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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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To purchase your attendance button, read articles on our headliners, get tips for where to stay in Salem, and more, visit our website at www.masspoetry.org/festival2015.

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Student Day of Poetry Track (Students Only) [clear filter]
Friday, May 1
 

8:30am

Get Free, Poet!: Workshop with Anthony Febo *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

At times, the hardest thing about writing is starting. In this workshop, we will explore different methods of allowing yourself to get free within your own work. Using various writing prompts and theatre exercises, you will be pushed to use all the artistic abilities that you possess.

Speakers
avatar for Anthony Febo

Anthony Febo

Anthony Febo is a poet, actor, youth worker, lover and friend. He founded Mill City Slam, the adult slam poetry scene, and M.O.M.S. the Middlesex/UMass Lowell college slam poetry scene in 2010. Along side his fellow partners in rhyme, in 2009 he founded FreeVerse!, a youth organization... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 8:30am - 9:30am
Hawthorne Pickman Room

8:30am

Harlym 1two5 Reading and Q&A *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

Come see Harlym 1two5 perform his poetry! After he performs, you'll have the chance to ask him questions. 

Harlym 1two5 says:
Find the light under the stairs, 
where we boogie til the death of night;
You will find me there,
And then ask me "how does art become vocabulary?" 

Speakers
avatar for Harlym 1two5 (Jamele Adams)

Harlym 1two5 (Jamele Adams)

Harlym 1two5, aka Jamele Adams, is a poetic force to be reckoned with and the Dean of Students at Brandeis University. In his words: "Poetry climbs the limbs of wind soaked dream tops And sherlocked gumdrops missing teeth. Shoot the city And suffocate the criminal. Strangle the miscarriage... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 8:30am - 9:30am
Salem Five Community Room

8:30am

Poetry Sampler *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

For a wide range of voice and style, come to this session to see many poets sharing the stage, each reading one poem. The line-up includes poets from our U35 Reading Series and our SDOP roster.

Speakers
avatar for Ruth Ballard

Ruth Ballard

A junior from Littleton High School, Ruth Ballard is runner up for the 2015 Helen Creeley Student Poetry Prize. She has been writing and performing spoken word for three years through GrubStreet's Young Adult Writer's Program. Ruth was a finalist in the 2013 Louder Than a Bomb Massachusetts... Read More →
avatar for Noah Burton

Noah Burton

Noah Burton was born in Kansas City, Kansas and grew up in Virginia. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he studied philosophy and is currently attending the University of New Hampshire's MFA program and teaching at the university. His poems have appeared in Burningword, The... Read More →
avatar for William Dowd

William Dowd

Will Dowd is a writer currently living and working in Braintree, Massachusetts. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University, where he was a national Jacob K. Javits Fellow in poetry. He also received an MS from MIT. His poems have appeared in The Rialto, Barrow... 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 Heather Hughes

Heather Hughes

Heather Hughes hangs her heart in her native Miami and her current town of Somerville. Her poems have recently appeared in The Adroit Journal, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Prelude, Sidereal Magazine, and others; and her reviews have featured in venues such as The Rumpus. She is a... Read More →
avatar for Frances Kimpel

Frances Kimpel

Frances Kimpel is a performance and creative artist currently residing in Waltham, Massachusetts. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, she maintains a marked love the region's characterizing rain, cold seas, and pervasive evergreen. Frances completed her BA at Brandeis University... Read More →
avatar for Hannah Larrabee

Hannah Larrabee

Hannah Larrabee is the author Murmuration (2017 Robin Becker Series for LGBTQ writers, Seven Kitchens Press), Sufjan (FLP 2017) and Virgo. She was selected by NASA to write poems in celebration of the James Webb Space Telescope, allowing her to see the JWST in person before it launches... Read More →
avatar for Matt Parker

Matt Parker

Matt Parker has been an avid fan of poetry since his childhood in the 1980's, and used it as a life saver during his tumultuous adolescence of the 1990's. Matt began to share his poetry and encourage others to use it as a coping tool in his career field as a youth development professional... Read More →
avatar for Curtis Perdue

Curtis Perdue

Curtis Perdue is the author of two chapbooks: We're Happy Our Original Dance (Zoo Cake Press, 2014) and You Will Island (H_NGM_N, 2012). He edits the online journal of poetry and art www.interrupture.com, teaches 7th grade English in East Boston, and lives in Swampscott, MA... Read More →
avatar for Amanda Grace Shu

Amanda Grace Shu

Amanda Grace Shu has been writing stories since the age of four--or so her mother claims. She focuses mainly on writing fantasy, science fiction, and, of course, poetry, but will occasionally poke her head out of the clouds and participate in what is known as "real life." She is fascinated... Read More →
avatar for Denise Warren

Denise Warren

Denise Warren lives, writes, and works in the suburbs of Boston. By day she is a typo vigilante, working as a copy editor at an ad agency. When she was interviewed for the job, she was asked whether she watched the show Mad Men. She said no but they gave her the job anyway. She is... Read More →
avatar for Annie Won

Annie Won

Annie Won is a poet, yoga teacher, and medicinal chemist who resides in Somerville, MA. She is a Kundiman Fellow and a Juniper Writing Institute scholarship recipient. Her chapbook with Brenda Iijima, Once Upon a Building Block, recently published with Horse Less Press (2014) and... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 8:30am - 9:30am
Old Town Hall, 2nd floor

8:30am

Words that Slay the Monsters--How to Write Through Your Fear: Workshop with Krysten Hill *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

Warrior poet Audre Lorde declares, “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” Here, Lorde speaks to how writers can make poetry a tool that pushes through fear in order to create powerful poems that are honest visions of the world. This workshop will explore how to write poems that risk and have the power to make a difference. We will look at examples of poems that tackle difficult subjects, and discuss how writers push through the taboo and create poems with intention and bravery. Students will also have an opportunity to craft and share their own manifestos that break through their fears in order to speak out and make a difference. In this workshop, students will explore how writers have the authority to address complicated settings and feelings in order to craft testaments to our strength and our devotion to honest visions of the world.


Speakers
avatar for Krysten Hill

Krysten Hill

Krysten Hill is an educator, writer,and performer who has showcased her poetry on stage at the Boston BookFestival, Merrimack College, The Massachusetts Poetry Festival, and manyothers. She received her MFA in poetry from UMass Boston where she currentlyteaches. Her work can be found... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 8:30am - 9:30am
Hawthorne Sophia Room

8:30am

Writing From Memory: Workshop with Tara Skurtu *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

Personal memory is a trust fund of images, stories, and senses. And, in a way, it functions very much like a poem—its logic isn't chronological, it makes connections between seemingly unrelated moments, and it's always in a state of movement. In this workshop, we'll use prompts that allow us to travel into our memories and write unpredictable, spontaneous, and surprising poetry.

Speakers
avatar for Tara Skurtu

Tara Skurtu

Poet, Teacher, Translator, Boston University Prison Education Program
Tara Skurtu, originally from South Florida, is a poet and translator living in Boston. She is the recipient of a 2015-16 Fulbright, a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, and two Academy of American Poets prizes. Tara teaches incarcerated college students through Boston University's Prison... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 8:30am - 9:30am
Hawthorne Essex Room

9:40am

Beast Mode: Be a Beast *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

By the time we are done, we would have moved the world a little bit and re-imagined the lines by which poetry is defined. Writing is the spark that ignites flames of thought; thus your poetry leaves a trail of blue flames-the core of any fire. A kaleidoscope of creativity unleashed and unveiled "write" from you. Let us begin.

Speakers
avatar for Harlym 1two5 (Jamele Adams)

Harlym 1two5 (Jamele Adams)

Harlym 1two5, aka Jamele Adams, is a poetic force to be reckoned with and the Dean of Students at Brandeis University. In his words: "Poetry climbs the limbs of wind soaked dream tops And sherlocked gumdrops missing teeth. Shoot the city And suffocate the criminal. Strangle the miscarriage... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 9:40am - 10:40am
Hawthorne Essex Room

9:40am

Krysten Hill Reading and Q&A *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

Come see poetic powerhouse Krysten Hill share her poetry. After, you'll have time to ask her questions.

She says:

I write poems that explore black female identity through narrative. I like to use the stories, history, and conversations that I find. I take notes from poets like Patricia Smith, Jan Beatty, and Audre Lorde who are invested in the honesty of experience. These writers believe in ending the silence and mistranslation of their experiences and inserting their own honest voices into their narratives. Many poems start from what I am reluctant to talk about at first.

Feel free to ask me about: 

  • What you want to know about developing as an artist
  • How to find the subject matter that works for you
  • The challenges of being an artist
  • Artists who have inspired me and why it is important to find your inspiration
  • The importance of community for an artist
  • The importance of being an observer and student of the world
  • What I’m working on at this moment
 

Speakers
avatar for Krysten Hill

Krysten Hill

Krysten Hill is an educator, writer,and performer who has showcased her poetry on stage at the Boston BookFestival, Merrimack College, The Massachusetts Poetry Festival, and manyothers. She received her MFA in poetry from UMass Boston where she currentlyteaches. Her work can be found... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 9:40am - 10:40am
Salem Five Community Room

9:40am

Reading and Open Mic: Anthony Febo, José Olivarez, Rachel Wiley *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

Come have your socks knocked off by Anthony Febo, José Olivarez, and Rachel Wiley! Then wow the crowd with a poem of your own.

Speakers
avatar for Anthony Febo

Anthony Febo

Anthony Febo is a poet, actor, youth worker, lover and friend. He founded Mill City Slam, the adult slam poetry scene, and M.O.M.S. the Middlesex/UMass Lowell college slam poetry scene in 2010. Along side his fellow partners in rhyme, in 2009 he founded FreeVerse!, a youth organization... Read More →
avatar for José Olivarez

José Olivarez

José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. Originally from Calumet City, IL, he lives in the Bronx. He is a graduate of Harvard University, the Poet-Linc Manager for Lincoln Center Education, and he is an editor at Painted Bride Quarterly. He has performed and taught at high... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Wiley

Rachel Wiley

Rachel Wiley is known for her honest, witty, and sometimes sassy poetry that touches body image, romance, and feminism. From Columbus, Ohio, she attended the Theatre Studies program at Capital University. She tours colleges and slam venues nationwide. Her work has been featured by... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 9:40am - 10:40am
Old Town Hall, 2nd floor

9:40am

Social Justice, Tragedy, and the Poet as Witness: Workshop with Karen Sharpe *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

Facebook. Snapchat. Twitter. Instagram. Personal blogs. News blogs. Food blogs. Live streaming. Youtube. Cable. Email. What is the role of the poet in today’s smorgasboard of media and information where the injustices and wrongdoings of humanity are often overshadowed by the endless stream of celebrity and personal news? Can we – and should we -- tune out the distractions and bear witness to our personal and societal aggressions and tragedies for the greater good? This workshop will begin with a discussion on the role of the poet as witness. Sample poems will be shared and discussed and students will write from a selection of related prompts.

Speakers

Friday May 1, 2015 9:40am - 10:40am
Hawthorne Pickman Room

9:40am

Tara Skurtu Reading and Q&A *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

Come see Tara Skurtu share her poetry. You'll also have the chance to ask her questions!

A note from Tara:
Every time I sit down to write a poem, I think, what the heck do I know about writing a poem? I never know exactly what I'm doing or where each poem will end up, but there's some part of me that trusts myself to get there. This unknowing part of the writing process, to me, is where the poetry happens. Most of my poems derive from experience, photographs, and memories. Lately, after spending time abroad, I find myself writing about the limits of language, love, and distance. In my reading, you'll hear an assortment of poems from my manuscript, The Amoeba Game. We can discuss anything about the writing process you'd like. Seriously, ask me anything--about writing and revision, poems in response to social justice issues, translation, how traveling changed my poetry, how to get unstuck when you're feeling writer's block. I look forward to reading poems and meeting all of you! 

Speakers
avatar for Tara Skurtu

Tara Skurtu

Poet, Teacher, Translator, Boston University Prison Education Program
Tara Skurtu, originally from South Florida, is a poet and translator living in Boston. She is the recipient of a 2015-16 Fulbright, a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, and two Academy of American Poets prizes. Tara teaches incarcerated college students through Boston University's Prison... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 9:40am - 10:40am
Hawthorne Sophia Room

10:50am

Cartoons Have Feelings, Too: Workshop with José Olivarez *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

Sometimes the best way to write about ourselves is to put on a mask. It might be hard to talk about how we experience love, but thinking about how a turtle experiences love might be easier. What does a flamingo have to say about gender roles? What does Bugs Bunny think about Hip Hop? In this workshop we will read persona poems from the perspective of a lobster, a mosquito, and the Road-Runner. Persona poems are poems written in the voice of someone or something else. We will write our own persona poems to play with the voice of someone else and learn more about ourselves in the process.

Speakers
avatar for José Olivarez

José Olivarez

José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. Originally from Calumet City, IL, he lives in the Bronx. He is a graduate of Harvard University, the Poet-Linc Manager for Lincoln Center Education, and he is an editor at Painted Bride Quarterly. He has performed and taught at high... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 10:50am - 11:50am
Hawthorne Essex Room

10:50am

Freewriting Fun Time: Workshop with Jill McDonough *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

Freewriting is an old trick: set a timer, write whatever comes into your head, and sift through it for gold. This workshop will be built around freewriting—excavations of your subconscious and conscious thoughts—to spark and develop detailed assignments for longer, more polished work. We will work together to construct these assignments, to help you get at what you want to write, your style, your voice, and the form that best expresses those. Individualized assignments will help you combine and expand your freewrites into poems you can be proud of.

Speakers
avatar for Jill McDonough

Jill McDonough

Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Three-time Pushcart prize winner Jill McDonough is the recipient of Lannan, NEA, Cullman Center, and Stegner fellowships. Her most recent book is Reaper (Alice James, 2017); Here All Night, her fifth collection, is forthcoming from Alice James Books. She teaches in the MFA program... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 10:50am - 11:50am
Hawthorne Pickman Room

10:50am

Lloyd Schwartz's Master Class in Reading Your Own Work Aloud *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

In the literary world today, writers often reach a wider audience through readings than through publication. Yet most writers are not trained to read their works aloud. Even well-known writers may read with too little—or too much—expression. In this master class/workshop, participants discuss what makes a good reading and explore the wide range of successful reading styles. Participants present a poem for feedback from the group, under the guidance of the instructor, and then work toward a livelier, more effective presentation, which often includes a deeper understanding of the work being read.

Speakers
avatar for Lloyd Schwartz

Lloyd Schwartz

Frederick S. Troy Professor of English, University of Massachusetts Boston
Lloyd Schwartz is Frederick S. Troy Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston and teaches in the MFA program. He is a commentator on music and the arts for National Public Radio's Fresh Air, Senior Editor of Classical Music for New York Arts, and Contributing... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 10:50am - 11:50am
Salem Five Community Room

10:50am

Rachel Wiley Reading and Q&A *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

Come see Rachel Wiley share her powerful poetry. Then you'll be able to ask her questions. 

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Wiley

Rachel Wiley

Rachel Wiley is known for her honest, witty, and sometimes sassy poetry that touches body image, romance, and feminism. From Columbus, Ohio, she attended the Theatre Studies program at Capital University. She tours colleges and slam venues nationwide. Her work has been featured by... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 10:50am - 11:50am
Hawthorne Sophia Room

10:50am

Reading and Open Mic: Harlym 1two5, Krysten Hill, Tara Skurtu *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

Harlym 1two5, Krysten Hill, and Tara Skurtu will blow your mind in this group reading. Then you'll have the opportunity to share one of your poems in the open mic!

Speakers
avatar for Harlym 1two5 (Jamele Adams)

Harlym 1two5 (Jamele Adams)

Harlym 1two5, aka Jamele Adams, is a poetic force to be reckoned with and the Dean of Students at Brandeis University. In his words: "Poetry climbs the limbs of wind soaked dream tops And sherlocked gumdrops missing teeth. Shoot the city And suffocate the criminal. Strangle the miscarriage... Read More →
avatar for Krysten Hill

Krysten Hill

Krysten Hill is an educator, writer,and performer who has showcased her poetry on stage at the Boston BookFestival, Merrimack College, The Massachusetts Poetry Festival, and manyothers. She received her MFA in poetry from UMass Boston where she currentlyteaches. Her work can be found... Read More →
avatar for Tara Skurtu

Tara Skurtu

Poet, Teacher, Translator, Boston University Prison Education Program
Tara Skurtu, originally from South Florida, is a poet and translator living in Boston. She is the recipient of a 2015-16 Fulbright, a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, and two Academy of American Poets prizes. Tara teaches incarcerated college students through Boston University's Prison... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 10:50am - 11:50am
Old Town Hall, 2nd floor

12:00pm

José Olivarez Reading and Q&A *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

Come see José Olivarez read his poetry! You'll also have time to ask him questions. 

José says:
Ask me about Hip Hop and how it affects my writing. Ask me about why I like writing love poems. Ask me about basketball, my favorite rappers, and the hardest part of writing poetry. Ask me about joy. Ask me about sadness. Ask me about poetry slam. Ask me about writing books. Ask me anything! 

Speakers
avatar for José Olivarez

José Olivarez

José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. Originally from Calumet City, IL, he lives in the Bronx. He is a graduate of Harvard University, the Poet-Linc Manager for Lincoln Center Education, and he is an editor at Painted Bride Quarterly. He has performed and taught at high... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Salem Five Community Room

12:00pm

Reading: Jill McDonough, Lloyd Schwartz & Their UMass Boston MFA Students *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

Jill McDonough and Lloyd Schwartz will read with a handful of students from the MFA program at Umass Boston, where they both teach.

Speakers
LF

Lewis Feuer

Lewis Feuer is a MFA candidate at UMass Boston. His essay [Listening] was recently published by Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room as part of their Catalyst series. His work has also appeared in or is forthcoming from NO INFINITE a Journal of Art, Poetry & Protest. He teachings... Read More →
JJ

Joshua Jones

Joshua Jones, originally from the Shenandoah Valley, is a candidate for the MFA in creative writing at UMass Boston. He has poems published in or forthcoming from Fourteen Hills, Coldnoon: Travel Poetics, and The Mayo Review. He lives in Dorchester with his wonderfully nerdy wife... Read More →
avatar for Jill McDonough

Jill McDonough

Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Three-time Pushcart prize winner Jill McDonough is the recipient of Lannan, NEA, Cullman Center, and Stegner fellowships. Her most recent book is Reaper (Alice James, 2017); Here All Night, her fifth collection, is forthcoming from Alice James Books. She teaches in the MFA program... Read More →
avatar for Lloyd Schwartz

Lloyd Schwartz

Frederick S. Troy Professor of English, University of Massachusetts Boston
Lloyd Schwartz is Frederick S. Troy Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston and teaches in the MFA program. He is a commentator on music and the arts for National Public Radio's Fresh Air, Senior Editor of Classical Music for New York Arts, and Contributing... Read More →
avatar for Lori Zimmermann

Lori Zimmermann

Lori Zimmermann is an MFA candidate in poetry at UMass Boston. She writes poems about apocalypses and the telegraph. She is also the Tumblr Editor for small publisher/guerrilla art project Broadsided Press. When she is not clacking away at her typewriter or laptop, she enjoys spinsterly... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Old Town Hall, 2nd floor

12:00pm

Silly Image, Serious Thought: A Comedy Club in the Poetic Temple: A Workshop with Noah Burton *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

Sometimes sitting on a rock in silence doesn't bring enlightenment—but throwing a mud pie does. Go figure! In this workshop you'll see how being silly and playful with images can lead you to deeply personal and universal discoveries that, in turn, complete a poem. With a clown car as your transport, who knows, maybe you'll see the universe or travel the highways of your conciousness? And maybe we'll join you too.

Speakers
avatar for Noah Burton

Noah Burton

Noah Burton was born in Kansas City, Kansas and grew up in Virginia. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he studied philosophy and is currently attending the University of New Hampshire's MFA program and teaching at the university. His poems have appeared in Burningword, The... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Hawthorne Pickman Room

12:00pm

Write it Beautiful: Workshop with Rachel Wiley *Student Track*
Limited Capacity seats available

In this workshop, we will consider and cultivate the language we use to write a love letter to something long lost.

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Wiley

Rachel Wiley

Rachel Wiley is known for her honest, witty, and sometimes sassy poetry that touches body image, romance, and feminism. From Columbus, Ohio, she attended the Theatre Studies program at Capital University. She tours colleges and slam venues nationwide. Her work has been featured by... Read More →


Friday May 1, 2015 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Hawthorne Essex Room