The Mass Poetry Festival takes place in Salem during the first weekend in May — just in time to cap off National Poetry Month. Founded in 2009, the festival creates a sort of clearinghouse for the many poetry events and societies in Boston and the surrounding areas. Every year, the festival saturates downtown Salem in readings, workshops, and open-air performances celebrating the written and spoken word. This year’s headliners include Rita Dove, Jorie Graham, Richard Hoffman, and Marge Piercy. The weekend boasts approximately 100 different events and the cost of attendance will fit even a starving poet’s budget: $15.
To see a schedule and purchase a festival button, visit MassPoetry.org
If you like your poetry with tattoos and music, I recommend the release party for Janaka Stucky’s full-length book, The Truth Is We Are Perfect. Janaka’s first chapbook Your Name Is the Only Freedom reignited the fire in my own belly and remains one of my prize possessions — excellent text aside, Brave Men Press created a beautiful book. The founder of Black Ocean Press, Janaka has a loyal following in the Boston area. The event, which includes both poetry and music, happens at the Brattle Theatre on Saturday May 2 at 9pm. More information Facebook and the poet’s website. And then there’s this, posted on the Facebook event yesterday morning:
Friends, I’ve felt increasingly conflicted about all the self-promotion this week during so much suffering and unrest. As a result, the other performers and I have agreed to donate all proceeds from ticket sales to a relief fund for those affected by the earthquake in Nepal. Furthermore, I will personally be donating $5 to the ACLU in Baltimore for every book sold at the event on Saturday. I hope you’ll join us in supporting others, through your attendance or in your own way.