Terry Plunkett poetry

The Terry Plunkett Poetry Festival was held April 17 and 18 in Augusta. The event honors University of Maine at Augusta professor Terry Plunkett, who died in 2002. Plunkett was co-editor of Kennebec: A Portfolio of Maine Writing, a literary magazine published through the University of Maine from 1977-1992 that featured Maine writers.

Each year, a poet is featured in the Friday evening events—this year, Tony Hoagland read his work. Professor Peter Harris introduced the poet this year. Most recently, students on the Hill might remember Hoagland’s visit to campus to read from his own work as part of the Visiting Writers Series, but he has also taught on the Hill. A Waterville resident from 1990-2003, Hoagland taught at both Colby and the University of Maine at Farmington before moving to Texas to teach in the MFA program at the University of Houston.

Hoagland has come to the Hill in the past and poetry students often read his work for class. His poetry uses vocabulary from the now, making his work urgent and important in the modern day. After the reading, a reception and book signing followed.

Other events on Friday included high school and college students reading work selected through a contest held prior to the event. In the spirit of encouraging all poets to participate, there was an open mic which participants were able to sign up for. According to the event Facebook page, “the sign-up sheet filled up quickly.”

On Saturday, April 18, events included readings, music, and panel discussion on Innovation and Poetry. Professos Adrian Blevins and Harris were both featured on Saturday’s panel, and all panelists read from their own work in addition to participating in the panel. Other panelists include Tony Hoagland, Gibson Fay LeBlanc, Mihku Paul, and Bruce Spang.

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