We Want to Hear from You about Common Threads

A special message from our Program Director, Laurin Macios:

 Common Threads 142015 will mark the 5-year anniversary of Common Threads, and we see the milestone as not only a means for celebration, but for the re-invigoration of our Common Threads programming. If you signed up to receive Common Threads in past years, we want to hear from you. If you could take a moment to help us improve our programming by filling out this brief survey, we’d be grateful.

We are looking forward to bringing you a great Common Threads publication and program in 2015! Stay tuned for details in the next few months.

Thanks and best,

Laurin's signature



Laurin Macios
Program Director, Mass Poetry

Mark Schorr’s Review of “Only Human”

Cast of "Only Human"

Cast of “Only Human”

The following is Mark Schorr’s review of the musical “Only Human”  with book by J.D. Scrimgeour and music by Aidan and Guthrie Scrimgeour. See J.D.’s earlier essay “A Poet Writes a Musical.”

Poetic Crossover

Oh, happy pair!

Oh, happy we!

It’s very rare

How we agree.
— Richard Wilbur’s lyrics for
Leonard Bernstein’s music in Candide

At their best, the lyrics of American musical theater form a rare agreement with the music by making a special kind of crossover from idea to poetry to music. [Read more...]

Michelle Gillett: Poets Who Write Prose

This is is the third in our series of essays on Poets Who Write Prose. First we featured Richard Hoffman.  Last week we featured J.D. Scrimgeour who told us about writing the  musical “Only Human.”

Michelle Gillett

Michelle Gillett

A woman standing in the back of the room approached me after my poetry reading at the local community college. She complimented me on my poems then asked, “Have you ever thought about writing a newspaper column?”

I hadn’t, at least not since high school when I was editor of the newspaper and would impose my views on my fellow students about their indifference to issues more important than the football team’s success. I wasn’t sure what about my poems made her think I might succeed as a columnist—were they too prosaic? Too opinionated? Her husband was the editorial page editor of our local newspaper; she suggested I send him something. [Read more...]

Our Newsletter: The Latest News

Save the date for U35: Tuesday, July 22 


U35_Logo@ The Marliave in Boston

Andrew K. Peterson
Charlotte Seley
David Bartone

Get the details & check out the Facebook event!

And if you missed our May U35 Reading, or just want to relive it, you can catch the readings of Hannah Larrabee, Heather Hughes, and Mario Alejandro Ariza at youtube.com/masspoetrychannel. [Read more...]

An Indiegogo Poetry Campaign for Victims of Human Trafficking

Jennifer Jean reading an anti-human trafficking poem last summer

Jennifer Jean reading an anti-human trafficking poem last summer

Did you know an estimated one million people in the United States are enslaved through human trafficking? And what is human trafficking, you may ask? It’s the illegal movement of people, typically for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Essentially, it is slavery. Can you imagine the psychological effect of that type of exploitation?

Jennifer Jean, who has been very active with Mass Poetry, wants to offer a workshop to these survivors as expressive therapy. That’s why she is mounting an Indiegogo campaign to raise $2800 to get a group going this summer. The Free2Write campaign begins today.
In the questions and answers below she tell us all about the project.

[Read more...]

On June 25 — Frank Bidart at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

Frank Bidart

Frank Bidart


On June 25 Frank Bidart headlines the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival at Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, Connecticut.  This is the second event in the Festival, which programs readings and music on several Wednesday nights throughout the summer.  The gates open at 4:30.

Bring a picnic or purchase food and drink to eat on the beautiful grounds of the garden.Sunken Gardens [Read more...]

The Globe Magazine Takes Note of Poetry on the T Success

Poetry on the TWe made our goal of raising money to fund poetry on the T for the rest of the summer, and the Boston Globe Magazine took note!

When summer is over, UMass Boston will pick up the tab for three poems on the T in September. With hundreds of individual donors, we are hoping big donor groups take note that poetry is alive and well in the Commonwealth and deserves their support.  In the interview for the story Laurin Macios, our program director, describes what raising nearly $10,000 from ordinary citizens can mean beyond the summer program. Read the entire story.


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