Get Thee to Massachusetts Poetry Fest

MA Poetry Festival

The poetry will be flying in Salem, Massachusetts, May 12, 13, and 14 at the 2011 Massachusetts Poetry Festival. Sadly, Pokey will probably not be attending as her girl turns 13 Friday the 13th and she will be all about that celebration.

But I did go last time, and loved the homegrown, democratic feel, the great assortment of poets and poetry, and the fabulous small press fair. You can see the full festival schedule here, and a clip of featured poet (and my former teacher!) Mark Doty. You should go!

Here be the details, via the MAPOFest PR folks:

The 2011 Massachusetts Poetry Festival, a three-day poetry extravaganza, is taking over Salem, Massachusetts the weekend of May 12th, 13th, and 14th. Festival programming includes more than 70 events: readings, workshops, panel discussions, talks, musical performances, and a small press fair with over fifty presenters. This year we will have 100 plus participating poets, artists, scholars, and musicians representing the creative legacy of Massachusetts and beyond!

Highlights of the festival include a day of workshops for high school students led by esteemed poets, a showing of the award-winning film Louder Than a Bomb, a performance by the Boston Typewriter Orchestra, and a reading of favorite poems by poetry lovers of various walks of life. Headline events, taking place Friday and Saturday nights, will feature special appearances by internationally renowned poet Mark Doty, singer-songwriter Kim Richey, and slam artist Patricia Smith, as well as Enzo Surin, Brian Turner, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Jericho Brown, Elisa Gabbert, Tom Sexton, and Ravi Shankar.

You will hear everything from hip-hop to haiku, New Formalism to the new poets on the block. Celebrate Elizabeth Bishop’s 100th birthday with a talk by Bishop scholar and editor, Lloyd Schwartz. Enjoy a coffee and share conversation with book lovers at a reading of poets connected to the Boston Review. Attend a reading, to be held in the Japanese Art Gallery of the beautiful Peabody Essex Museum, by members of Boston’s Haiku Society. Participate in a workshop at the historic House of the Seven Gables. You can even travel to the festival on Saturday by riding one of our MTA sponsored Poetry Trains, departing North Station at 10:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., with area poets reading on board.

Events will take place at a variety of locations around Salem, but the festival centers around the publishers’ fair at Old Town Hall and the main stage at Salem’s Derby Square, where there will also be vendors selling delicious things to eat and drink.

Many festival happenings can be experienced for free. For others, all-festival admissions buttons can be purchased in advance or on the day of the festival: $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. You can reserve buttons in advance on our website, where you will also be able to sign up for events which require pre-registration. Extra seats for pre-registered events will be given away at the door of individual programs.

The 2011 Massachusetts Poetry Festival is hosted by MassPoetry, a non-profit founded to support the Massachusetts poetry community.

OK, Pokey did her civic duty, and now she’s getting ready for important birthdays, Mother’s Day and Pokey’s one-year anniversary—stay tuned for details! Oh, and don’t forget, April 30 is the last day to enter the Big Poetry Giveaway and win free books!

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