30 Poems in November


Once again I’m raising money for the Center for New Americans, in Northampton, MA. Center for New Americans (CNA) is a community-based, non-profit adult education center that provides the under-served immigrant, refugee and migrant communities of Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley with education and resources to learn English, become involved community members and obtain tools necessary to maintain economic independence and stability.

Now, more than ever, it’s critical to create a safe, welcoming space for those new to our country and our communities. I hope you’ll join me in supporting the work of CNA–any amount is appreciated!

This year I’m choosing to write with a focus on “resistance.” I’ll interpret that broadly–physical, spiritual, artistic, ideological–in any case, I’ll be writing a poem a day using this theme as a starting point. If you’d like to see what I’m doing, I’ll post poems periodically here and on Facebook. For contributions of $100 or more, you can suggest a topic for me, and I’ll do my best to write a poem for you.

If you’d like to sponsor me, and support the work of this fine organization, here’s the link!

Thanks so much!

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: : https://cnam.org/civicrm/pcp/info?reset=1&id=135

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

Pokey Does Poetry: 30 Poems in November, Day 1

Hey Beautiful People,

Today is the first day of 30 Poems in November, the fundraiser for the Center for New Americans, an organization that welcomes and serves new immigrants and refugees in Western MA.

30%20poems%20logoI pledged to write a poem a day for 30 days that somehow relates to the body. People have given me some good suggestions, so it should be interesting.

There’s still time to sponsor me and support CNA’s work! Thanks to a bunch of stellar human beings, I’m almost at my fundraising goal–can you help me get all the way there? Here’s the link to the fundraising page; any amount you can give is appreciated.

For those of you who already pledged, thank you again, and stay tuned for updates. I won’t be posting poems here, since I’ve learned that posting poems on-line, even on my own blog, means I can’t publish them elsewhere. But I’ll be happy to send updates to those who want them. You can leave a message here or email me.

Wish me luck!


30 Poems in November: A Body of Work

Hey Friends, I signed up for the 30 Poems in November project that raises funds for the Center for New Americans, an excellent organization that welcomes and serves new immigrants and refugees in western MA.  Now, more than ever, we need to support these folks in our communities.

In honor of the conversation that’s been generated this election season around immigration, women, bodies and power, I pledge to write a poem a day for 30 days that somehow relates to the body. Here’s the link to my fundraising page–any amount it appreciated!

Body image, body power, body parts, you name it! In fact, if you make a donation, feel free to suggest a body part or body topic that I should try to address. (I reserve the right to ignore your request if I find it inappropriate to my theme. Or if I just don’t like it.)

This is probably a crazy idea that will have me banging my head on the desk, but it’s a great cause, and hey, what else do I have to do other than work full-time, raise my kids and try to be a writer!

I’m late getting started with this, so hopefully some of you who haven’t donated yet will support this excellent organization through my 30 days project. Thanks in advance for your generosity!

30 poems in november, the uncooked bird

Pokey had the brilliant idea that she would do her 30 Poems in November (a fundraiser for the Center for New Americans) differently this year. Instead of writing a poem a day, which in the past has resulted in many not-so-good poems, I’m trying to write one long poem from “found” text that represents some of what I read during November.

So far, this includes the local paper, a Trader Joe’s circular, and a scientific article, among other things. The rules are that I have to use what I find–I can re-line it, but I can’t change the text in any way, not even with punctuation. At least, that’s how crazy-for-the-rules-Pokey does it.

This is actually way harder than I thought. But a certain friend of Pokey’s (you know who you are) who has most generously sponsored this endeavor with a donation to CNA, is calling into question the legitimacy of this method. He has even gone so far as to posit that Pokey will write a big overstuffed turkey of a poem (my words, not his) during Thanksgiving and pretend to have been writing all along.

Pokey can’t take this affront to her character lying down. So, for your reading enjoyment, here’s what I came up with so far, which is TOTALLY subject to change, because really, i have no idea what I’m trying to say yet and have lots more text to use as I read through November.  We’ll call it “The Uncooked Turkey Poem.”

Just when you think you’ve got it all
figured out, visible matter and dark matter
have apparently come unglued.

We were not expecting this.
The dive was, in fact, more than just a stunt.
The bad news is, there’s a strong

likelihood of household damage.
Expect a small Social Security bump.
It will break the record books.

Those clusters get so massive
that they bend the light of distant galaxies like a lens.
We really like that it’s fully cooked.

We really need to share our joy.
We have to respect each other and always think
before we speak. Sounds good, right?

Winter is coming. Most of the associated galaxies
seem to have moved on. The work week
should be pleasant after today’s rain.

I know that technically, I’m not following the format of 30 Days, and I know that right now, this is kind of a mess, but you and I must trust that eventually we will have a fully cooked bird. (Apologies to my vegetarian friends.) That’s the way poetry works.

There’s still time to make a pledge and support CNA’s family literacy programs. Here’s my fundraising page at CNA.

30 Poems in November

Pokey is writing to raise money!

Not for me, that would be ridiculous (sadly), but for the Center for New Americans and their family literacy program. CNA works to: provide the underserved immigrant, refugee and migrant communities of Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley with education and resources to learn English, become involved community members, and obtain tools necessary to maintain economic independence and stability.

This is a great organization doing much-needed work, and they believe in poetry! Can’t beat that.

Anyway, I have pledged to try and raise $200 for CNA by getting people like yourselves to sponsor me–it can be any amount–a dime a day, a dollar a day, or just a flat rate, $10, $25, or $359 million billion simoleans.

I’ve raised $105 so far, and need your help to get to my goal.

And it would not be a bad thing to exceed my goal, either.

In return, I pledge to write a poem a day, or something approximating a poem, and then read a sample of this work at the celebration in December (more about this below).

The easist way to pledge is by going to my page at CNA. But if you don’t want to do that, just leave a message for me here and we’ll figure stuff out.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, in advance.

And if you want to come to the celebratory reading, here’s the info:

30 poems in november

Reading & Celebration

Wednesday, December 5 at 7:00 PM.

Stoddard Hall, Smith College, Northampton

Reception following  in the Poetry Center