BETHEL — Acclaimed writer Rachel McKibbens will read from her works at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23, at Gould Academy as part of the Richard Blanco Visiting Writers Series and Retreat.

Known for her poetry, plays and essays, McKibbens is a nine-time National Poetry Slam team member, the 2009 Women of the World Poetry Slam champion and the 2011 National Underground Poetry Slam individual champion. She also published a volume of poetry titled “Pink Elephant” in 2009.

The Visiting Writers Program and Retreat began in February 2014 as a collaboration between Blanco and Gould Academy. Writers are invited to stay at Blanco’s private cottage for two weeks, work on their craft and work with students in writing workshops.

“Through this program and contact with contemporary authors, students can appreciate and understand that poetry, just like any art, is still vibrant and alive today – one that can teach us about ourselves and about the world,” Blanco said in a news release.

He will introduce McKibbens at the April 23 reading.

For more information, call Gould Academy at 207-824-7700 or visit

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