O flames that glowed! O hearts that yearned!
The Massachusetts Poetry Festival is nigh upon us! It’s a schedule of events, workshops, performances, and readings, centered around a three-day (April 20-22, 2012) festival in Salem, MA. As Mass Poetry Fest Executive Director January Gill O’Neil put it in a recent blog post, “More than 85 sessions: poetry, panels, slams, music, visual arts, drama, and more. It’s Ekphrastic Fantastic! It’s Improbable! … I’m telling it all but I’m telling it slant. Can I get an iamb?”
Most iambically! Some ArtSake picks from the truly exceptional glowings and yearnings:
- Common Threads, a downloadable reading/discussion program featuring poets and poetry with ties to Massachusetts (including The Fire of Drift-Wood by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, quoted above). Don’t miss the Common Threads reading event led by Lloyd Schwartz (Sat, Apr 21, 1:30 PM).
- Improbable Places Poetry Tour, site-specific installation embedding poems in unexpected places: drink coaster, menu, living room, store displays…
- The Encyclopedia Show (Fri, Apr 20, 4 PM), a multi-genre poetic performance
- Hoop Suite (Sat, Apr 21, 12 PM), a performance created by Anna Myer (MCC Choreography Finalist ’11) combining dance, music, & poetry
- How to Be a Good Public Reader of Your Own Poetry (Sat, Apr 21, 12:15 PM), workshop by Patrick Donnelly (Poetry Fellow ’08)
- The State of Poetry (Sat, Apr 21, 4 PM), Richard Hoffman (Fiction/Creative Nonfiction Fellow ’02), Susan Rich, Joseph O. Legaspi, Jennifer Jean, & Charles Coe (Poetry Fellow ’96) discuss publishing, technology, craft, and social issues in poetry
- Bad Poetry Contest (Sun, Apr 22, 1 PM), back by popular demand, Steve Almond (Fiction/Creative Nonfiction Fellow ’08) comes to praise bad poetry, not bury it
- More events by past MCC awardees: Regie Gibson, DM Gordon, Michael Hoerman, Frannie Lindsay, Peter Jay Shippy, J.D. Scrimgeour, and Andi Werblin
The headline events will feature Robert Pinsky, Maggie Dietz, and Major Jackson (Fri); Joy Harjo, Nikky Finney, Wesley McNair, and Sherwin Bitsui (Sat); and Martha Collins, Frank Bidart and Stephen Dunn (Sun).
Image: Mass Poetry Fest 2012 poster, designed by Randi Giles.