UMaine writers well-represented at upcoming Readingpalooza

A group of local writers – many with University of Maine connections – are set to come together to share some of their work with area audiences.

Readingpalooza is scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 14 at Queen City Cinema Club in Bangor starting at noon. This free, all-ages event brings together a baker’s dozen of area writers and gives them the opportunity to share their work directly with an audience.

The writers appearing are: Hollie Adams, Lydia Balestra, A.R. Clark, Julia Hills, Victoria Hood, Greg Howard, Libby Kennedy, Z Lavway, Andy Mallory, Jeremy John Parker, Lily Rain, Morghen Tidd, and Micah Vallarie.

Victoria Hood, a UMaine graduate and adjunct instructor in the Department of English, organized the event. Her hope is that this event – and others like it – might help reinvigorate the area’s literary scene.

“Prior to the lockdown, there was a highly immersive and consistent flow of literary events in Orono and Bangor that seems to have had a hard time getting off the ground as we return to safely sanctioned in-person events,” said Hood. “My goal with organizing this event is to help support the literary community we have while we move towards the same flow of readings we’ve had in the past.”

Events such as Readingpalooza allow local writers to share their work directly with their audiences, experiencing the give-and-take directly. They also offer a chance for creatives to connect with one another. Hood spoke to the value of artistic networking, as well as the ability for teachers and freelancers to engage more directly with potential students and/or clients.

Hood addressed the benefits to both writer and listener.

“Reading our work aloud, as writers, allows us to gauge audience reaction and better understand how our work is being perceived,” said Hood. “As listeners, we are able to hear how the writer intended the story to be read. Personally, little inspires me more than hearing a writer deliver their own work.” 

Assembling an event such as this is no easy feat. Hood’s decade-long association with the University – from undergraduate studies to graduate degree to adjuncting – allowed her to extend invitations to many of the colleagues and comrades-in-arms she found along the way. She spent months reaching out to friends and colleagues to assemble a robust collection of writing talent.

Hood also spoke to just how valuable this kind of reading experience can be for writers with work in any stage of development.

“Sharing work in this setting allows many of us to tweak unpublished work or find excitement in the work we have already released,” said Hood. “Both of which allows other locals to follow our artistic growth moving forward.”

(Readingpalooza will take place on April 14 starting at noon at Queen City Cinema Club, located at 128B Main Street in Bangor. For more information, contact Victoria Hood at Find out more about participating writers here.)