The Bookey Readings

The Bookey Readings

Ted & Ruth Bookey at the Harlow Gallery in 2015, with poetry fan Nancy Jacob (center)

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

See below for the 2016 schedule of the Bookey Readings:

April 15th: Ted Bookey and George VanDeventer

May 27th: Ellen Taylor and Dave Morrison

June 17th: Pam Burr Smith and Doug Woodsum

July 22nd: 4 Voices: Matt Hopkins, Lisa Panapinto, Mark Swiedom and Dennis Pollock

August 12th: Open Mic Night

September 23rd: Maine Speaks! Susann Pelletier, Marcia Walls Simmons, Tom Lyford, Kevin Sweeney with Poet/Musician Stan Keach 

October 21st: Lee Sharkey and Glen Morazzini

November 18th: Annie Finch with Musicians Ellen Bowman and Christine Letcher

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.