During the first weekend of May, Salem becomes the epicenter of contemporary American poetry, offering rare opportunities to hear the nation’s best poets read and discuss their work in intimate and engaging forums.
The Massachusetts Poetry Festival is the nation's largest annual poetry festival, showcasing nearly 100 poetry readings and workshops, a small press and literary fair, panels, poetry slams, visual arts, and open-air performances. Panel topics range broadly from the state of poetry, poetry and gender, book publishing, and modernism in contemporary art, to the Common Threads Reading, where contemporary poets with Massachusetts ties discuss their literary connections. Nearly 300 local and nationally known poets engage with thousands of attendees each year.
2018 headliners: Sonia Sanchez · Kaveh Akbar · Duy Doan · Jeffrey Harrison · Dorianne Laux · Erika Meitner · Carl Phillips · Nicole Sealey · Sean Thomas Dougherty · Rhina P. Espaillat
Massachusetts Poetry Festival
Contact: January O’Neil For Immediate Release
America’s Top Prize-Winning Poets Converge in Salem, MA for the Three-Day Mass Poetry Festival.
Salem, MA, April 21, 2018—The 10th Massachusetts Poetry Festival brings America’s most admired poets from across the country to a celebration of the Commonwealth’s lively contemporary poetry scene—Friday, May 4 – Sunday, May 6, 2018 in historic downtown Salem, MA.
The first weekend of May, Salem becomes the epicenter of contemporary American poetry, offering rare opportunities to hear the nation’s best poets read and discuss their work in intimate and engaging forums. Throughout the festival we will spotlight highly acclaimed poets including Sonia Sanchez, Kaveh Akbar, Duy Doan, Jeffrey Harrison, Dorianne Laux, Erika Meitner, Carl Phillips, Nicole Sealey, Sean Thomas Dougherty, and Rhina P. Espaillat. Program highlights include:
Friday evening, catch the award-winning Dorianne Laux and Carl Phillips, two outstanding contemporary poets, as they perform from 7:30–9 p.m. in the Atrium of the Peabody Essex Museum.
Saturday, we are delighted to feature an evening with the legendary, award-winning poet, Sonia Sanchez, for a one-of-a-kind performance. Sonia Sanchez demonstrates the extraordinary possibilities of poetry to reveal the personal and political experiences of American life. This event will take place from 7:30–9 p.m. at The Bridge at 211. Earlier on Saturday, headlining poets Kaveh Akbar, Duy Doan, Jeffrey Harrison, Erika Meitner, Nicole Sealey, and Sean Thomas Dougherty will read throughout the day at the Peabody Essex Museum, celebrating the diversity and common threads among us all.
Sunday afternoon, the festival is excited to close with The Shakespeare Time-Traveling Speakeasy— a musical, lyrical odyssey featuring a performance by the inimitable Regie Gibson at the Peabody Essex Museum.
The Mass Poetry Festival offers nearly 100 poetry readings and workshops, a small press and literary fair, panels, poetry slams, and open-air readings. Panel topics range broadly from The State of Poetry, poetry and gender, poetry and the body, storytelling, and children’s poetry. More than 150 poets will engage with thousands of New Englanders throughout the weekend. Admission is $30, and $10 for students and seniors; an additional $15 service fee for all workshops.
Visit www.masspoetry.org for more information, or contact January O’Neil at 978-542-2376.