Boston Area Poetry Readings for March 2016

A drift of snow edges a new drift of sand
As edges grow deeper. It’s March, month of edges.
Wet rocks yield to pebbles like opening hands.

-Annie Finch, “Beach of Edges, from Spells: New and Selected Poems.

Boston trembles on the edge of winter: one day a seductive thaw, the next that damp chill particular to the Bay State. I’ve seen green shoots in the garden, surrounded by the detritus of winter. Clear that detritus from your mind with a little poetry. All venues are in Massachusetts unless otherwise noted.

Friday, March 11, 7:30 pm
Carla Schwartz, Preston Hood, Nina MacLaughlin
Chapter and Verse
Loring Greenough House
12 South Street
Jamaica Plain
$5

Continue reading “Boston Area Poetry Readings for March 2016”

Frances Donovan and Kate Wallace Rogers at Newtonville Books, March 7 2016

I’m one of the features at the PoemWorks monthly reading series in March, the beginning of crocus season. Come hear me and my fellow poet Kate Wallace Rogers reading our work next Monday, March 7. Details follow.

POETRY READING & Open Mic
Monday, March 7, 2016, at 7:00 PM
Newtonville Books
10 Langley Road
Newton, MA 02459
617-244-6619
www.newtonvillebooks.com

Free to the public

Join us for a poetry reading with Frances Donovan and Kate Wallace Rogers, members of the Workshop for Publishing Poets, directed by Barbara Helfgott Hyett, followed by an Open Mic. For more information about the workshop, see www.poemworks.com. Hosted by Richard Waring.

Frances Donovan’s work has appeared in many places, including Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Snapdragon, Marathon Literary Review, Ishka Bibble, and Gender Focus. She holds a degree in English from Vassar College and has studied with Barbara Helfgott Hyett and Toni Amato. She curated the Poetry@Prose reading series and has appeared as a featured reader at numerous venues in the Northeast, including the Newton Public Library and the PoemWorks Reading Series. Her workshop in Roslindale nurtures the seedlings of new poems. She enjoys candle-lit dinners, long walks on the beach, and writing about herself in the third person. You can find her climbing hills in Roslindale and online at http://www.gardenofwords.com.

Kate Wallace Rogers has been writing and performing poetry since second grade. With some friends in Dennis, Mass., she co-founded the Dragonfly poetry and music series. She has had work published in The Beaver and Red Weather. She self-published a slim volume of poetry silk-screened on Japanese folding paper. More recently, she has been a frequent participant and feature at the Mews coffeehouse and AMP gallery in Provincetown. Kate’s poetry weaves together her love of language, nature, and women. She is originally from New York City, but currently lives in Provincetown in Stanley Kunitz’s house. She loves swimming in the ocean year round.

Photo credit: Tejvan Pettinger via Flickr, CC 2.0

Late February and March 2016 Boston Area Poetry Readings

It’s a balmy 50 degrees in Boston, which means that this evening we’ll have a rainstorm instead of a blizzard. April may be the cruelest month in England, but February is full of spiteful surprises in Boston. Still, the snowdrifts barely reach our knees and the days are growing exponentially longer. Celebrate with some poetry and some hot tea, while it’s still in season. All readings are in Massachusetts unless otherwise specified.

Saturday, February 20, 6:30 pm
Pablo Medina, Jennifer Barber, Eleanor Goodman, and Sam Cha
reading original works and new translations
Us & Them: Boston
Arts @ the Armory Cafe
191 Highland Ave #1A
Somerville

See all listings

Boston Area Poetry Readings for February 2016

Imbolc has come and gone and the days are getting longer. Celebrate the first stirrings of spring with a little poetry. Below are updated listings for February 2016 poetry readings in Boston, Massachusetts and environs. All readings are in Massachusetts unless otherwise noted.

Friday, February 5, 7 pm
Jen Grow, Kathy Flann, and Gint Aras
Out of the Blue Art Gallery Too
541 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge
See more listings

Boston Area Poetry Readings for January and February 2016

January always feels like a holiday hangover to me. So far, the temperatures are bracing cold and the skies clear — two good signs after last February’s record snowfalls. Please Skadi, send us enough snow for snowshoeing and not enough for epic shoveling. Daniel Bouchard sets us back on the path of poetry with the listings below. All locations are in Massachusetts (USA) unless otherwise noted.

My poetry workshop in Roslindale, MA also reconvenes in February. Priced for starving poets, focused on generating new work.

Friday, January 8, 7:30 pm
Dan Johnson, Deborah Melone, and Jan Schreiber
Chapter and Verse
Loring-Greenough House
12 South Street
Jamaica Plain Centre

Saturday January 9, 3 pm
Elizabeth J. Coleman and David Berman
Powow River Poets Reading Series
Newburyport Public Library
94 State Street
Newburyport, MA
Free and open to the public

Continue reading “Boston Area Poetry Readings for January and February 2016”

Boston Area Poetry Readings for December 2015

These listings are compiled by Daniel Bouchard. Friday, December 11 is the very last of the BASH Reading Series by Black Ocean Press at Brookline Booksmith. And make sure to check out the Brookline Public Library on Sunday, December 20, where the open mic is as high-quality as the featured reader.

Thursday, December 3, 7 pm
David Miller, Sandra Storey and open mic
Rozzie Reads
Roslindale House
120 Poplar Street
Roslindale, MA Continue reading “Boston Area Poetry Readings for December 2015”

Cultural Appropriation and Fair Use

When the 2015 collection of Best American Poetry came out this September, the poetry world erupted into controversy. At the crux of the matter was a poem titled “The Bees, the Flowers, Ancient Tigers, Poseiden, Adam and Eve” by Michael Derrick Hudson. Why all the fuss? Because Hudson, a white man, published his poem under the pen name Yi-Fen Chou. Hudson claimed that he was unable to find a publisher for his poem until he began sending it out under an Asian pen name (1). Asian poets and writers were understandably upset when the anthology came out and it’s sparked a discussion among academics and poets about the nature of cultural appropriation and the myth of reverse racism. Editor Sherman Alexie responded to the controversy in an article posted on the Best American Poetry blog. His thoughtful essay addresses the tension between the literary world’s desire to showcase diverse voices and the necessity of remaining faithful to aesthetic principles:

“If I’d pulled the poem then I would have been denying that I was consciously and deliberately seeking to address past racial, cultural, social, and aesthetic injustices in the poetry world.

And, yes, in keeping the poem, I am quite aware that I am also committing an injustice against poets of color, and against Chinese and Asian poets in particular.

But I believe I would have committed a larger injustice by dumping the poem. I think I would have cast doubt on every poem I have chosen for BAP. It would have implied that I chose poems based only on identity. (2)”

My own experiences as a queer woman and my friendships with people of a variety of races and nationalities have sensitized me to the issue of cultural appropriation. So what is cultural appropriation? It’s overwriting the voices of the voiceless with narrative constructed outside of the lived experience of a person who is a member of an oppressed class. Since there are many kinds of oppressed classes and since one person can belong to more than one of them, the issue can become complicated. The litmus test for me goes back to the question of lived experience. Does the person telling the story have the right to tell it? Is it his story to tell? As with many questions, there is no one right answer, but there are definitely some wrong ones.

Continue reading “Cultural Appropriation and Fair Use”

“The Kitchen Poem” in the Summer 2015 Issue of Dirty Chai

This spring I was delighted to learn that “The Kitchen Poem” had found a home at Dirty Chai Magazine. I missed the issue when it came out, so here it is now. Here’s a PDF download of the Summer 2015 Issue of Dirty Chai.

And since it’s more 90 days since it appeared there, here’s a reprint:

The Kitchen Poem
for Adrienne Rich

A kitchen is where a woman belongs sometimes
not because I should cook for you

but because here when one sits at the table
with a bowl of something one realizes
what it is to slow down

Because here there is always food
and yet I can go hungry

Because there is a smell of things cooking,
and the smell is good.

Because I can spread tablecloths
and be unmolested.

Because God loves a kitchen
and I feel powerful here.

Because a kitchen is where civilization began.

Because some men are shy of the kitchen
and those men I can do without.

Because kitchens come in many shapes and sizes.

Because Allen Ginsberg never wrote a poem about a kitchen.

Because in a kitchen, a woman can take what has been
dismembered,
                        forgotten
                                             and remember it.

Because in a kitchen we put things together
that have been cut apart
and call it food.

I’ve Been Published in The dVerse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry

My longest poem, “Letters from Provincetown,” has gone through a number of iterations since I first penned it in 1998. And now it’s been included in the newly released dVerse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry.

Edited by Frank Watson (aka Follow the Blue Flute), the volume contains work from poets who frequent the dVerse Poets Pub, an online community that I find has a nice balance between friendly members and quality work. I’ve made a number of helpful connections at their weekly Open Link Night and also enjoy their other regular series, including Form for All and Pretzels and Bullfights.

A friend recently chastised me for downplaying my accomplishments. So if you’d like to support my work and also read an interesting variety of voices from around the world, I suggest giving it a look. The book is available in print and ebook at Amazon and debuted in the top 20 poetry anthologies on the site.

Buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/The-dVerse-Anthology-Voices-Contemporary/dp/1939832012