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Poetry Across

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 in publishing and on the page

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.

Upcoming Events:
Jan22
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Myri U.
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 3 of 4: Myri Uduebor and Maya host a series about poetry and physical/emotional self-care, using poetic exercises to highlight the health benefits of poetics.
Jan29
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Myri U.
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 4 of 4: Myri Uduebor and Maya host a series about poetry and physical/emotional self-care, using poetic exercises to highlight the health benefits of poetics.
Feb03
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & SIGNATURE SOUL
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 1 of 4: Signature MiMi and Marco Soulo of SIGNATURE SOUL host a workshop series with Maya on poetry performance, the history of spoken word poetry, and racial representation in spoken word poetry.
Feb10
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & SIGNATURE SOUL
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 2 of 4: Signature MiMi and Marco Soulo of SIGNATURE SOUL host a workshop series with Maya on poetry performance, the history of spoken word poetry, and racial representation in spoken word poetry.
Feb17
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & SIGNATURE SOUL
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 3 of 4: Signature MiMi and Marco Soulo of SIGNATURE SOUL host a workshop series with Maya on poetry performance, the history of spoken word poetry, and racial representation in spoken word poetry.
Feb24
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & SIGNATURE SOUL
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 4 of 4: Signature MiMi and Marco Soulo of SIGNATURE SOUL host a workshop series with Maya on poetry performance, the history of spoken word poetry, and racial representation in spoken word poetry.
Mar12
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
1:30pm - 2:30pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 1 of 4: Gibson Fay-LeBlanc and Maya analyze poetry in publishing, poetry in performance, and how the two combine.
Mar19
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
1:30pm - 2:30pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 2 of 4: Gibson Fay-LeBlanc and Maya analyze poetry in publishing, poetry in performance, and how the two combine.
Mar26
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
1:30pm - 2:30pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 3 of 4: Gibson Fay-LeBlanc and Maya analyze poetry in publishing, poetry in performance, and how the two combine.
Apr02
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
1:30pm - 2:30pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 4 of 4: Gibson Fay-LeBlanc and Maya analyze poetry in publishing, poetry in performance, and how the two combine.
Apr07
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Brooke Bolduc
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 1 of 4: Brooke Bolduc and Maya discuss poetry and visual art, and how the two combine.
Apr14
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Brooke Bolduc
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 2 of 4: Brooke Bolduc and Maya discuss poetry and visual art, and how the two combine.
Apr21
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Brooke Bolduc
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 3 of 4: Brooke Bolduc and Maya discuss poetry and visual art, and how the two combine.
Apr28
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Brooke Bolduc
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 4 of 4: Brooke Bolduc and Maya discuss poetry and visual art, and how the two combine.
May05
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Myles Bullen
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 1 of 4: Myles Bullen and Maya discuss mental health and suicidality and the importance of storytelling in poetry and rap music.
May12
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Myles Bullen
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 2 of 4: Myles Bullen and Maya discuss mental health and suicidality and the importance of storytelling in poetry and rap music.
May19
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Myles Bullen
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 3 of 4: Myles Bullen and Maya discuss mental health and suicidality and the importance of storytelling in poetry and rap music.
May26
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Myles Bullen
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 3 of 4: Myles Bullen and Maya discuss mental health and suicidality and the importance of storytelling in poetry and rap music.
Jun02
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Sam Spadafore
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 1 of 4: Sam Spadafore and Maya discuss trans poetics and deconstructing the representation of gender in literature.
Jun09
Poetry Across: Maya Williams & Sam Spadafore
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: Virtual Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Session 2 of 4: Sam Spadafore and Maya discuss trans poetics and deconstructing the representation of gender in literature.