State Proposes Drastic Cut to Arts Funding — What You Can Do

What you can do? — Call or email your state representative immediately and say “No!”

MCC logoHere’s the extent of the issue according to a bulletin from the website of the Massachusetts Cultural Council:

(4/9/14) – Earlier today the House Committee on Ways and Means released a state budget proposal for the coming fiscal year that recommends just over $5 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). That would represent a 54 percent reduction in state support for the arts, humanities, and sciences. (Read their full report.)
[Read more...]

A Concert of Hope and Peace, Featuring Richard Hoffman

Richard Hoffman

Richard Hoffman

Last year on April 15 Boston experienced one of its most devastating events — the Marathon bombings. This year, as the first anniversary approaches, many plan to commemorate the event, including organizations such as BostonBetter,  a project of Boston museums, libraries, and archives.

One of the planned events is “A Concert of Hope and Peace,” featuring the Hawthorne String Quartet and Richard Hoffman, who will read his poetry.

Hoffman’s work, which Molly Peacock describes as “moments when civilization dissolves, not superficially, but at its emotional roots,” is a wise choice for city-wide meditation. concert of Hope and PeaceHis clear and visionary intensity grounds justice and humanity in words that are both powerful and simple. [Read more...]

Latest News: Festival Schedule, Common Threads, Volunteers, Etc.

The festival schedule is LIVE!

Festival logo 2014Time to start planning your weekend in Salem! Check out our new scheduling website to find out the who, what, where, when, and why of this year’s festival.

You’ll see that we have moved to a new scheduling site to avoid spam and increase confidentiality. This new site requires an invitation to join. Please sign up here and you’ll quickly receive your invitation to participate in the 2014 Mass Poetry Festival, create your schedule, sign up for workshops, coordinate schedules with friends, and start discussions.

Common Threads 2014 is here

The newest edition is available online now. See the whole collection here.

Common Threads 2014Poet Lisa Olstein has gathered ten poems that “embody and reflect upon and sometimes even answer the kinds of urges and imperatives we experience,” by poets with “deep ties to Massachusetts…poets that span decades and continents and expansive aesthetic domains.” [Read more...]

Jill McDonough on Non-Working Poets??

Jill McDonough

Jill McDonough

In case you missed it, poets have become a whipping boy — or girl, getting their lashes from opponents of the Affordable Care Act. The latest to take up the cane on Fox news is Trey Gowdy, a member of the Republican leadership of the House of RepresentativesThe complaint is that poets can get health care and not work.

In a blog on the Esquire site Jill McDonough, one of our feature poets at this May’s festival, answers the accusation. Read it here:  In Which Trey Gowdy Gets His Ass Kicked By A Poet

Sunken Garden Festival Begins June 12

Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith

June 12 begins this year’s legendary Connecticut poetry festival, Sunken Garden, with a reading by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith and readers selected from eight Connecticut poetry programs. The initial reading marks the first of the Sunken Garden series, which occurs every other Wednesday night for the summer.

[Read more...]

June 7 Is Zephyr Press Night at Brookline Books

Zephyr PressCurious about poetry in other countries? Find out more of what’s happening internationally when Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner presents a reading of the work of three translators. All the works have been published by Zephyr Press.

[Read more...]

Bad Poetry Contest: And the Winner! — ALICE KOCIEMBA!

What’s a trait you really admire in another person? I suspect most of us would rank the ability to laugh at one’s self right up there with generosity and kindness. Besides, laughter is catching — so we all get to benefit.

Alice Kociemba

Alice Kociemba

Alice Kociemba earned the admiration of a room full of people when she read her prize-winning poem in Steve Almond’s Bad Poetry Contest at the recent Massachusetts Poetry Festival.

[Read more...]

Register for the Festival Now!

Festival button

Don’t miss out on your favorite events at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, which is May 3-5 in Salem. Many of the workshops, readings, panels, etc. are already filled.

So register now.

You’ll see the four easy steps to follow:

  • Create a profile.
  • Browse the schedule.
  • Click the Plus sign to add an event to your personal schedule
  • Buy a registration button, which grants you entry to events. ($15 regular; $7 for students and seniors, and $5 for workshops)

Now you are ready to print out your own personal agenda.

Kerouac Symposium at Salem State University Kicks Off MPF

Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac

On Thursday, May 2, a Kerouac Symposium at Salem State University  kicks off the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, which runs in Salem through the 5th.

The May 2 Kerouac Symposium is not the first Kerouac event at Salem State. In fact the first one occurred 40 years ago, a little over four years after Kerouac died on October 23, 1969. It was the first time many of Kerouac’s old friends had been together since his death, says Jay McHale, a retired professor at Salem State and the organizer of the first event and the one to occur on this coming May 2. In fact Allen Ginsberg said at the first symposium, ““We’re paying homage to the memory of Jack Kerouac.”

[Read more...]

One Fund Boston: One Literary Fund-Raiser

Poster courtesy of Aforementioned Productions

Poster courtesy of Aforementioned Productions

With a reading by some of the state’s most well-known poets and writers, the Boston literary community joins the statewide effort to support those affected by the marathon attack. Those reading include Robert Pinsky, former U.S. Poet Laureate; Sue Miller, best-selling author of While I Was Gone and The Lake Shore Limited; Fanny Howe, award-winning poet, fiction writer, and essayist; author and AGNI editor Sven Birkerts; and acclaimed poet Jill McDonough.  More authors may be named soon.

[Read more...]

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