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Lincoln Arts Festival

P.O. Box 391

Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538


Phone: (207) 633-3913



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Poetry Workshop

In 1997 Jean Webster, a poet and Lincoln Arts Festival board member established a poetry program in the region. The first year poets from New York presented a program. Their leadership created an enthusiasm among local people who write poetry, and over the years the poetry workshop has continued to thrive.
Although a workshop is not planned for the summer of 2022, in recent years workshops have been led by Betsy Sholl, Poet Laureate of Maine 2006 - 2011 and winner of Maine's Literary Award for Poetry in 2015; Stuart Kestenbaum, 2020 Poet Laureate of Maine; Richard Blanco, inaugural poet at Obama's second innauguration; Carol Bachofner, Poet Laureate of Rockland, Maine 2012 - 2016; and J. Barrie Shepherd, 2006 winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Presbyterian Writers' Guild.


                                   This gift of words -

                                    words to say with, words

                                    to play with, words to repay

                                    the grateful debt of education,

                                    inspiration and attention with - is a gift

                                    demands to be declared as neutral ground, 

                                    free and open space, virgin territory

                                    upon which all sides can venture,

                                    trespass, even build together.


                                    So here I stand casting my spells,

                                    steep incantations laden with possible magic.

                                    I pace the dock to-and-fro, casting loaded lines

                                    of fresh-cut bait, all trimmed with the here-

                                    and-there allure of rhyme, rhythm,

                                    repetition too, those oldest cunning ways

                                    to lure a listener beyond his element

                                    into breathing a new air, free and fluid

                                    as the frantic fling of life itself.



                                                                       J. Barrie Shepherd 2018

                                               From: "If You Don't Have Twenty Minutes Don't Stop!"

                                                                          used with the permission of the poet





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