share his work. Elizabeth Peavey, a well-known Maine slam-poet of Portland, will read next. Finally, Maine Poet Laureate Baron Wormser of Hallowell will read at 3:45.

From 4 to 5 p.m. p.m., 12 local poets will read in five-minute segments. People may sign up for these slots at Fare Share Commons, 447 Main St., during business hours.

“I wanted the festival to include more than only the visual arts,” said Moore, organizer of the poetry event. The three-day summer festival includes a sidewalk art show and more than 20 musicians, singers and dancers performing on two stages.

Something special happens when a poet reads from his or her works, she said.

“It’s really about performing the poem as much as it being on a piece of paper,” she said. While Peavey is well known for her dramatic poetry readings, Wormser, said Moore, is a “quiet, gentle, mild-mannered guy, but his poems are just rippin.'”

Wormser, who succeeded former Poet Laureate Kate Barnes, has been teaching and writing for 25 years. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Moore met haiku poet Arizona Zipper when she organized a haiku project at the Fare Share Commons in February.

Moore said that although Main Street won’t be closed off for the festival, the poets will use a microphone and nearby parking spaces will be cordoned off to accommodate a crowd.

“Hopefully it will be a nice event,” she said.

There’s still a few open slots for the five-minute readings, and those interested may sign up at the Fare Share Commons, 447 Main St. in Norway.

Books by the featured poets will be available through Books-N-Things or Maine Discoveries. Wormser’s include “The White Words” (1983), “Atoms, Soul Music, and Other Poems” (1989), “When” (1997), “Teaching the Art of Poetry: The Moves” (1999) and “Mulroney & Others” (2000). Moore’s include “Queen Anne in Winter” (1990), “Women of Steam” (1995), “Murmurs” (2000) and “There is a Crooked River” (2002). Zipper received the grand prize in the Boston Haiku Society’s annual international competition and is featured in the current issue ( No. 58) of the New York Quarterly.

Poets on the Porch is free and open to everyone.



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