|Welcome to the website of the 2011 Massachusetts Poetry Festival, happening May 12, 13 & 14th in the beautiful and historic town of Salem! You can use this site to plan out your visit from start to finish, sign up for workshops, and share your plan with friends. Here you will also find useful information about how to get to the festival and where to eat and stay while you are here. Help us spread the word: download, print, and post this flyer to promote the Festival. Also, be sure to sign up for updates so we can keep you posted on late-breaking developments. |
To begin, create your user profile. Feel free to use a nom de’ plume if you are shy.
Once you’ve been set up with a profile, you can go to the Schedule page and add events to your personal schedule. Do this by clicking on the green plus sign next to the event you want to attend. Your friends will be able to see what you’ll be attending and plan accordingly. Remember that some events require pre-registration, and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you add an event to your personal schedule, you are registered for it.
Now you’re ready to check out the schedule:
Registering for Events
Take a look at the Events Requiring Pre-Registration. To register for one of these events, all you have to do is add it to your personal schedule. Be sure to sign up for all the events you wish to attend, even if they don’t require it. This way we’ll know if we need to move a smaller event to a larger space. And make sure you supply a valid email address when creating your user profile! This is how we will contact you with important information should any changes to the schedule arise.
Thursday, May 12
The poetry festival kicks off at 7:30pm Thursday with a reading by Tom Sexton, author of 12 books of poetry, Poet Laureate of Alaska, and a graduate of Salem State University. To celebrate Tom Sexton is to celebrate the legacy of poetry that has sprung from Massachusetts Public Colleges and Universities in the last half century.
Register here for the Thursday Headline Reading: Tom Sexton & Poetry from Public Colleges
What’s up for High School Students and Their Teachers
On Friday, during the day, Salem State University will host 650 high schools students and 40 teachers from schools across the Commonwealth. The program includes headline performances by X.J.Kennedy, Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye, Jericho Brown, and Brian Turner. A wealth of workshops will be offered to students led by dozens of accomplished poets, and a special program of professional development is planned for teachers. In the middle of the day the acclaimed documentary Louder than a Bomb will be shown, with an introduction by Adam Gottlieb, one of the featured poets, and Anna West, co-founder of the Chicago slam poetry contest that is the focus of the film. If you are a teacher and would like to register your high school for this free student day of poetry, click here.
Friday May 13: Afternoon and Evening Events
Friday afternoon, beginning at 4:15pm, the poetry festival will host readings and talks at Gulu Gulu Café, the Peabody Essex Museum, The Gathering, and the Salem Athenaeum. Celebrate Elizabeth Bishop’s 100th birthday with a reading and discussion of her work by poet and Bishop scholar Lloyd Schwartz, or sip coffee at a reading of poets connected to the Boston Review, one of our greater gifts to the literary community. Between 4:15 and 6:30pm we’re offering eight amazing programs, and you’ll be able to pick two of them to go see. At 6:30pm, we’ll take a break for dinner at some of Salem’s best restaurants before gathering for our headline event—a reading by Brian Turner, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, & Jericho Brown—in the Atrium of the Peabody Essex Museum. The night closes out with an intercollegiate poetry slam, for an energetic late night close to our day.
Register here for the Friday Headline Reading: Brian Turner, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, & Jericho Brown
Saturday, May 14
All day and night Saturday, we have over 60 incredible events planned all over Salem. There will be readings, workshops, talks, panels, musical performances, film screenings, a live letterpress and screen printing demonstration, and a small press and literary magazine fair for you to enjoy. Programs will take place at a variety of locations around Salem, but the festival will be centered around the main stage at Derby Square, where there will also be vendors selling good things to eat and drink. At the end of the day, close out the festival with our final headliner reading, featuring Mark Doty, Kim Richey, and Patricia Smith.
Register here for the Saturday Headline Reading: Mark Doty, Kim Richey, and Patricia Smith
The Festival Button: Admission to all festival events require a festival button. Buttons will go for a donation of $10 for adults, and $5 for seniors and students. Of course, we encourage those who can to make a larger donation to help us support poetry in Massachusetts and meet the costs of the festival.
You can get first in line for an official Festival Button by making a donation online now. All who donate online will be placed on a list and will be handed a button upon checking in at the festival.
Coming soon on our Admissions page, we’ll list the shops, restaurants, and books stores, in Salem and elsewhere, where you can donate and receive your Festival Button.
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Second in a series of what people thought about the festival Pushcart Prize winner Jill McDonough’s first book is Habeas Corpus; Where You Live came out in 2008. The recipient of fellowships from the NEA, the Library of Congress, and elsewhere, she teaches in prisons for Boston University and directs 24PearlStreet, the online writing program [...]
J.D. Scrimgeour, our guest author, was a volunteer for the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. He is also the author of the poetry collection,The Last Miles, and Themes For English B: A Professor’s Education In and Out of Class,. In 2010, under the name “Confluence,” he and musician Philip Swanson released a CD of poetry and music with MSR Classics, [...]
At the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, Richard Hoffman participated in Saturday’s panel discussion titled “The State of Poetry.” He has given us his well-received manuscript from that presentation to publish. Good afternoon. Let me start with a poem I wrote for a fellow poet, Baron Wormser. Baron and I are about the same age and [...]
If you were at the Mass Poetry Festival, you may be like me — all mixed up in exhaustion, exhilaration, and depression — it’s another year before another Mass Poetry Festival. But I can also turn the direction of my mind just a wee bit, and it is bubbling again from the conviviality and joy of hours and hours [...]
We can’t give you a complete picture of the first day of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, but we hope to tease you with the excitement so that you’ll come on the other days. This Friday thousands of poetry lovers walked the cobblestoned streets of Salem, going from the Peabody Essex Museum to the House of Seven Gables [...]
A social media for poets and poetry lovers! Today it begins! Not only are you going to see and hear some of the best poets in the country (see our list below), you are going to meet people who — given your mutual interest in poetry – could become your lifelong friends. If you’ve been to our [...]
Here’s a fantastic opportunity for poets willing to recite their poems to an audience of poetry lovers aboard the Poetry Trolleys that are offering rides from venue to venue during the Massachusetts Poetry FestivaL We’re looking for poets willing to perform on those trolleys this Saturday, April 21, from 10:00 to 3:00. Each poet does a [...]
You’re in luck! In addition to having finalists from Massachusetts’ first LTAB competition, the festival will have an intercollegiate slam competition. This slam has everything: great atmosphere, widely diverse poet performers, DJ Itch 13, poet and host for the night Alex Charalambides. Five teams will compete to be this year’s slam champions. The returning victors [...]
Saturday’s Small Press Fair is sure to be a hit! Stride along the corridors of Museum Place Mall and check out Massachusetts’ small presses and literary magazines. Whether you’re looking to buy books or make a few connections with your local presses, don’t miss out! Browse the several tables lining the halls. Every person behind [...]
It’s almost here — the day we’ve been planning, building, antiscipating! The Massachusetts Poetry Festival begins Friday (April 20) and runs through the weekend in Salem, MA. And here are ten reasons you should be there: The Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Attend the Massachusetts Poetry Festival 10. Anne Bradstreet slept here! 9. If the [...]
The Massachusetts Poetry Festival is delighted to have the Improbable Places Poetry Tour—a creative notion that celebrates place and poetry through unusual venues such as bicycle shops, tattoo parlors, and swimming pools. The tour was created by Colleen Michaels, or as Michael Ansara, founder of the Mass Poetry Festival, calls her “the festival’s Czarina of [...]
This Sunday’s Boston Globe reports on the Common Thread’s goal of getting 10,000 people in Massachusetss to read and discuss nine poems this month. Mass Poetry is sponsoring the initiative again this year, with book clubs, libraries, senior centers, book stores, schools, and churches presenting reading opportunties, including one at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. Check our videos [...]
When Meg Winikates was a young girl standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon after a guide had led her family around the monumental piece of nature, she voiced her life goal. “I want to be like that,” she said, indicating the guide. And so she has achieved that goal in a slightly different [...]
The following story is from Amanda Torres, School Programs Coordinator, Mass Poetry. The largest youth poetry slam in the country (Louder Than A Bomb) has made it to Massachusetts. On April 13th at The Villa Victoria Center for the Arts (85 Newton St, Boston) 7:00 – 10:00pm (doors open at 6:30), the four highest scoring [...]