October, November, and December 2019 Poetry Readings in Boston and Environs

Poetry and all that jazz

From the height of leaf season all the way to the winter holiday of your choice, we’ve got you covered with poetry readings in and around Boston. Thanks to Daniel Bouchard for compiling these listings.

Thursday, October 24, 4:30 pm
Faculty Poetry Reading
Heineman Ecumenical Center
Framingham State University
Worcester, MA

Thursday, October 24, 5:30 pm
Adrianna Kalopoulou
Brown University
McCormack Family Theater
70 Brown St.
Providence, RI
free and open to the public

Thursday, October 24, 7:30-9:30 pm
Nadia Colburn
reading and book launch
The Lilypad, Inman square
1353 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA

Thursday, October 24, 7 pm
Nausheen Eusuf and Michael Sherlock
Rozzie Reads Poetry and Open Mic
Roslindale House
120 Poplar Street
Roslindale, MA

Thursday, October 24, 7:30 pm
Josette Akresh-Gonzales
Congregation Dorshei Tzedek
60 Highland St.
West Newton, MA

Friday, October 25, 6-8 pm
Doug Anderson, Naomi Ayala, Sean Bates, Brian Clements, Martín Espada, Adam Grabowski, Paul Mariani, and Leslie McGrath
What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump reading & book launch
R. Michelson Gallies
132 Main Street
Northampton, MA 01060

Saturday, October 26, 6 pm
Maria Gillan and Maria Lisella
IAWA in Boston Literary Series
I Am Books
189 North Street
Cambridge, MA

Monday, October 28, 8 pm
Angie Estes and James Arthur
Blacksmith House
56 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA
$3

Tuesday, October 29, 5:30 – 7 pm
Robert Haas
Common Room, CSWR
42 Francis Ave
Cambridge, MA

Tuesday, October 29, 7 pm
Gail Mazur, Jill McDonough, and Robert Pinsky
reading from Poems at the Extremes of Feeling: the Mind Has Cliffs of Fall
Porter Square Books
25 White Street
Cambridge, MA

Tuesday, October 29, 7 pm
Erin O’Luanaigh, Lavinia Liang, Colin Channer, and Michelle Hoover
AGNI 90th issue launch
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA

Wednesday, October 30, 7 pm
Anne Pluto and Mark Statman
Cervena Barva Press Reading Series
Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA
$5

Wednesday, October 30, 7:30 pm
Stephen Kalaghan
Gloucester Writers Center
126 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA

Friday, November 1, 7 pm
Nausheen Eusuf, Didi Jackson, Major Jackson, Gail Mazur, Lloyd Schwartz
Best American Poetry 2019
Harvard Book Store
Mass Ave., Harvard Square
Cambridge, MA

Friday, November 1, 7 pm
Poetry in the Parlor
Thomas DeFreitas, Lisa DeSiro, and Clara Ronderos
The Old Manse
Concord, MA

Friday, November 1, 7 pm
Eileen Cleary, Joey Gould, George Kalogeris, and Mark Saba
Cervena Barva Press Reading Series
Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA

Friday, November 1, 7:30 pm
Joan Kane
Unearthed Song & Poetry
Home.stead Bakery and Cafe
1448 Dorchester Ave.
Fields Corner
Dorchester, MA

Saturday, November 2, 4 pm
Bianca Stone and Ben Pease
The MIT Press Bookstore
301 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA

Saturday, November 2, 7 pm
Ariana Reines
Grolier Poetry Bookshop
Plympton Street
Cambridge, MA

Sunday, November 3, 3 pm
Joan Naviyuk Kane
Concord Poetry at the Library Series
Sponsored by the Friends of the Library
Concord Free Public Library
129 Main Street
Concord, MA

Sunday, November 3, 1 – 3 pm
Michael Brow and Valeri Lawson
Poetry: The Art Of Words
Plymouth Public Library/Otto Fehlow Room
132 South St
Plymouth, MA

Sunday, November 3, 2-4 pm
Janet MacFadyen
Straw Dog Writers Guild series
Writers Read/Hilltowns
Belding Library, 344 Main St.
Ashfield, MA

Monday, November 4, 8 pm
Elizabeth Bradfield and Sara London
Blacksmith House
56 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA
$3

Tuesday, November 5, 7:30 pm
Camille Dungy
Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Wednesday, November 6, 6 – 7:30 pm
Ed Meek, David Holder and Gloria Monaghan
Somerville Public Library
79 Highland Ave.
Somerville, MA

Wednesday, November 6, 7:30pm
Naomi Shihab Nye
with Katherine Hollander
The Robert Lowell Memorial Lecture Series
The Leventhal Auditorium
233 Bay State Road
Boston, MA

Thursday, November 7, 12:30 pm
Maggie Dietz
Federal Building – Assembly Room
Middlesex Community College
50 Kearney Square
Lowell, MA

Thursday, November 7, 5:30 pm
Claire Donato
Brown University
McCormack Family Theater
70 Brown St.
Providence, MA
free and open to the public

Thursday, November 7, 7
Su Hwang, Tamiko Beyer, and Rajiv Mohabir
The Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA

Thursday, November 7, 7 pm
Alissa Valles
Suffolk University Poetry Center
Sawyer Library, second floor
73 Tremont Street
Boston, MA

Thursday, November 7, 7 pm
Syed Zaman
Arts at the Armory
Cervena Barva Press/Basement, B8
191 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA

Thursday, November 7, 7 pm
Gail Mazur, Charles Coe, and Daniel Johnson
Cary Library Poetry Series
Cary Memorial Library
1874 Massachusetts Avenue
Lexington, MA

Friday, November 8, 7 pm
Art & Letters Reception
Readings by Christina Davis, Ruth Lepson, Philip Nikolayev, Mario Layne Fabrizio, Raquel Balboni, Ben Mazer, Sam Cha, Christopher Hughes, Jade Alexis Danger Wollin, Rob Chalfen
(Note: Gerard Malanga is no longer scheduled to appear)
Grolier Poetry Book Shop
6 Plympton Street
Cambridge, MA

Friday, November 8, 7:30 pm
George Kalogeris, Margo Taft Stever, and Crystal Williams
Chapter and Verse Literary Reading Series
Loring-Greenough House
12 South Street (at the monument)
Jamaica Plain, MA

Saturday, November 9, 3 pm
Celebrating Edna St Vincent Millay with Catherine Chandler
Powow River Poets Reading Series
Newburyport Public Library
92 State Street
Newburyport, MA

Saturday, November 9, 4 pm
Alec Solomita and Philip Nikolayev
Poetry Readings at Outpost 186
Hampshire Street, Inman Square
Cambridge, MA

Saturday, November 9, 4:30 pm
Timothy Gager, Chad Parenteau, Gloria Mindock and Mignon Ariel King
The Center for the Arts at the Armory Cafe
191 Highland Street
Somerville, MA

Sunday, November 10, 3 – 5 pm
Catherine Morocco, Steven Rapp, and Dona Stein
New Poetry & Open Mic
New England Poetry Club
Arts at the Armory Café
Somerville, MA

Sunday, November 10, 4 pm
Tracey McTague and Jim Behrle
The Plough and Stars
913 Mass Ave.
Cambridge, MA

Sunday, November 10, 4:30 pm
Ellen Doré Watson and George Kalogeris
The Loom, Poetry in Harrisville
St. Denis Hall
23 Church Street
Harrisville, NH

Wednesday, November 13, 6 pm
Donald Revell and Saskia Hamilton
871 Commonwealth Avenue, Katzenberg Center (3rd floor).
Boston University
Boston, MA

Thursday, November 14, 6 pm
Kristen Case, Amanda Cook, Danielle Legros Georges, Suzanne Mercury, Chibụìhè Obi, Oliver Strand, and Janaka Stucky
Woodbery Poetry Room
Lamont Library
11 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Thursday, November 14, 7 pm
Terry Michael Chance/Cowboy Music & Poetry
Arts at the Armory/Basement, B8
191 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA

Thursday, November 14, 7 pm
Ernest Hilbert and Daniel Tobin
First Church Congregationalist
The Harter Room
11 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA

Friday, November 15, 7 – 8 pm
Oliver de la Paz and Kent Shaw
Bedlam Book Cafe
138 Green St.
Worcester, MA

Friday, November 15, 7 pm
Tommy Pico and Carmen Gimenez Smith
in conversation with Stephanie Burt
The Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA

Saturday, November 16, 2 pm
Mark Fleckenstein and Lo Galluccio
Cervena Barva Press
Arts at the Armory/Basement, B8
191 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA

Saturday, November 16, 3 pm
Susan Donnelly, Alewife Poets, Cathie Desjardins, Steven Ratiner, Thomas DeFreitas, Oakes Plimpton, James Foritano, Andy Oram and David McCann
Town Hall
730 Massachusetts Ave.
second floor
Arlington, MA

Sunday, November 17, 2 – 4 pm
Maya Phillips and AJ Addae
Brookline Poetry Series
Hunneman Hall, Brookline Village Library
361 Washington St.
Brookline, MA

Sunday, November 17, 3 pm
Rebecca Connors, Jonathan Todd, Eileen Cleary, and Lee Hope
Solstice MFA Writers Helping Writers Fundraiser Reading & Raffle
Arts at the Armory Café
191 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA

Monday, November 18, 8 pm
Jill McDonough and Rage Hezekiah
Blacksmith House
56 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA
$3

Tuesday, November 19, 6 pm
Jordan Davis and Ron Padgett
Forum Room: Lamont Library
11 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Tuesday, November 19, 6 pm
Alex Dimitrov and Dorothea Lasky
The Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA

Tuesday, November 19, 7:30 pm
Lee Ann Roripaugh
Campus Center Carroll Room, Smith College
Northampton, MA

Wednesday, November 20, 7 pm
Janaka Stucky, Julia Guez, and Paige Ackerson-Kiely
The Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA

Thursday, November 21, 7 pm
Linda Flaherty Haltmaier and Daniel Johnson
Rozzie Reads Poetry and Open Mic
Roslindale House
120 Poplar Street
Roslindale, MA

Thursday, November 21, 5:30 pm
Eleni Sikelianos and Cole Swensen
McCormack Family Theater
70 Brown St.
Providence, MA

Sunday, December 1, 1 – 3 pm
Jean Kreiling and Tim Reed
Poetry: The Art Of Words
Plymouth Public Library/Otto Fehlow Room
132 South St
Plymouth, MA

Monday, December 2, 8 pm
Rafael Campo and Joan Naviyuk Kane
Blacksmith House
56 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA
$3

Thursday, December 5, 5:30 pm
Lillian-Yvonne Bertram
Brown University
McCormack Family Theater
70 Brown St.
Providence, RI
free and open to the public

Friday, December 6, 7 – 8 pm
Deep Thoughts Poetry Open Mic
Bedlam Book Cafe
138 Green St.
Worcester, MA

Friday, December 6, 7:30 pm
Timothy Gager
Unearthed Song & Poetry
Home.stead Bakery and Cafe
1448 Dorchester Ave.
Fields Corner
Dorchester, MA

Saturday, December 7, 1 pm
Judith Baumel, George Kovach, Oksana Lutsyshyna, and Ben Mazer (Presenting Delmore Schwartz’s Uncollected Works)
Arrowsmith Press Book Launch
Friends Meeting House at Cambridge
5 Longfellow Park
Cambridge, MA

Saturday, December 7, 4 pm
Maxine Chernoff and Anna Q.V. Ross
The MIT Press Bookstore
301 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA

Saturday, December 7, 6 – 7 pm
Jason Tandon
Bedlam Book Cafe
138 Green St.
Worcester, MA

Sunday, December 8, 3 – 5 pm
Toni Bee, Jennifer Martelli, and Chris O’Carroll
New Poetry and Open Mic
New England Poetry Club
Arts at the Armory Café
Somerville, MA

Monday, December 9, 8 pm
Ilya Kaminsky and Andrea Cohen
Blacksmith House
56 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA
$3

Thursday, December 12, 7 pm
New Mission High School student reading
Rozzie Reads Poetry
Roslindale House
120 Poplar Street
Roslindale, MA

Sunday, December 15, 2 – 4 pm
Alan Shapiro and Dorian Kotsiopoulos
Brookline Poetry Series
Hunneman Hall, Brookline Village Library
361 Washington St.
Brookline, MA

Tuesday, December 17, 7 pm
Nina MacLaughlin
Grolier Poetry Bookshop
Plympton Street
Cambridge, MA

UPDATED: September and October 2019 Poetry Readings in Boston and Environs

Signs of autumn: the first orange leaf on the sidewalk, the first apple off the tree, the post-Labor-Day traffic jam. And the return of Daniel Bouchard’s poetry listings. See below for a multitude of free or close-to-free events. Of special note: Charles Coe and Sandee Story at the Old Manse tomorrow night; Terrance Hayes at Smith College Sept 24; Martha Collins at Old Cambridge Baptist Church Sept 22; and Danielle Legros Georges at the Frugal Bookstore in Dudley Square Sept 21. Also on the Boston side of the Charles, the return of Rozzie Reads, featuring Mignon Ariel King and William Orem Sept 26.

Friday, September 6
Charles Coe, Danielle Fontaine, and Sandee Storey
Old Manse in Concord
Concord, MA

Friday, September 6, 7 pm
Cervena Barva Press Poetry Translation Roundtable Series
Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA

Sunday, September 8, 1 – 3 pm
Alix Anne Shaw and Lawrence Kassenich
Poetry: The Art Of Words
Plymouth Public Library/Otto Fehlow Room
132 South St
Plymouth, MA

Thursday, September 12, 7 pm
Bert Stern & Frannie Lindsay
Cervena Barva Press Reading Series
Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA
$5

Saturday, September 14, 3 pm
Angela Alaimo O’Donnell & Rhina P. Espaillat
Powow River Poets Reading Series
Newburyport Public Library
92 State Street
Newburyport, MA
Continue reading “UPDATED: September and October 2019 Poetry Readings in Boston and Environs”

Sharing in the Age of Social Media

Tara Mandarano recently posted something that popped up on my Facebook feed. She related that a friend of hers had called her an “Internet oversharer.” Tara had an eloquent response to the label, and many of her arguments echoed what I might have said when I first started posting to the Internet in the late 1990s. This was long before blogs were a thing. We called them online diaries, and you needed to know how to code in HTML to have one. You also needed an Internet Service Provider, a web hosting account, and FTP software. Not for the faint of heart.

My attitude toward what I share online has changed since I was in my 20s. It was a less crowded space back then, and easier to keep a wall between my IRL life and my online life. In spite of that, at one point I came close to being dooced because of something I posted on my website. I didn’t think all that many people even read my tiny website, and certainly didn’t think that something I said online would have real-world consequences. This is a mistake people have been making ever since, and it’s often young people who make it. A good rule of thumb is to never post anything about your job.

It’s very interesting seeing how standards for public versus private sharing have changed as a whole new generation of digital natives comes of age. I’m reminded of the video of Alexandra Ocasio Cortez dancing in college that came out a while back. Opponents intended to embarrass and discredit her, but she owned that video and even doubled down by making another one.

I believe it’s important to share life’s challenges as well as its successes. But I’ve also become more discerning about what information I share, and where I share it. There’s a reason why people mostly post photos of their babies and vacations on their social media feeds. Most of us want to project the best possible face to the world at large, and I’m not alone in that. But I also think it’s important to speak honestly about my struggles and how I overcome them. As someone living with a chronic illness, I appreciate the way “spoonies” can find a supportive community online. Illness often isolates those who live with it, and some illnesses carry stigma that make it that much harder to talk about. Meeting other spoonies online has made me feel less alone, and less weird. I’m sure the same is true even for those who aren’t living with chronic illness.

There’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction with people, but social media has its place, especially for those of us who sometimes have trouble leaving the house. I’ll continue to share my struggles and triumphs online, but I’ve learned to think twice before posting.

UPDATED June 2019 Boston Area Poetry Readings

Poetry and all that jazz

July and August are quiet months for just about everything in Boston, including poetry. So stock up now and avoid the rush later.

Of special note: Joan Houlihan and Kevin Prufer will be reading at Lesley University Monday, June 24 at 7pm. On Friday of that week, I will be one of the graduating students reading at 7pm. You can find the entire reading schedule for the Lesley MFA summer residency (and directions to the venue) here.

Sunday, June 2, 1 – 3:30 pm
Robert Knox and Joanna Zarkadas
Poetry: The Art Of Words
Plymouth Public Library/Otto Fehlow Room
132 South St
Plymouth, MA

Wednesday, June 5, 7 pm
Mar Ka
Brookline Booksmith
Harvard Street
Coolidge Corner
Brookline, MA

Thursday, June 6, 7 pm
David Ferry, Jennifer Clarvoe, Sabrina Sadique
Cary Library Reading Series
Cary Memorial Library, 1874 Massachusetts Ave
Lexington, MA

Friday, June 7, 7 pm
Wendy Drexler, Mark Pawlak, and Kyle Potvin
The Old Manse
269 Monument Street
Concord, MA

Friday, June 7, 7 pm
Steve Ablon and Xiaoly Li
and Open Mic
West Suburban YMCA
276 Church Street
Newton, MA

Friday, June 7, 7:30 pm
Natalie Shapero
Unearthed Song & Poetry
Homestead Bakery and Cafe
1448 Dorchester Ave.
Fields Corner
Dorchester, MA

Saturday, June 8, 2 pm
Jennifer Barber and Gloria Monaghan
Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Ave.
Somerville, MA

Saturday, June 8, 4 pm
Kristen Case, Karen Weiser, and Jennifer Firestone
MIT Press Bookstore
301 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA

Saturday, June 8, 6 – 7:30 pm
Victor Infante and Lizzie Wann
Bedlam Book Cafe
138 Green St.
Worcester, MA

Tuesday, June 11, 7 pm
Kate Colby, Cynthia Cruz, Joan Houlihan, and Daniel Tobin
Grolier Poetry Book Shop
6 Plympton St.
Cambridge, MA

Saturday, June 22, 3 pm
John Foy and Joan Kimball
Powow River Poets Reading Series
Newburyport Public Library
92 State Street
Newburyport, MA

Monday, June 24, 7 pm
Joan Houlihan and Kevin Prufer
Marran Theater
Lesley University
34 Mellen Street
Cambridge, MA

Tuesday, June 25, 5:30 pm
Catherine Stearns, Richard Wollman, and Susan Edmonds Richmond
Writers Read
Lee Library, 100 Main St.
Lee, MA

Saturday, June 29, 2 pm
Deborah Ogden and Melissa Silva
Cervena Barva Press
Art at the Armory
191 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA

An Embarrassment of Riches

Silhouette of a woman with arms outspread and head thrown back. Photo credit: Jill Wellington via Pixabay.

The only thing you need to do to be a poet is to write poetry. But occasionally, if you do the footwork and let go of the results, you get rewarded with some accolades. I’ve had a string of successes recently and wanted to share:

  • In March, the Lambda Literary Awards selected my chapbook Mad Quick Hand of the Seashore as a finalist in the bisexual poetry category.
  • On April 24, Athena Dixon interviewed me for the New Books in Poetry podcast. We had a great conversation about the writer’s journey, how things have improved (or not) for marginalized voices, and how writing practice can change over time.
  • On April 29, new Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola selected my work, along with that of 17 other poets, to be displayed at Boston City Hall as part of the Mayor’s Poetry Program.
  • On April 27, I performed alongside a slew of talented poets, musicians, and actors in the Solidarity Salon, an event started and organized by fellow Lesley poet Lisa DeSiro. The crowd that showed up to Third Life Studios in Union Square, Somerville was wonderfully warm and appreciative, and True Story Theater brought three poems to life–including one of mine!
  • On May 10, three of my poems appeared in the Heavy Feather Review #NoMorePresidents online feature.
  • On May 13, The Rumpus published my interview with Kwoya Fagin Maples about her moving book of historical persona poetry Mend (University Press of Kentucky, 2018).
  • On May 15, the Harriet blog on the Poetry Foundation website picked up the article, thus causing something rather unlikely: my name on the Poetry Foundation website. It’s a far cry from having my poems up there, but it’s still pretty cool.
  • On May 18, I walked in the Lesley University commencement ceremony with a brown hood to signify Master of Fine Arts. Lesley won’t award me the degree itself until I complete my graduating seminar at the June residency, but taking part in the ceremony was quite moving. My mother, brother, and sort-of-mother-in-law all traveled from out of town to celebrate with me and Mark, my partner and biggest fan.

Yes, Dispatches from an MFA are not up-to-the-minute coverage. More to come.

The interesting thing about po-biz success is how short-lived the good feelings can be. Lesley faculty member Tracey Baptiste has talked about the moving goalposts, and others seem to agree with her. I’m sure I’ll be eyeballs deep in existential angst soon, but for the moment, anyway, I feel like the Poetry Gods are smiling upon me.

Thanks to you, dear reader, for supporting me in these endeavors.

May 2019 and June 2019 Boston Area Poetry Readings

Poetry and all that jazz

All that energy from National Poetry Month seems to have spilled into May and June this year. Of special note:

  • U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith reading at Harvard TODAY, May 2
  • Rafael Campo in Cambridge Monday, May 6
  • Gabrielle Calvocoressi in Belmont Thursday, May 23
  • New Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola in Roslindale Thursday, May 23
  • Cervena Barva’s monthly readings at the Somerville Arts at the Amory

Thanks as always to Daniel Bouchard for compiling these listings.

Thursday, May 2, 4 – 5:30 pm
Tracy K. Smith
Harvard Arts Medal Ceremony
Agassiz Theatre
5 James St.
Cambridge, MA
free ticket required
617-496-2222

Thursday, May 2, 5:30 pm
Dawn Lundy Martin
Brown University
McCormack Family Theater
70 Brown St.
Providence, RI

Continue reading “May 2019 and June 2019 Boston Area Poetry Readings”

Come See Me Read at the Solidarity Salon, Saturday April 27, 2019

Flyer for Solidarity Salon, April 27, 7pm at Third Life Studios in Somerville MA

Thanks to Lisa DeSiro for organizing this event.

Solidarity Salon
Saturday, April 27, 2019
7:00–9:00pm (doors open 6:45pm)
Third Life Studio
33 Union Square, Somerville MA

Featuring:
Paintings by Andrea Lynne
Poetry by Robert Carr, Frances Donovan, and Kelly DuMar (with members of Playback Theatre)
Music by Robin Ginenthal (soprano) and Lisa DeSiro (piano)
Hard Stones, a song cycle written by Griffin Candey with texts by Lisa DeSiro,
performed by Ann Moss (soprano) and Lois Shapiro (piano)

Admission $5.00
Reception afterward including refreshments
Books, CDs, and art available to purchase

Directions and parking information: https://www.thirdlifestudio.com/directions

April 2019 Boston Area Poetry Readings

National Poetry Month means an explosion of poetry readings in Boston and environs. The Mass Poetry Festival is on hiatus this year as they work with Grub Street and the Harvard Bookstore to open the new Narrative Arts Center in South Boston’s Seaport District. The Boston Public Library is holding its own festival April 3-7 though–details below.

Thanks as always to Daniel Bouchard for compiling these listings. Check out his new book Spider Drop from Subpress Collective.

Of special note:

Continue reading “April 2019 Boston Area Poetry Readings”