New Hampshire Poetry Fest

I don’t know about you, but I love small festivals. I like the intimacy and connection. You can actually TALK to people!

So I’m pleased as punch to report that I’m part of two panels at the 2018 New Hampshire Poetry Fest, together with a slew of knockout poets–check it out!


May We Carry Our Mothers Forth in Our Bellies:
Motherhood in the Arts and the Public Sphere
Amy Dryansky, Kirun Kapur, January Gill O’Neil, and Anna V. Q. Ross


Such a Nasty Woman: Poets Respond with Nasty Verse
Liz Ahl, DeMisty D. Bellinger, Julie Cyr, Amy Dryansky, Gail Hanlon, Jenna Le

Image result for new hampshire poetry fest

(Apparently there’s a covered bridge near the fest. I also love covered bridges…so win-win.)

Tesserae: Poetry of Community

One week from today!

Support organizations doing great work on behalf of immigrants and new Americans in our community and enjoy poetry from Leslie Marie Aguilar, Maria Luisa Arroyo, Tamiko Beyer, Oliver de la Paz, Kirun Kapur and Ocean Vuong.

Here’s a preview of the poetry in store for you in a special feature over at The Common.

Arts Night at Emily’s: Nasty Women Poets

Thursday, April 5
Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst, MA

Open mic sign-up, 5-6
Open Mic at 6, followed by featured readers

What better way to celebrate National Poetry Month than a reading with the Nasty Women Poets at the Dickinson Museum?
Bring a nasty poem to share for the open mic!

This Arts Night will feature readers from NASTY WOMEN POETS: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse, published in 2017 by Lost Horse Press. This timely collection of poems speaks not just to the current political climate and the man who is responsible for its title, but to the stereotypes and expectations women have faced dating back to Eve, and to the long history of women resisting those limitations.

Featured readers from this anthology are:

Janet E. Aalfs, poet laureate emeritus of Northampton, MA and founder/director of Lotus Peace Arts at VWMA has recently returned from co-facilitating a performance program called Labyrinth Through Fear: A Gift Event in Langa township, Cape Town, South Africa. Her poems have been published widely, and her most recent book is Bird of a Thousand Eyes, Levellers Press.

Kathleen Aguero’s most recent book of poetry is After That (Tiger Bark Press). She teaches in the Solstice low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA.

DeMisty D. Bellinger’s writing has appeared in many places, including The Rumpus, and her chapbook, Rubbing Elbows, is available from Finishing Line Press. She teaches creative writing at Fitchburg State University.

Julie Cyr has been published by Smoky Quartz, Five 2 One Magazine, Blood and Thunder Journal and Broad River Review. Julie holds an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Amy Dryansky’s poetry collection, Grass Whistle, received the 2014 Massachusetts Book Award. Her first, How I Got Lost So Close To Home, was published by Alice James and individual poems appear in a variety of anthologies and journals. She’s the current Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA.

Gail Hanlon’s poetry has appeared in Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Cincinnati Review, CutbankOnline, Iowa Review, and Best American Poetry, among other journals and anthologies. She edited Voicing Power: Conversations with Visionary Women (Hachette), and has published SIFT, a chapbook (Finishing Line).

Rage Hezekiah is a MacDowell and Cave Canem Fellow who earned her MFA from Emerson College. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Fifth Wednesday, Tampa Review, Salamander, and West Branch, as well as other journals.
and anthologies.

April’s Coming & You Know What That Means

If you guessed spring showers you’d be right, but the correct answer is…National Poetry Month! (Because we poets need to feel special in between the fairly regular humiliations we suffer.)

Pokey has a few things lined up for April, so if you want, put them in your calendar now. If you don’t, no worries, I’ll remind you.


Nasty Women Poets

Nasty Women at Emily’s House!

Thursday, April 5, 6-7:30
Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst, MA

Yes, the Nasty Women Poets anthology is taking over the Dickinson Homestead for Arts Night Out. Open mic (sign up begins at 5:00), followed by six of us contributors to the anthology. The book has been selling out all over the place, so come get your copy, sign up, read, celebrate, get nasty!

Spring Showers at the Pru

Saturday, April 7, 12-2
Belvidere Pavilion, Prudential Center, Boston
In celebration of spring, Mass Poetry and Montserrat College of Art will install poems in the shapes of origami flowers and raindrops in the Belvidere Pavilion at the Prudential Center.

Pokey’s poem will be raining down and she’ll bepart of a reading in front of the installation, featuring the winners from the Spring Showers poetry contest – Erica Charis-Molling, Marie Tobin, Pilar Quintana, me, Marge Piercy, and Hannah Fries –
followed by an open mic.

Tesserae: Poetry of Community

Sunday, April 22, 3:30-5
The Parlor Room, Northampton MA
Pokey’s so excited about this! As part of my Poet Laureate of Noho gig, I’m organizing a reading in celebration of immigrants and new Americans. Check out the awesome lineup of readers!




30 Poems in November

UPDATE: I reached my goal of $1000!

Thank you all SO much
for helping me support this excellent organization!


We’re 9 days into 30 Poems in November fundraiser for the Center for New Americans, and thanks to a bunch of very generous 30%20poems%20logodonations and pledges I’m more than halfway to my goal of $1000.

So far I’ve written a few dogs but also have tried my hand at a form called a quatern, and some tribute poems, including one for the children who were murdered in Sandy Hook. I’ve wanted to write that poem for a long time but couldn’t find a way to it, so I’m grateful for the impetus this challenge has given me.
I hope you’ll consider making a donation to this excellent organization. you can sponsor me through November, still lots of time! See below for a link to my page.

Here’s the info, in case you missed it, first time around…

I’m once again raising funds for the Center for New Americans.

That means I’m going to write a poem a day for 30 days. You can help me support this excellent organization doing work on behalf of immigrants and new Americans by becoming a sponsor.

As Northampton’s Poet Laureate, I want to do as much as I can to shine light on the positive contributions immigrants make to our communities, and to support the organizations that help make that possible.

This year my goal is to raise $1,000 for CNA. As an incentive, for every donation of $50 or more, I’ll write a poem using a prompt you provide. For donations of $100 or more, I’ll put your name, or the name of someone else you designate, into a poem. Sounds good, right? (Keep it clean, folks!)

Here’s the link to my page: :

Thanks so much for your support! Any amount is appreciated, and please help spread the word!

Pokey & The Last Blonde

Amy Dryansky & Mary Koncel

100 Main St, Lee, MA 01238

TUESDAY, May 23rd @ 5:30pm

I’m reading with my good friend, Mary Koncel. You already know about me, so I’ll tell you about Mary. She’s the blonde. Her poems are funny and serious at the same time and she doesn’t sound like anyone else.

Mary A. Koncel has published two books of prose poetry – Closer to Day (Quale Press) and You Can Tell the Horse Anything (Tupelo Press).  A third volume of prose poems, The Last Blonde, is forthcoming from Hedgerow Press this fall. Mary was a recipient of a poetry fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in The Massachusetts ReviewBarrow Streetand The Prose Poem: An International Journal, and other magazines and anthologies. #After teaching writing for many years at Smith College, Mary changed careers and in now working in animal welfare.  She is the new program specialist with the American Wild Horse Campaign.  Mary lives in Worthington, MA.