The Bookey Readings

The Bookey Readings

Charlie Ipcar (in red), singer and song writer, performing at ‘Maine Speaks’, October 2016. 

The Bookey Readings at the Harlow 2018

April 13th: Poetry Out Loud/Area High Schools

May 18th: Leonore Hildebrandt and Jenny Doughty.
Leonore Hildebrandt’s poems have been nominated several times for a Pushcart Prize, and she has received fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, The Maine Community Foundation, and the Maine Arts Commission. Leonore teaches writing at the University of Maine and serves on the editorial board of Beloit Poetry Journal. Lenore’s third book of poetry, Where You Happen To Be, will be forthcoming with Deerbrook Editions. Jenny Doughty is formerly British, but has lived in Maine since 2002. A former English teacher and Education Advisor to Penguin Books UK, she has also written two children’s non-fiction books under the name, Jenny Green. In the USA, poems have been published in several poetry reviews to include the Naugatuck River Review, Gestalt Review and Four Way Review. Jenny’s first poetry collection, Sending Bette Davis to the Plumber, was published by Moon Pie Press in September, 2017. Two musicians will perform during the evening, Ben Godsoe and Samantha Horn. Ben Godsoe loves playing bluegrass, folk, blues, and Celtic music. He plays guitar, bass, mandolin, and can make quite a racket with the Bhodran. Samantha Horn is from Readfield. She works as a natural resource policy ‘wonk’ for a living and has recently rediscovered her love of the viola. Samantha enjoys making music with friends and playing fiddle tunes and symphonic music.

June 22nd: TBA

July 27th: TBA

August 10th: Open Mic

August 31st: TBA

Sept 21st: TBA

Oct 12th: Maine Speaks, Open Mic, VETS

Nov 9th: TBA

In 2015, after 20 dedicated years of leading great poetry readings at the Harlow Gallery, Ted Bookey, with his wife Ruth at his side, stepped down from organizing what is now called The Bookey Readings at the Harlow.  They passed the ‘baton’ on to fellow poets and friends Bob MacLaughlin, Claire Hersom, and Jay Franzel.  These three now work together to bring the best of Maine and beyond to read at the lovely Harlow Art Gallery.  

The diversity of spoken word and the commitment to blend new and emerging voices with established poets is still the core mission of the series. What the present organizers bring new to the table are theme based events, open mic opportunities, performance based poets, and musicians to occasionally perform with readers. The poetry series runs eight consecutive months beginning in April with the season’s last reading in November. These events are typically held on the 3rd or 4th Friday of the month at 7pm. The Bookey Readings at the Harlow routinely draw 30 to as many as 50 poetry fans per performance, both poet and guest surrounded by the Harlow Art Gallery’s beautiful exhibits, enhancing the experience for all. 

As successors and custodians of this on-going venue of spoken word, we hope to continue producing a well-rounded, dynamic poetry series for many years to come.

With gratitude – Bob, Claire and Jay

 Click here to learn more about the the Bookeys and their dedication to Maine poetry.

A $3 donation at the door is requested in support all exhibitions and events at the Harlow Gallery which has been owned and operated by the Kennebec Valley Art Association, a 501(c)3 membership-based nonprofit, since 1963. Poetry readings are just one of the many ways we connect and celebrate art, artists and community and the Harlow Gallery is the perfect setting to experience the spoken word at its very best!

For more information about The Bookey Readings at the Harlow Gallery, contact Jay Franzel at


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