AUGUSTA — The 21st Annual Plunkett Maine Poetry Festival, featuring keynote poet Molly McCully Brown, award winning poet and essayist, will being at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, at the Bennett D. Katz Library, UMA Augusta Campus, 46 University Drive.

This event is free and open to the public, however, seating is limited. To register and see the program, visit

Brown is the author of the essay collection “Places I’ve Taken my Body” — which was published in the U.S. in June 2020 by Persea Books, and released in the United Kingdom in March of 2021 by Faber & Faber — and the poetry collection “The Virginia State Colony For Epileptics and Feebleminded” (Persea Books, 2017), which won the 2016 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize and was named a New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2017. With Susannah Nevison, she is also the coauthor of the poetry collection “In The Field Between Us” (Persea Books, 2020).

Brown was raised in rural Virginia, and is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Stanford University, and the University of Mississippi, where she received her MFA. She teaches at Old Dominion University, where she is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Nonfiction, and a member of the MFA Core Faculty.

Each year, the festival includes a panel discussion related to UMA’s colloquium theme, which for academic year 2022/23 is disability visibility. The panel poets are Betsy Sholl, Alisha Goldblatt, and Jason Whitney. The poets will read from their own work, as well as discuss how their poems and life experiences intersect with the theme.

The festival will return to its tradition of sharing a meal together between the afternoon panel discussion and the evening program. This time allows poets and others to reconnect and rekindle connections and flare creative sparks. The dinner is free to all who register.

The even also recognizes those selected to receive awards in the annual Student Poetry Contest, which invites all University of Maine System undergraduate students and Maine high school students to submit poems for recognition. Recognized students will read their work in the evening, following a community dinner for all attendees.

The day will begin with a master class with Brown. Registration is limited. Interested writers may email to reserve a space. For a full schedule and to register for any part of the program, visit For those who do not wish to attend in person, the event will also be live-streamed on Zoom (request a link on our website).


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