Portland Poet Laureate: Maya Williams
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 on Sundays. Follow them at their website, mayawilliamspoet.com.