As the nation acknowledges the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, we look back on what he meant to poetry and the arts. When he drew up plans for his inauguration, he was the first president-elect to invite a poet to the ceremony. Those old enough remember Robert Frost on that snow-blinding January day as he stumbled again and again in trying to read his newly written poem in the glare of the sun. The intense awkwardness of the moment was broken when he gave up the attempt and recited from memory another poem, “The Gift Outright.” Huge applause followed the amazing recovery by the aging poet — an indelible moment in the ceremony. See a snippet of the moment here.
Setting the precedent for a poet at the inauguration wasn’t Kennedy’s only salute to poetry and the arts. [Read more...]
Massachusetts Poet in the Spotlight is a monthly installment from Mass Poetry. Each month we will be shining the spotlight on a poet affiliated with, and nominated by, one of our poetry partners. If you are a partner with a poet to nominate, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Highlighted by Noepe Center for Literary Arts
Justen Ahren, Poet Laureate of West Tisbury, Massachusetts, has published poems in numerous literary journals including, most recently, Fulcrum, BorderSenses, Borderlands, Texas Poetry Review, and Comstock Review. A graduate of Emerson College’s MFA program in creative writing, Justen is founder and Director of Noepe Center for Literary Arts and the Martha’s Vineyard Writers Residency. He teaches poetry and writing workshops on Martha’s Vineyard and in Labro, Italy, and recently published A Strange Catechism, his first book of poems. [Read more...]
A friend of poetry is ill — with cancer. And poets are rallying around him. José Gouveia — Joe — is a a newspaper columnist, the host of a radio show, an anthologist (Rubber Side Down: The Biker Poet Anthology), an organizer of readings and workshops, and more.
One of Joe’s friends, Martín Espada, has written a poem in his honor: I Am Here. And the blog Split This Rock has started a Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund to help him cover expenses while he’s hospitalized.
Check out the poem, give and spread the word.
If you aren’t a high school student, you may wish you were when you see the list of workshop leaders for Student Day of Poetry. The program for high school students is scheduled for Friday, March 21st, 2014 at UMass Boston.
Are you a Massachusetts high school student? Are you a Massachusetts high school teacher? Do you know a Massachusetts high school student or teacher? Then get the word out about an exciting poetry contest students can enter.
FRIDAY NOV 8, @6PM
On Saturday, November 2 at 1:30 PM Mom Egg Review will present 20 poets in a reading at the Červená Barva Press Studio in Somerville. As an indication of the spirit and energy of the affair, Mom Egg is calling it Mass Mayhem.
The poets include several women who have worked closely with the Massachusetts Poetry Festival over the years. In alphabetical order, they are:
January G. O’Neil
The MC is Marjorie Tesser.
The Červená Barva Press Studio is in Basement Room B8 on191 Highland Avenue, Somerville, in the Center For The Arts At The Armory. Each poet will read three minutes.