Tickets for Millay Fest Feature Events

ROCKLAND — The first Millay Arts & Poetry Festival is set for Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 7, 8 and 9, in various city locations. In addition to all-festival passes, tickets are now on sale for individual feature events.

The festival will host 35 happenings in three days, with 80 presenters and performers. Eight of the events are free and open to the public; others will have admission at the door, as available. Following are the feature events for which advance tickets (or passes) are recommended.

 The Edna Project’s Liz Queler is pictured at Steepletop, the Austerlitz, N.Y., home of Edna St. Vincent Millay.

The Edna Project’s Liz Queler is pictured at Steepletop, the Austerlitz, N.Y., home of Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Thursday night, The Edna Project returns to the Strand Theatre. The trio of Liz Queler, Seth Farber and Joey Farber offer original compositions setting Millay’s poems to music. The second half of the 8 p.m. concert will be a performance of “Renascence” by Queler with a new (to Rockland) arrangement incorporating violin. Tickets are $35.

Friday evening, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art will host a gala reception. An evening out with Edna St. Vincent Millay begins 6 p.m. in CMCA’s main gallery and offers a delicious spread by Trillium caterers and an open bar. Then attendees will move to the nearby Strand Theatre for the world premiere of “Vincent,” written by Rockland’s Alva Hascall and featuring New York actress Sarah MacDonnell as Millay and the DaPonte String Quartet. The piece is an imagining of what the last hour of the poet’s life might have been. Tickets for gala and performance are $100.

Saturday at 10 a.m., 2013 inaugural poet Richard Blanco returns to the Midcoast to discuss Millay and read from his own works. Tickets for the Strand event, which will be followed by a book signing, are $55.

At 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Strand, “Savage Beauty” author Nancy Milford will deliver the festival’s keynote address, followed by a book signing. The esteemed Maine critic and poet Carl Little will facilitate a Millay-biography-star-studded panel discussion. Tickets are $65.

At 4:30 p.m. Saturday, there is a fundraising event at Harbor Square Gallery to support Millay House Rockland, the literary nonprofit centered abound the city home where the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet was born. MacDonnell and DaPonte will reconvene to present a poetry concert, followed by a rooftop reception. Tickets are $125 (not included in festival passes).

On Saturday night, the festival comes to a grand finale with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tracy K. Smith, the new U.S. Poet Laureate, presenting on the power of poetry and reads from her work at the Strand Theatre at 8 p.m. Tickets are $75.

In addition to the highlighted events, there are many poetry talks, readings, music and more, in honor of Millay’s multimedia artistry, at the Farnsworth Art Museum and Rock City Café. For the full festival schedule, visit millayhouserockland.org, which also has the link for ticket/pass purchase.

Media sponsor for the Millay Arts & Poetry Festival is Courier Publications/VillageSoup.