All library locations will be closed Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. We will resume our regular schedule on Tuesday, July 5.
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Connect with the Library:

Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Gibson Fay-LeBlanc

Saturday, Apr 02 - Saturday, April 02
1:30pm - 2:30pm

Location: Virtual
Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc (he/him) and Maya analyze poetry in publishing, poetry in performance, and how the two combine.

This is a four-part series:
March 12
March 19
March 26
April 2

If you have not registered and did not attend the first three sessions on 3/12, 3/19, and 3/26, please register here.

You may also register by calling 207-771-2728.

All Portland Public Library programs are free and open to the public. Workshops are instructional and participatory, so registration is limited to 35. While sessions in each workshop build upon each other, you do not have to attend every session in a workshop to participate.

Headshot of Gibson Fay-LeblancAbout Gibson

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc’s (he/him) first collection of poems, Death of a Ventriloquist, won the Vassar Miller Prize and was featured by Poets & Writers as one of a dozen debut collections to watch. His second book, Deke Dangle Dive, was published by CavanKerry Press in 2021. Gibson’s poems have appeared in magazines including The New Republic, Tin House, jubilat, Poetry Northwest, and Orion, and his prose in Kenyon Review online, Portland Magazine, and Slice. He has helped lead community arts organizations including The Telling Room, SPACE Gallery, and Hewnoaks Artist Colony, currently serves as executive director of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, and lives in Portland with his family.

About the Series » Poetry Across

All Portland Public Library programs are free and open to the public. Workshops are instructional and participatory, so registration is limited to 35. While sessions in each workshop build upon each other, you do not have to attend every session in a workshop to participate.

Join us across social and online distancing to embark on a journey showing how fulfilling poetry can be! Portland Poet Laureate Maya Williams and their special guests will explore poetry’s intersection and interaction with health, identity, artistic expression, and more.

For more information and registration, select a link below:

Maya & Myri U. – Poetry as self-care

Maya & Signature Soul – Poetry performance, history of spoken word poetry, and racial representation in spoken word poetry

Maya & Gibson Fay-LeBlanc – Poetry on the page and stage

Maya & Brooke Bolduc – Poetry and visual art

Maya & Myles Bullen – Poetry, story telling, and mental health

Maya & Sam Spadafore – Poetry, gender, and trans poetics

A Note on Programs & COVID-19

The series will begin with virtual workshops. We will continue evaluating Portland Public Library’s guidelines for possible in-person workshops later in the series. Any in-person workshops would adhere to Portland Public Library’s safety policies. We will continue to offer a virtual option for participation.

Meet Maya Williams, Portland Poet Laureate

Maya Williams (ey/they/she) is a Black Mixed Race queer nonbinary person, suicide survivor, and poet residing in Portland, Maine. They currently serve as MaineTransNet’s Sexual Assault Program Coordinator, where they develop peer support groups for trans survivors and educational material on trauma informed trans competency for advocates. They also serve as co-host of the video series Dying/Laughing, which analyzes the representation of suicide and mental health in TV and film. Maya has published poetry in glitterMOB, Occulum, The Portland Press Herald, Littoral Books, FreezeRay, and more. Ey has received residencies from organizations such as Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA), Voices of Our Nation Arts (VONA) Foundation, The For Us by Us Fund’s Words of Fire Retreat, and Hewnoaks Artist Colony. She is a Maine Writers and Publishers Association (MWPA) Chapbook finalist, a Best of the Net Nominee, and a winner of PortFringe’s Patron’s Choice Award for her spoken word performance “When Speaking to an Extraterrestrial.” You can see Maya as one of the three selected artists of color to represent Maine in The Kennedy Center’s Arts Across America series, hosting open mics Tuesdays for Port Veritas, and facilitating writing workshops for Quill Books & Beverage Sundays. Follow them at their website, mayawilliamspoet.com.

The Portland Poet Laureate Program

The Portland Poet Laureate is an honorary position awarded every 3 years to a resident of the Greater Portland area who is both an accomplished poet and an excellent ambassador within the community, helping to promote and win new audiences to the art of poetry. Learn More >>

Poetry Across is made possible by generous funding from the Maine Community Foundation.