Through the Gates, in July, Something Different

you step through three gates of trees
expecting to see something different
and you always do

today, a turkey
almost to the end of the boardwalk
through the swamp, just before

a stream-bed that’s mostly mud
with the one big stone you’ve hopped
a thousand times

where you can glimpse
one of the huge houses
whose owners have been building again

you stop long enough to regard him
and he calls to you, or to
a well-hidden mate, you can’t determine

his gobble uniquely his
and nothing really like
the english word we made for it

Silence, Lost Sisters, Escape

seeking emptiness
and learning not to fear it
we lost our sisters in the forest

now they gather in the back,
their voices shrill and loud
they don’t seem to have aged
but we have

when did we trade the forest
for this dry museum?
where is the way out?

must we exit through the gift shop
or is there another doorway
we have yet to find?

Hammond Pond Reservation, Green Line crossing

For five extra minutes you follow the path
through mayapple, sarsaparilla and anxiety
over a little hill and through
what might be blueberry and poison ivy
with beech and oak and maple rustling overhead
to a pond, a flooded field really
and the curl of wind over its flat surface
and the beaten-down dried rushes
and a barrier of stones
upon which rests
a butterfly with black, gold-tipped wings

thirty seconds later, you turn to see
the Riverside Line cross,
two green trolleys
over the silent water

Boston-Area Poetry Readings for April/May 2012

If you live in Boston and haven’t had a chance to celebrate National Poetry Month yet, here are more than a few chances. Some are readings and some are open mics — skim the listings for more details.

This information comes from a mailing put out by a gentleman at one of the MIT presses. His emails come out once every few weeks — no more than once or twice a month — and provide clear evidence of the rich literary landscape of Eastern Massachusetts. If you would like to be added to his mailing list, please leave a comment with your email address and I will connect the two of you privately.

Tuesday, April 24, 1 pm
Suffolk University Poetry Center
Sawyer Library, Third Floor
73 Tremont St.

Tuesday April 24, 7 pm
Writers at the Black Box: Graduate Students and Alum of the BU Creative Writing Program
Rebekah Stout, poetry/alum, Megan Fernandez, playwriting, Abriana Jette, poetry, and Laura Goldstein, poetry
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Ave.

Saturday April, 28, begins 8:30 a.m.
Newburyport Literary Festival
Google it.
Newburyport, MA

Saturday, April 28, 10 am – 4:40 pm
Sunday, April 29, 1:10 – 4:30 pm
56 poets each reading for 10 minutes
inluding Sam Cornish, Rhina P. Espaillat, Richard Wollman ,Christine Casson, Dan Tobin, Jennifer Barber, Alfred Nicol, Kathleen Spivack, Doug Holder, Elizabeth Doran, Richard Hoffman, Lucy Holstedt, Charles Coe, Kim Triedman, Ryk McIntyre, January O’Neil, Regie O’Gibson, Kate Finnegan (Kaji Aso Studio), Victor Howes, Susan Donnelly, Jack Scully, Rene Schwiesow, Chad Parenteau, Linda Larson, Tomas O’Leary, Marc Goldfinger, Gloria Mindock, Tim Gager, Diana Saenz, Stuart Peterfreund, Valerie Lawson, Michael Brown, Mignon Ariel King, Tom Daley, Molly Lynn Watt, Ifeanyi Menkiti, Lainie Senechal, Harris Gardner, Joanna Nealon, Walter Howard, Zvi Sesling, Irene Koronas, Fred Marchant, Sheila Twyman, Robert K. Johnson, Suzanne E. Berger, and others
Boston Public Library
Copley Square

Saturday, April 28, 3 pm
Joseph Torra, Amanda Cook, and Sam Cha
Outpost 186
186.5 Hampshire Street (in rear)
Inman Square

Sunday, April 29, 3 pm
Over The Centuries: Poetry at Harvard (A Love Story)
A performance celebrating the work of Harvard-affiliated poets Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Ashbery, T.S. Eliot, Adrienne Rich, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, e.e. cummings and many more. Featuring an ensemble of Harvard students, the event will be a tapestry of live voices mixed with images and recordings of the poets themselves reading their work. Conceived by Professor Jorie Graham in collaboration with Matt Aucoin ’12 with curatorial assistance provided by the Woodberry Poetry Room.
Agassiz Theatre
Event is free but tickets are required. Limit of 2 tickets per person.
Tickets valid until 2:45 pm
Available on Tuesday, April 17th to Harvard Affiliates
Available on Thursday, April 19th to the general public.

Monday, April 30, 6 pm
Timothy Donnelley
Location details to come, maybe

Monday, April 30, 7pm
Jordan Davis and John Godfrey
The Deja Brew
121 Lockes Village Rd
Wendell, MA
$1-$5 sliding scale

Monday, April 30, 8 pm
Franz Wright and Geoffrey Brock
Blacksmith House
56 Brattle Street
Harvard Square

Tuesday, May 1, 2:30 pm
Grace Krilanovich
McCormack Family Theater
70 Brown St.
Free and open to the public

Tuesday, May 1, 7 pm
Tom Sleigh, Lloyd Schwartz, Gail Mazur, Fred Marchant, Fanny Howe, Saskia Hamilton, Robert Gardner and Christopher Benfey
Celebration of Robert Lowell & launch of AGNI 75
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Ave, Boston (Green Line B, Pleasant St.)
free and open to the public

Wednesday, May 2, 7 pm
Rebecca Lindenberg and Stephen Burt
Porter Square Books
25 White Street

Thursday, May 3, 6 pm
Christian Bök
MIT, Building 6 — room 120
Free and open to the public

Friday, May 4, 8 pm
Myfanwy Collins, Carroll Donnell, Joel Peckham, and Yuyutsu Sharma
Dire Literary Reading Series
Out of the Blue Art Gallery
106 Prospect Street

Saturday, May 5, 7:30 pm
Julian T. Brolaski and Cole Swensen
Gloucester Writers Center Poetry Salon
126 East Main St.

Sunday, May 6, 12:45 pm
John Holgerson and David R. Surette
Poetry: The Art of Words/Mike Amado Memorial Series
The Plymouth Center for the Arts
11 North Street
Music feature at Noon

Sunday, May 6, 1 pm
Plein Air Poetry Celbrations at Fruitlands Museum
Special guests and CPC members X.J Kennedy, Bob Clawson , Barb Crane, Joan Kimball and and Amy Woods
Winners of CPC and Fruitlands Museum first Plein Air Poetry Competition will read their poems.
Fruitlands Museum
102 Prospect Hill Road
Harvard, MA

Monday, May 7, 7 pm
Susan McDonough, Margot Wizansky, and Connemara Wadsworth
Workshop for Publishing Poets
Porter Square Books
25 White Street

Monday, May 7, 8 pm
Stanley Plumly and Jane Shore
Blacksmith House
56 Brattle Street
Harvard Square

Wednesday, May 9, 7 pm
Jorie Graham
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave.

Thursday, May 10, 7 pm
Jorie Graham and Sophie Cabot Black
Amherst Books
8 Main Street
Amherst, MA

Friday, May 11, 7:30 pm
Gary Duehr, Karen Miller, and Margaret Young
Chapter and Verse Literary Reading Series
Loring-Greenough House
12 South Street
Jamaica Plain Centre

Saturday, May 12, 3 pm
Kevin Bowen, Fred Marchant, George Kovach, Paul Brailsford, Marc Levy, Martin Ray, Aldo Tambellini
War and Writing: Readings and Conversations
Gloucester Writers Center, William Joiner Center and Consequence Magazine
Harbor Room
126 East Main St.
Veterans and students free
Suggested Donation $10

Saturday, May 12, 3 pm
Ned Balbo and Nancy Bailey Miller
Powow River Poets Reading Series
Jabberwocky Books
50 Water St
Newburyport (in The Tannery Mall)

Saturday, May 12, 7 pm
Naomi Shihab Nye
Old Ship Church
90 Main Street
Hingham, MA

Wednesday, May 16, 7 pm
Susan Jo Russell, Jim Henle, Mary Ellen Geer, Oliver Payne, and Laurie Rosenblatt
Porter Square Books
25 White Street
Porter Square Shopping Center

Thursday, May 17, 7 pm
William and Beverly Corbett: Forty-four Years at 9 Columbus Square
A Woodberry Poetry Room Oral History Initiative
Moderated by Fanny Howe
Barker Center, Thompson Room
Harvard University
12 Quincy Street
free and open to public

Friday, May 18, 7 pm
Nate Klug and William Corbett
Back Pages Books
289 Moody Street

Friday, May 18, 7pm
Breakwater Reading Series
Join us for a night of new fiction, poetry, and essays
from the MFA candidates of Emerson, UMASS Boston, and BU.
Brookline Booksmith
Coolidge Corner

Saturday, May 19, 3:30 pm
Zvi A. Sesling and Alvah Howe
Poetry Series at the Brockton Library
304 Main Street
Brockton, MA

Sunday, May 20, 3 pm
Teresa Cader and Charles Pratt
Concord Poetry Center
Emerson Umbrella
40 Stow Street
Concord, MA
Open Mike. Free.

Sunday, May 20, 2-4 pm
Brookline Poetry Series
Susan Becker and Kevin Goodman
Brookline Public Library
Main Branch
Brookline Village

Rest in Peace Adrienne Rich: Fellow Poet, Feminist, Queer Woman, Trail-Blazer

Last week, I was about to board a plan to San Francisco when I saw Adrienne Rich’s obituary on the front page of the New York Times.

It’s hard to describe Adrienne Rich’s impact on my life with grace and brevity. That’s because my relationship to her work mirrors my relationship to the literary establishment as a whole. I first heard of her when I was a junior in high school, young poet full of promise and bereft of friends after the class of 1989 graduated and scattered off to college. A precocious freshman named Deborah, with reddish hair and presumptuous mannerisms, was shocked to learn I hadn’t already read and loved her work. What Deborah didn’t know (and neither did I) was that I’d been raised on the literary canon, comprised then as it is now almost exclusively of men. Five years later I wrote my senior thesis at Vassar on her work and the arc of her life. Seventeen years later, Margalit Fox‘s obituary said it better than I ever could.

Continue reading “Rest in Peace Adrienne Rich: Fellow Poet, Feminist, Queer Woman, Trail-Blazer”