Lincoln Arts Poetry Workshop explores 'The Poet as Seer'

Mon, 08/27/2018 - 7:30am

On Saturday, Sept. 8, the Lincoln Arts Festival will offer its poetry workshop for the 21st year, led by the Rev. J. Barrie Shepherd.

The daylong event at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in Boothbay Harbor starts at 9 a.m.

Festival president Jody Lunt said the workshop is an important part of Lincoln Arts' fabric. "I have a feeling that there are a lot of local poets, so it’s important to have a gathering place for them,” she recently told the Boothbay Register.    

Shepherd said, “Poetry keeps the language alive. It’s even more essential today because our language is becoming more terse.”

Shepherd has structured the workshop into morning and afternoon sessions with the overall theme, "The Role of the Poet - what are we about and why?"

The morning session will begin with a presentation by Shepherd. He calls it "More Than Meets the Eye - The Poet As Seer." He will read some of his poems as examples. A discussion will follow the presentation.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own poetry to the workshop, particularly if it is pertinent to the theme. Shepherd explained that poetry reveals “the extraordinary in the ordinary.”

The afternoon session will offer a second presentation by Shepherd, “To Deepen Mystery - Claiming the Unknown." This session will include a writing exercise that gives attendees opening lines of poems to then develop.

Shepherd said there will be no group critique of each poet’s work, but he will discuss poems individually with their authors.

A permanent resident of Scarborough since 2012, Shepherd has a long and distinguished career including serving as senior minister of the First Presbyterian Church in New York. Originally from Scotland, he is also a Royal Air Force veteran and a published writer of poetry and prose, with more than 700 poems published.

Shepherd said the workshop welcomes "all people with all kinds of ideas.” The cost is $65. Enrollment is limited, so advanced registration is recommended. Participants should bring a lunch. The day ends at 4 p.m.

For more information, visit or call 633-3913.