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Poster for BAAM at The Gem Presents A Celebration of Western Maine Poets with Maine Poet Laureate Julia Bouwsma

BAAM at The Gem Presents A Celebration of Western Maine Poets with Maine Poet Laureate Julia Bouwsma

Dates with showtimes for BAAM at The Gem Presents A Celebration of Western Maine Poets with Maine Poet Laureate Julia Bouwsma
  • Fri, Apr 26

Midnight weekend screenings happen on Friday & Saturday nights (meaning arrive on Friday and/or Saturday night by 11:45pm for seating, the movie starts after midnight)!

Run Time: 75 min.

Join BAAM at The Gem for a Celebration of Western Maine Poets with Maine Poet Laureate Julia Bouwsma on Friday, April 26th at 6:00 pm. 

Five Western Maine Poets will join Julia in a round-robin style reading of their poems. Themes include: the mysteries around us, the odd and/or the ordinary, loss and grief, love, longing and lust, and all creatures great and small.

Participating Poets

Julia Bouwsma lives off-the-grid in the mountains of western Maine where she works as a poet, homesteader, editor, teacher, and small-town librarian. She is Maine’s sixth Poet Laureate, currently serving a term from 2021 to 2026, and is the author of three poetry collections: the forthcoming Death Fluorescence (Sundress Publications), Midden (Fordham University Press), and Work by Bloodlight (Cider Press Review). A two-time recipient of the Maine Literary Award for Poetry Book, Bouwsma has taught in the Creative Writing department at the University of Maine at Farmington, serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, and works as the Library Director for Webster Library in Kingfield, ME.


Dennis Camire is the author of the poetry collection,  Anthology of Awe and Wonder(Deerbrook Editions, April, 2024) Combed by Crows (Deerbrook Editions) and teaches writing at Central Maine Community. The former director of Maine Poetry Central and the founder of The Portland Poet Laureate Program, his work has appeared in The Mid-American Review, Poetry East, Spoon River Review, Lothlorien Review, Alluvium, Amethyst, Café Review,  Canary, Hamilton Stone Review, Speckled Trout Review and on Maine Public Radio. He lives in an A-frame in West Paris, Maine.


Sonja Johanson holds an MFA in poetry from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, and has work appearing in American Life in Poetry, Cincinnati Review, and Rhino. Her most recent chapbook is The Burgeoning World (Glass Lyre Press) and has a collaborative chapbook forthcoming in summer 2024, Rappaccini’s Garden (White Stag Press). Sonja lives and works in the mountains of western Maine. Follow her at


Lisa Moore, originally from Ohio and formerly a high-school English teacher, self-publishes collections of poetry every five years. Today, she is a freelance writer who pens materials for various educational publishers. An avid reader, she spends many a day with and many a dollar on books. Lisa shares life with two sons, three granddaughters, and a scientist, and lives on the banks of the Crooked River in Harrison, Maine.


Mark Sweidom, Hebron, Maine
After high school, I became a soldier in the Cold War, then a pipefitter and welder, an itinerant construction worker, and finally a maintenance man in a paper mill. Truthfully, I have been a soldier in someone else’s war for as long as I can remember. Hot wars, cold wars, oil wars, and culture wars. From the weapons of an unholy mass of destruction to three decades in a paper mill, I have become fully intimate with death and dismemberment of the living, the genocide of every gentle thing. I came to Maine looking for peace. I want the garden of my last days to be a redemption right down to the rocks, to read the morning like a painter, to slough off the cynicism, to wait by the river, to discover how. For years now, I have roamed the woods looking, listening for elders. I had no idea when I arrived. It was necessary to become a poet to participate with the healing.



Meg Willing is a poet, editor, interdisciplinary artist, and book designer. Growing up in Quito, Ecuador; Bangkok, Thailand; Bogotá, Colombia; and various parts of Maine and Massachusetts, she now calls Farmington, Maine home. Her creative work examines the sweet splinterings of memory, belonging, and desire through poetry, collage, cut-up, erasure, and altered books. She currently serves as Art and Design Editor for the literary arts journal Gigantic Sequins; Assistant Manager at Devaney, Doak and Garrett Booksellers; Shop Assistant at Independent Auto Volvo Service; and, with Alana Dao, is the Co-Founder / Co-Director of A CLEARING, a poetry-centered arts collaborative.


Doors at 5:00 pm

Reading at 6:00 pm

Pay What You Can tickets benefit Bethel Area Arts & Music.

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