Mass Poetry Festival on the Horizon

A few months ago, Mass Poetry flattered me by asking me to be a regional representative for Suffolk County. If you have a poetry group or event in the Boston area that is open to the public, please feel free to add a comment with your information, or fill out my contact form.

Here’s a brief round-up of happenings at the 2017 festival,  just two weeks away, Friday to Sunday, May 5 – 7, in Salem, Mass.

This year’s headliners are: Louise Glück · Eileen Myles · Kazim Ali · Andrea Cohen · Cornelius Eady and Rough Magic · Ross Gay · Rigoberto González · Aimee Nezhukumatathil · Emily Pettit · Tom Sleigh · Dara Wier.

Tickets are $20 General Admission, $7 Senior or Student, with a $10 additional fee to attend any workshops over the weekend.

Check out the full schedule, get all the details on venues, and purchase tickets at the Mass Poetry website.

Boston Area Poetry Readings for Late February and All of March 2017

It’s easy to get cereal-aisle paralysis in Boston, especially in the spring, when the already robust list of events swells. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I rarely get to more than one or two events in any given month. But the longer days and unseasonably warm weather gave me the energy to go to not one but two poetry events in the past week. I feel refreshed and revitalized. Leave off your mind of winter and brave the mud this month. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.

Thanks to Daniel Bouchard for the bulk of the listings and to Sandee Story of the Jamaica Pond Poets for the extra listings in Suffolk County. All events are in Massachusetts unless otherwise noted.

Monday, February 27, 8 pm
Martha Rhodes and Josh Bell
Blacksmith House
56 Brattle Street

Tuesday, February 28, 6 pm
Kirun Kapur, Open Mic
Amesbury Public Library Poetry Series
149 Main St.
Amesbury, MA

Tuesday, February 28, 7 pm
Oswald Egger and Laura Mullen
McCormack Family Theater
70 Brown St.
Providence, RI

Wednesday, March 1, 5 pm
Arthur Sze
Morris Gray Poetry Reading
Forum Room, Lamont Library
Harvard University

Continue reading “Boston Area Poetry Readings for Late February and All of March 2017”

Boston Area Poetry Readings for March 2016

A drift of snow edges a new drift of sand
As edges grow deeper. It’s March, month of edges.
Wet rocks yield to pebbles like opening hands.

-Annie Finch, “Beach of Edges, from Spells: New and Selected Poems.

Boston trembles on the edge of winter: one day a seductive thaw, the next that damp chill particular to the Bay State. I’ve seen green shoots in the garden, surrounded by the detritus of winter. Clear that detritus from your mind with a little poetry. All venues are in Massachusetts unless otherwise noted.

Friday, March 11, 7:30 pm
Carla Schwartz, Preston Hood, Nina MacLaughlin
Chapter and Verse
Loring Greenough House
12 South Street
Jamaica Plain

Continue reading “Boston Area Poetry Readings for March 2016”

Frances Donovan and Kate Wallace Rogers at Newtonville Books, March 7 2016

I’m one of the features at the PoemWorks monthly reading series in March, the beginning of crocus season. Come hear me and my fellow poet Kate Wallace Rogers reading our work next Monday, March 7. Details follow.

Monday, March 7, 2016, at 7:00 PM
Newtonville Books
10 Langley Road
Newton, MA 02459

Free to the public

Join us for a poetry reading with Frances Donovan and Kate Wallace Rogers, members of the Workshop for Publishing Poets, directed by Barbara Helfgott Hyett, followed by an Open Mic. For more information about the workshop, see Hosted by Richard Waring.

Frances Donovan’s work has appeared in many places, including Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Snapdragon, Marathon Literary Review, Ishka Bibble, and Gender Focus. She holds a degree in English from Vassar College and has studied with Barbara Helfgott Hyett and Toni Amato. She curated the Poetry@Prose reading series and has appeared as a featured reader at numerous venues in the Northeast, including the Newton Public Library and the PoemWorks Reading Series. Her workshop in Roslindale nurtures the seedlings of new poems. She enjoys candle-lit dinners, long walks on the beach, and writing about herself in the third person. You can find her climbing hills in Roslindale and online at

Kate Wallace Rogers has been writing and performing poetry since second grade. With some friends in Dennis, Mass., she co-founded the Dragonfly poetry and music series. She has had work published in The Beaver and Red Weather. She self-published a slim volume of poetry silk-screened on Japanese folding paper. More recently, she has been a frequent participant and feature at the Mews coffeehouse and AMP gallery in Provincetown. Kate’s poetry weaves together her love of language, nature, and women. She is originally from New York City, but currently lives in Provincetown in Stanley Kunitz’s house. She loves swimming in the ocean year round.

Photo credit: Tejvan Pettinger via Flickr, CC 2.0

Boston Area Poetry Readings for December 2015

These listings are compiled by Daniel Bouchard. Friday, December 11 is the very last of the BASH Reading Series by Black Ocean Press at Brookline Booksmith. And make sure to check out the Brookline Public Library on Sunday, December 20, where the open mic is as high-quality as the featured reader.

Thursday, December 3, 7 pm
David Miller, Sandra Storey and open mic
Rozzie Reads
Roslindale House
120 Poplar Street
Roslindale, MA Continue reading “Boston Area Poetry Readings for December 2015”

Boston Area Poetry Readings for October and November 2015

I usually post only the upcoming month’s reading so as not to overwhelm you, gentle reader. But Daniel Bouchard, the poet who compiles these listings, sends dates much farther into the future. Time moves faster in the fall in Boston, so here’s a cornucopia of readings for the next six weeks. Get some dates on your calendar now before it’s full of harvest festivals, Halloween parties, and turkey dinners.

Thursday, October 15, 7 pm
Central Square Press Editor Enzo Silon Surin and Afaa Micheal Weaver
Trident Café and Booksellers
Boston Poet Spotlight Series
338 Newbury Street
Boston, MA

Continue reading “Boston Area Poetry Readings for October and November 2015”

Boston Area Poetry Readings for September and October 2015

Poetry and all that jazz

Poetry readings lie thick as apples on the ground this time of year. Be sure to check out some mainstays of the Boston poetry scene: Tom Daley, Jill McDonough, and Doug Holder to name a few. Commemorate 9-11 with the BASH reading series put on by Black Ocean Press, one of the hippest scenes in town. Or catch Daniel Bouchard — the  gentleman who sends out these listings via email — at Harvard just before Halloween.

If you’re in the mind to write some poetry of your own, consider attending my poetry workshop which runs every other Thursday this September and October. We’ll hit the open mic at the Chapter and Verse reading series in October, so come along if you’d like someone to cheer you on.

Thursday, September 10, 6 pm
“Performing Democracy: Private Citizens on the Public Stage”
Poet Edward Hirsch leads a discussion including playwright Rebekah Maggor, director and translator Bryan Doerries, and BC Law Professor Frank J. Garcia (presenting the work of James Boyd White), on theater’s vital role in enacting the questions and values that nourish and sustain democracy.
Clough Center Series on the Arts and the Culture of Democracy
Boston College
Devlin 101
Chestnut Hill, MA

Continue reading “Boston Area Poetry Readings for September and October 2015”

Two Poetry Events in Boston and Salem this Weekend: Mass Poetry and Janaka Stucky

Mass Poetry Festival 2015 LogoThe 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

Book Cover and Event Poster for Janaka Stucky's The Truth Is We Are PerfectIf 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.

Boston Area Poetry Readings in December 2014

Submitted without comment. Please note: Most readings are free, so you can’t beat the price. Thanks as always to my top secret contact at MIT Press for compiling these listings.

Monday, December 1, 7 pm
Cleopatry Mathis and Frannie Lindsay
Harvard-Yenching Common Room 136
2 Divinity Ave
Cambridge, MA

Monday, December 1, 8 pm
A Tribute to Bill Knott
with David Rivard, Jonathan Aaron, Tom Lux, Gail Mazur, John Skoyles, Peter Shippy, and Andrea Cohen
Blacksmith House Poetry Series
56 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA

Tuesday, December 2, 2:30 pm
Sandra Doller
McCormack Family Theater
70 Brown St.
Providence, RI

Wednesday, December 3, 6 pm
Dan Beachy-Quick, Fanny Howe, Peter O’Leary and Patrick Pritchett
Introduction by Professor Amy Hollywood
Thompson Room, Barker Center
12 Quincy Street
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

Wednesday, December 3, 6:30 pm
Fred Marchant
Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway
Cambridge, MA

Monday, December 8, 7 pm
Jane Bachner, Sandy Weisman, and Emily Ferrara
Newtonville Books
10 Langley Road
Newton, MA

Monday, December 8, 8 pm
Carole Oles and Ani Gjika
Blacksmith House Poetry Series
56 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA

Thursday, December 11, 2:30 pm
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
McCormack Family Theater
70 Brown St.
Providence, MA

Saturday, December 13, 6 pm
Danielle Jones-Pruett, Bianca Stone, Ben Pease, Mckendy Fils-Amie, Chris Siteman, Heather Tresseler, Eric Eidswick, and more
Musical Guest: Rob Flax
Mr. Hip Presents: Reading Series
UFORGE Gallery
767 Centre Street
Jamaica Plain, MA

Sunday, December 14, 12 pm
Vincent Dorio and Denise Rainey
Poetry: The Art of Words/Mike Amado Memorial Series
The Plymouth Center for the Arts
11 North St
Plymouth, MA

Sunday, December 14, 3 pm
Sandra Lim
With book signing reception
Poetry at the Library Series
Concord Free Public Library
129 Main St
Concord, MA

Saturday, December 20, 10:30 am
Wake up and Smell the Poetry
Ted Reinstein, Dan Zampino and Lloyd Thayer
HCAM Studios, 77 Main Street
Hopkinton, MA

Sunday, December 21, 2- 4 pm
Sandra Lim and Jennifer Tseng
Brookline Public Library, Main Branch
361 Washington St.
Brookline Village
Brookline, MA

An Early Back to School for Poets in Boston: Poetry World Cup in Cambridge, Other Readings in Massachusetts

This summer I took a break from some of the work of poetry (yes, anything can become work if you do it too much). My comrade-in-words Daniel Bouchard, who runs a mailing list of readings in the Boston area, also took some time off.

Here’s the clarion call of the end of summer, starting TOMORROW, August 8, with a rather breath-taking lineup of poets at the Boston Poetry World Cup in Cambridge. You can see Mr. Bouchard himself reading at 7:32 pm. If you miss him, try for Janaka Stucky at 8:06pm. Or on Saturday, catch long-time poet and workshop leader Tom Daley at 1:32pm.

I feel like a bad feminist, not being able to call out any of the many fine female poets on the line-up. Please remedy my ignorance in the comments.

I’ll be up at Singing Beach this Saturday with a bunch of witches, so I’ll miss out on all the literary fun. Sunday, I’ll be looking at real estate listings and weeping softly with my partner. All is not lost, though. Many other readings are scheduled for August, including Black Ocean Press‘s BASH series at Brookline Booksmith for next Friday, August 15. Other events range from Plymouth to Northampton. Scroll down or click this link to jump past the marathon lineup.


Boston Poetry World Cup in Inman Square, Cambridge (Fri-Sun August 8-10)
Friday August 8th at the Lilly Pad, Cambridge Street in the heart of Inman Square, just down from 1369 Coffee House.
Saturday and Sunday August 9-10 Outpost 186 (former site of New Words Bookstore)
Free and Open to the Public (but we will pass the hat)
Millions of poets read for 8 minutes and then we go to penalty kicks

FRIDAY Lilly Pad

7:00 Jim Dunn
7:08 January O’Neil
7:16 Jonathan Papas
7:24 Stefania Heim
7:32 Daniel Bouchard
7:40 Jordan Davis
7:58 Andrew K. Peterson
8:06 Janaka Stucky
8:14 Prageeta Sharma
8:22 Christina Davis
8:30 Whit Griffin
8:38 Patrick Herron
9:02 Chloe Roberts
9:10 Martha McCullough
9:18 Michael Peters
9:26 J D Scrimgeour
9:34 Natalia Raha
9:42 Joshua Savory

SATURDAY Outpost 186

12:30 Jim Behrle
12:38 Kevin McClellan
12:46 Suzannah Gardner
12:54 Suzanne Mercury
1:00 Bridget Madden
1:08 Laryssa Wirstiuk
1:16 Chris Rziglaniski
1:24 Jessica Bozek
1:32 Tom Daley
1:40 Karen Locascio
1:56 Alyssa Mazzerella
2:06 Betsy Gomez
2:14 Kythe Heller
2:22 Ewa Chrusciel
2:30 Christine Hamm
2:38 Matt Wedlock
2:54 Thera Webb
3:02 Lewis Feuer
3:10 Steve Subrizi
3:18 Allen Bramhall
3:26 Amy Lawless
3:34 Molly McGuire
3:50 Hassan Sakar
3:58 Boyd Nielson
4:06 Krysten Hill
4:14 Mick Carr
4:22 Amelia Bentley
4:30 Chuck Stebleton
4:56 Mitch Manning
5:04 Dan Wuenshel
5:12 Elizabeth Tobin
5:20 Lloyd Schwartz
5:28 Martha Collins
5:36 Tanya Larkin


7:00 Kimberly Lyons
7:08 Audrey Mardavich
7:16 Ben Mazer
7:24 Paige Taggert
7:32 Mairead Byrne
7:40 Mark Lamorueux
7:48 Lori Lubeski
8:06 Brendan Lorber
8:14 Maria Damon
8:22 Princess Chan
8:30 Cheryl Clark Vermuelen
8:38 Jess Mynes
8:46 G.L. Ford
8:54 Drew Boston
9:10 Mitch Highfill<
9:18 Jed Shahar
9:26 Ryan DiPetta
9:34 Michael Gottlieb
9:42 Guillermo Parra
9:50 Christina Strong
9:58 Douglas Piccinnini
10:14 Filip Marinovich
10:22 Douglas Rothschild

SUNDAY Outpost 186

1:00 Christopher Rizzo
1:08 Margo Lockwood
1:16 Chris Siteman
1:24 Don Wellman
1:32 Amish Trivedi
1:40 Kate Wisel
1:56 Gilmore Tamny
2:06 Patrick Doud
2:14 Joel Sloman
2:22 Nathaniel Hunt
2:30 Leopoldine Core
2:38 Fred Marchant
2:54 John Mulrooney
3:02 Joe Torra
3:10 Gerrit Lansing
3:18 Carol Weston
3:26 Michael Franco
3:34 Joel Sloman
3:50 Ryan Gallagher
3:58 Trace Peterson
4:06 Dan Pritchard
4:14 Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno
4:22 Ruth Lepson
4:30 Chris Schlegel

Non-marathon readings:

Sunday, August 10, 3 – 4:30 pm
Rhina P. Espaillat, Bill Plante, Alfred Nicol, Skye Wentworth, Edith Maxwell, Harris Gardner and Chris Bryant
read from the poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier
Victorian garden of the Whittier Home Museum
86 Friend Street
Amesbury MA

Sunday, August 10, 3 pm
Diana Der-Hovanessian, Fred Marchant, and Afaa Michael Weaver
New England Poetry Club
Longfellow National Historic Site
East Lawn, 105 Brattle St.
Cambridge MA

Friday, August 15, 7 pm
Donald Dunbar, Rachel Springer Dunbar, and Andrew Morgan
BASH Reading Series
Brookline Booksmith
Harvard and Beacon Streets
Coolidge Corner
Brookline MA

Saturday, August 16, 3:30 pm
Joyce Rain Anderson and Martin Willits, Jr.
The Brockton Poetry Series
Fuller Craft Museum
455 Oak Street
Brockton MA

Wednesday August 27, 7:30 pm
Joan Houlihan, Daniel Tobin, Doug Holder and Fred Marchant
Hastings Room Reading
One-Year Anniversary Seamus Heaney Memorial Reading
First Church Congregationalist
11 Garden Street
Harvard Square
Cambridge MA

Tuesday, September 9, 7 pm
Jessica Fjeld, Josh Cook, and Lauren McCormack
U35 Reading
The Marliave
10 Bosworth Street
Boston MA

Friday, September 12, 7 pm
Noah Eli Gordon, Sommer Browning, and Kendra DeColo
BASH Reading Series
Brookline Booksmith
Harvard and Beacon Streets
Coolidge Corner
Brookline MA

Friday, September 12, 7 pm
Marjorie Perloff, Adam Kirsch, and Philip Nikolayev
Grolier Poetry Book Shop
6 Plympton Street
Cambridge MA

Sunday, September 14, 1 pm
Barbara S. Carlson, Vincent Dorio, Chuck Harper, Susan Mahan, Tim Reed, and Elizabeth Quinlan
9th Annual Poetry Showcase
In Conjunction with the
Annual Plymouth Juried Art Show
The Plymouth Center for the Arts
11 North St. Downtown Plymouth off Rt 3A
Plymouth MA

Tuesday, September 16, 7:30 pm
Lucie Brock-Broido
Weinstein Auditorium,
Wright Hall
Smith College, Northampton MA

Wednesday, September 17, 7 pm
Matthea Harvey, Fanny Howe, and Katie Ford
Graywolf Poetry Night
Brookline Booksmith
Harvard and Beacon Streets
Coolidge Corner
Brookline MA

Sunday, September 21, 6 pm
Carol Dine
Brookline Booksmith
Harvard and Beacon Streets
Coolidge Corner
Brookline MA

Friday, September 26, 7 pm
Umit Singh Dhuga, Ben Mazer, and Todd Swift
Grolier Poetry Book Shop
6 Plympton Street
Cambridge MA