This interview with Erica Funkhouser is the third in a series with the featured poets for the 2013 Massachusetts Poetry Festival (May 3 – 5 in Salem). Each interview is accompanied by a poem, featured in the left column under “Poem of the Moment.” Erica’s poem is “Impossible.”
The Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2013 is now open for your registration.
And we are offering more events than ever before for the May 3 through 5 Festival in Salem. We are starting activities earlier–at 1:15 on Friday–and running them later–until 4:45 on Sunday afternoon. Altogether we have around 200 poets reading and over 100 workshops, panels, and performances to choose from. [Read more...]
Diane Gilliam, whose second book, Kettle Bottom, was published by Massachusetts’s Perugia Press, has won the Gift of Freedom Award from A Room of Her Own Foundation. The $50,000 award is the largest of its kind for women writers.
Thanks to Alice Kociemba, a devoted contributor to the success of Common Threads, for this reflection on past and coming discussion groups.
In the first two years of the Common Threads Reading Project, I led or participated in six community groups. Some were “drop-in” groups at local libraries as their National Poetry Month Celebrations, some were groups that had met over a number of years to read published poems and/or to critique poems of its members. What always surprises me is that complete strangers in the “drop-in” groups were just as open and authentic as the ongoing groups’ discussions. [Read more...]
This interview with Martin Espada is the second in a series with the featured poets for the 2013 Massachusetts Poetry Festival (May 3 – 5 in Salem). Each interview is accompanied by a poem, featured in the left column under “Poem of the Moment.” Martin’s poem is “The Playboy Calendar and the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.”
We’ve selected ten poems by Massachusetts poets for the Common Threads readings. Included in the article is a link to a PDF with the poems plus questions for discussion and essays for analysis. And check out the videos of the poems being read. Gather the gang and enjoy them together.
Described by poet Jill McDonough as “Ten pastorals, ten poems about the outdoors. Pastoral as joshing, take-this-job-and-shove-it. As meditation on life and death, on loveliness. As drunken urban water skiing, but with snow instead of water. And a pick-up truck instead of a boat. As grateful wonder over how your life turned out. Battlefield close-up, geography of afterlife, a metaphor for the interior landscape of a whole life’s time. As historical consideration of the outside in news you didn’t remember could split you inside out.” [Read more...]
These days, when I go to the beach
—I take nothing for granted.
These days I am just grateful for
—the persistence of the waves.
Thank you, Ocean, for the chemistry of my blood -
—for plankton, whales, anemones and cod -
for turtles, pelicans and manatees –
—for tide pools, estuaries and the barrier beaches
where Rachel Carson strolled at night to watch
—ghost crabs foraging in the sand,
their burrows open to the stars and the splashes
—of moonlight silvering the sea.
~ From Ocean Voices
Laurie Robertson-Lorant is the author of Melville: A Biography (1996) and The Man Who Lived Among the Cannibals: Poems in the Voice of Herman Melville (2005). Her poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Leviathan, Radcliffe Quarterly, Rockhurst Review, Sandscript, Southcoast Poetry Journal, The American Voice, North American Review, Worcester Review, October Mountain: An Anthology of Berkshire Writers (ed. Paul Metcalf) and We Speak for Peace (ed. Ruth Jacobs). Since moving to the South Coast, she has taught at MIT, UMass Dartmouth, Bridgewater State University and at New Bedford’s Whaling Museum, Ocean Explorium and Whaling National Historical Park.
This interview with Jill McDonough is the first of a series with the featured poets for the 2013 Festival. Each interview is accompanied by a poem, featured in the left column under “Poem of the Moment.” Jill’s poem is “Accident, Mass. Ave.“
From your perspective, what does poetry contribute to a satisfying life?
Poetry helps me make sure I am paying attention.
What got you hooked on poetry? How old were you then?
I can’t remember how long I’ve been writing it, but being able to solve a problem of my own and on my own is what got me hooked. [Read more...]