Welcome to the schedule of the 2015 Massachusetts Poetry Festival, happening May 1-3 in the beautiful and historic town of Salem! 

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Presentation [clear filter]
Saturday, May 2

11:00am EDT

Gabriela Mistral- In Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of her Nobel Prize for Literature
Limited Capacity seats available

Gabriela Mistral received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1945. To this day she has been the only woman from Latin America to have received it. 2015 will commemorate the 70th anniversary of Mistral’s Nobel. In this panel we hope to address her legacy as a poet and human rights activist and explore why she continues to be unknown in many parts of Latin America and the United States today.


Marjorie Agosin

MARJORIE AGOSIN is a Chilean-born Americanwriter. She is a prolific author: her published books,including those she has written as well as thoseshe has edited, number over eighty. Her two mostrecent books are both poetry collections, The Lightof Desire / La Luz del Deseo, translated... Read More →

Doris Atkinson

In 2006 South Hadley, MA, resident, Doris Atkinson, became the literary executor for the estate of Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American Nobel Laureate in literature. Under her care over 17,000 documents including original manuscripts and hundreds of unpublished poems were transferred... Read More →

Veronica Darer

Verónica Darer, Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer in Spanish and Education at Wellesley College.  She specializes in Spanish language and culture courses and teaches classes on diversity in education and classroom interaction.  She is co-author of a Spanish textbook, Reflejos.  She... Read More →

avatar for Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren

Associate Professor, Cambridge College

Saturday May 2, 2015 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
Hawthorne Sophia Room

11:00am EDT

The Real Dirt: poetry of food, garden and farm
Limited Capacity seats available

We live in a time of constant movement, interconnectedness,urban excitement, of uprootedness. While there are many benefits to living in the so-called digital age, it is hard not to feel the loss of a psychic life that had a much deeper root system, planted in the local, furnished with shared cultural values. Poetry that grows out of the earth and has a sense of connectedness to "a" piece of ground, to "that" creek, to "the" maple on the knoll, can help to bring together these two worlds.
We will explore the importance of poetry rooted in soil, garden, and farm through discussion illustrated with our own poems and those of others.

avatar for Abbot Cutler

Abbot Cutler

member, Slate Roof Press
Abbot Cutler lives at the end of a dirt road in Ashfield, MA with his wife Sarah Holbrook who is a photographer. He has three collections of poems from three different presses. His poems have appeared in a number of magazines including Orion Magazine, Ploughshares, and Blue Sofa Review... Read More →
avatar for Janet MacFadyen

Janet MacFadyen

Managing Editor, Slate Roof Press
Janet is author of four works, most recently Waiting to Be Born (Dos Madres Press 2017) and In the Provincelands (Slate Roof Press 2012). Her poetry has been nominated the Forward Prize (UK), and twice for a Pushcart. It has appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, The Southern Poetry Review... Read More →
avatar for Cindy Snow

Cindy Snow

member, Slate Roof Press
Cindy Snow’s writing has appeared in the Massachusetts Review, Peace Review, Worcester Review, and elsewhere. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart, and she is the recipient of writing residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Cill Rialaig. Slate Roof Press will publish... Read More →

avatar for Abbot Cutler

Abbot Cutler

member, Slate Roof Press
Abbot Cutler lives at the end of a dirt road in Ashfield, MA with his wife Sarah Holbrook who is a photographer. He has three collections of poems from three different presses. His poems have appeared in a number of magazines including Orion Magazine, Ploughshares, and Blue Sofa Review... Read More →

Saturday May 2, 2015 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
Old Town Hall, 2nd floor

11:00am EDT

Poetry Carnival
Come one, come all to a carnival of poets! Sideshow attractions speak their stories, poetry themed games can be won, and each tent offers a new thrill. You, the illustrious audience, can meet the Ringmaster, marvel at the aerialist, and wander as you will through this immersive performance installation. Poets include Krysten Hill, Mariya Deykute, and Sam Cha. Music, surprise, characters, costumes, and poems await you at this once-in-a-lifetime event put together by The Theatre of Words and Music.

avatar for Sam Cha

Sam Cha

Sam Cha was born in Korea. He has an MFA from UMass Boston. He is the author of The Yellow Book (Pank, 2020) and the chapbook American Carnage (Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs, 2018). Other work has appeared in apt, Assay, Best New Poets, and Boston Review. He lives with his family in... Read More →
avatar for Mariya Deykute

Mariya Deykute

co-founder, Boston Poetry & Jazz Salon
I am a Russian-born poet, writer, teacher & performing artist. I have taught courses to the homeless, undergraduates, prison inmates, elementary school kids, high school students & seniors throughout Massachusetts. I've performed my work at the Somerville Center for the Arts, the... Read More →
avatar for Joseph Gould

Joseph Gould

Joey Gould is a tutor, poet, & deckbuilder who loves creating improv poetry & walking through Audubon sanctuaries. He has helped facilitate four poetry festivals & was only picked up by the police once.
avatar for Krysten Hill

Krysten Hill

Krysten Hill is the author of How Her Spirit Got Out (Aforementioned Productions, 2016), which received the 2017 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize. She received her MFA from UMass Boston, where she currently teaches.
avatar for Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy is an aerialist, actor, and dancer with a BFA in Theatre performance from Salem State University who performs in the Salem and Boston areas. He has been seen in a number of theatrical productions over the past few years, most notably as Puck in "A Midsummer Night's Dream... Read More →

avatar for Shari Caplan

Shari Caplan

Shari Caplan is the author of “Advice from a Siren” (Dancing Girl Press, 2016). Her work appears in Zoetic Press, Drunk Monkeys, and Deluge and is forthcoming from Blue Lyra Review and The Rhylsing Anthology, a publication of Rhylsing Award nominees. A graduate of Lesley University’s... Read More →

Saturday May 2, 2015 11:00am - 2:00pm EDT
Salem Common N Washington Square Salem, MA 01970
Sunday, May 3

11:30am EDT

Heartbreak in the Work of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath
Limited Capacity seats available

New work on the Sexton and Plath archives reveal how much heartbreak played a part in the work, as well as the lives, of these gifted poets. I’ll be sharing some of this new research. Then I’ll look closely at the poetry of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath and talk about how these remarkable poets transformed heartbreak into art. Author of “With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Plath, Sexton, Bishop, Kunitz and Others,” I knew both Sexton and Plath personally, saw drafts of their poems as they were writing them, and was able to observe the process by which they shaped their pain into art. Using handouts, I will talk about some of the factors that might shape art, in this case poetry.

avatar for Kathleen Spivack

Kathleen Spivack

Kathleen Spivack is the author of "Unspeakable Things," published by A.Knopf, 2016. Her last book was "With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz and Others" (University Press of New England, 2012.) She’s published eight other... Read More →

Sunday May 3, 2015 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
PEM Morse Auditorium