Poetry News: February 2016


Here is your Poetry News for the month of February, 2016
Scroll down to see or link to more poetry in Worcester, the Berkshires, Boston, Vermont and other areas.
Poetry News is now published monthly. Please send events as you normally do to lori@thepoetrynews.com. The site will be updated regularly.
To receive Poetry News in your email or to request posting of events write to lori@thepoetrynews.com.


Some Highlights of This Month in Western MA (more below, including workshops & calls for submission):
Sun. Jan. 31 – Eve Marko and Norma Akamatsu, Gallery of Readers, Neilson Library, Smith, Northampton, 3pm.
Tue. Feb. 2 – Straw Dog Writers Night Out with Lisa C. Taylor, The Basement, Northampton, 7pm
Tue. Feb. 2 – Jasmin Roberts & Open Mic, The Deuce, WWII club, Northampton, 8pm
Wed. Feb. 3 – The Massachusetts Review author panel, Forbes Library, 7pm
Wed. Feb. 3 – Poetry at Sam’s Pizza, Northampton, 7pm
Thu. Feb. 4 – Collected Poets: Abbott Cutler & Penelope Schott, Mocha Maya, Shelburne Falls, 7pm
Mon. Feb. 8 – Jocelyn Moseman & Open Mic, Ashfield Lakehouse, 8:30pm
Tue. Feb. 9 – UNBUTTONED, Luthier’s Co-op, Easthampton, 7pm
Tue. Feb. 9 – Paulie Lipton & Open Mic, The Deuce, WWII Club, Northampton, 8pm
Thu. Feb. 11 – Florence Poets Society, business 6:30, Poetry Share 7pm, Lilly Library, Florence.
Sun. Feb. 14 – 7 Minutes Literary Spotlight, Spfld Central Library, 1pm
Mon. Feb. 15 – Wagon Wheel Word Open Mic featuring Paul Richmond, Wagon Wheel restaurant, Route 2, Gill, 6pm
Tue. Feb. 16 – Open Mic & Poetry Slam, The Deuce, WWII Club, Northampton, 8pm
Tue. Feb. 16 – Greenfield Word: Dennis Planna & Janice Sorenson plus open mic, 9 Mill St. Greenfield, 7:30pm
Sun. Feb. 21 – Gallery of Readers Series: Don Horton & Susan Cocalis, Neilson Library, Smith, 4pm
Tue. Feb. 23 – Marilyn Chin at Smith! Helen Hills Chapel, Smith, 7:30pm
Tue. Feb. 23 – Hilary Russell & Jan Hutchinson at Writers Read, Lee Library, Lee, 5:30pm
Tue. Feb. 23 – Siaara Freeman & Open Mic, The Deuce, WWII Club, Northampton, 8pm
Thu. Feb. 25 – Blue House Visiting Writers Series: Jericho Brown, Elms College Alumni Library Theater, Chicopee, 7pm reception, 7:30 reading.





Writer’s Night Out
Tue. February 2, 7:00pm
The Basement
21 Center Street
Northampton, MA
Open mike: 7:15; followed by featured writer, Lisa C. Taylor. After that, time to schmooze, drink, make merry, and find out what’s happening in the local writing world. Free admission, but donations gratefully accepted, And please support The Basement by buying a drink!
Lisa C. Taylor’s debut collection of short fiction, Growing a New Tail was released in November. She’s the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Necessary Silence (2013). Another collection of poetry, The Other Side of Longing, is a collaboration with Irish writer, Geraldine Mills. Lisa’s honors include the Hugo House New Works Award for short fiction, an L.L.Winship PEN New England nomination, Pushcart nominations in both fiction and poetry, a Best Indie Lit of New England nomination, and, along with Geraldine Mills, the Elizabeth Shanley Gerson Lecture of Irish Literature at University of Connecticut in 2011. Her books have been taught in college classes. http://www.lisactaylor.com/



Collected Poets Series
Please join us Thursday, February 4, 2015, at 7:00 pm, when poets Penelope Scambly Schott and Abbott Cutler will continue the ninth season of the Collected Poets Series. Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA. ($2-5 suggested donation)



Tue. February 9, 7pm
This month’s Unbuttoned Spoken Word night at Luthier’s – Come to sign up for the open mic at 7:00 p.m.  This is the coolest venue in the Valley! Great stage, great audience, great host Alison Murchie, great beer.
Luthier’s Co-op, Easthampton



7 Minutes: A Literary Spotlight

Sunday, February 14th from 1:00 to 3:00,
Springfield Public Library
220 State Street, Springfield



Wagon Wheel Word Open Mic
Featuring Paul Richmond
Monday, February 15, 6pm
Please join our awesome monthly Wagon Wheel Word! 5 minute open mics slots available, followed by our featured Poet.
Wagon Wheel Word!!! Poetry open mic with feature Adam!
Next month on Feb 1st we are featuring Paul Richmond.
Trish Crapo will feature in March.
Come hungry and feed your body and your yearning for art.
Looking forward to seeing you then!
Wagon Wheel Restaurant
39 French King Highway, Gill, MA



The Gallery of Readers Series presents
Don Horton & Susan Cocalis
reading from their recent work
Sunday, Feburary 21, 2016, 4 PM
Neilson Library Browsing Room
Smith College
Northampton, Massachusetts
Refreshments will be served.
Since its inception in 1990, The Gallery of Readers has presented monthly readings September through June that showcase the work of local writers. All readings are free and open to the public. In addition to organizing this series, Robin Barber and Carol Edelstein led the Vernon Street Writing Workshops. In 2010 they began the Gallery of Readers Press, a nonprofit literary publishing company.
For more information on other events in the series, and for more of
our work, please visit

Greenfield Word
9 Mill Street Greenfield
Tuesday, February 16, 7:30pm
(3rd Tuesday of the month)
Doors open at 7:00
Reading starts at 7:30
This month’s Features are:
Dennis Planna & Janice Sorenson
 There are 10 open mic slots of 5 minutes each
$1 to $5 sliding scale donation
Hope to see you there




Writers Read Monthly Reading Series
Hilary Russell & Jan Hutchinson
TUESDAY, February 23 @ 5:30pm
100 Main St, Lee, MA
Guest Host: Frances Roth

Hilary Russell’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Boulevard, The George Washington Review, and other poetry journals.  He is the author of Giving up the House, a chapbook (Mad River Press.) He has work in The Anthology of American Poetry (Wayside Press) and The Portable Writer (Wayside Press).  He has read his work at Villanova University, Pace University, The Folger Shakespeare Library, and at Arrowhead (the home of Herman Melville in Pittsfield, MA). He and his wife, Jenny, live in Sheffield.

Jan Hutchinson has been a lifelong writer and student of poetry, though most of her readings and publications have been local to the Berkshires.  She makes poetry a daily practice and has written at least one “thimble” poem every day for over a dozen years. She has two published collections, put out by the Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire: Poems of Prayer and Heresy (2008) and Raggedy Prayers and Crooked Ladders (2013). Both volumes include whimsical drawings by Stockbridge painter Chet Kalm. During the last four Aprils, Jan has honored National Poetry Month by sending daily poetry prompts to an ever-increasing number of poets and songwriters who have expressed interest — now in twelve states and three foreign countries.


Marilyn Chin
Tuesday, February 23 at 7:30 PM 

Helen Hills Hills Chapel, Smith College

Marilyn Chin is a self-described activist poet. Her most recent book, Hard Love Province, is a testament to this unwavering dedication— and also a winner of the 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Award for poetry, which honors books that confront racism and examine diversity. Chin’s work is fearless and pointed, humorous and heart-wrenching, all the while maintaining a deep and close engagement with the world. Author of four books of poetry, Chin has also published a novel, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen, translated the Chinese poet Ai Qing, and co-translated the Japanese poet Gōzō Yoshimasu.




Jericho Brown Poetry Reading at Elms College
Thursday, February 25 at 7 PM
An associate professor in English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta,Brown has received a Whiting Writers Award, and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, The New Yorker and The Best American Poetry. His first book,Please, won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.

Elms College Alumnae Library, 291 Springfield St, Chicopee, MA





Sam’s Pizza and Cafe presents an open reading night
First Wednesday of the month
7pm Sam’s Pizza, Northampton



Weekly Poetry Open Mic at The Deuce
Every Tuesday Night 8pm – 10pm
Open Mic Signup starts at 7pm.
World War II Club, Conz St. Northampton,MA
Please bring a 3-5 minute selection of your work to share
Fabulous website with featured poets
Jan. 5- C.R. Avery & Open Mic
Jan. 12 – WOWPS Qualifying Slam & Open Mic
Jan. 19 – Alex Charalambedes & Open Mic
Jan. 26 – Poetry Slam & Open Mic



“In Our Nature” Writing Workshop ~ winter session
Whether you are a beginning writer or advanced, new to writing with others or an old hand at it, passionate about nature, human nature, or other topics altogether … come write with us!
Day: Thursday mornings in February & March
Dates: Feb. 4 – March 31  (9 wks)
Time: 10am – 12:45pm  (2 3/4 hrs)
Can’t come to the first meeting? If room, you’re welcome to join us after the first meeting.
Cost: $33/week, or save $27 by paying $270 in one or two advance lump sums.  Not sure? Try a meeting at no cost.
We meet at my Ashfield home, in a supportive environment using guidelines developed by Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA). Tuition includes occasional manuscript critiques for those who want them.
For more information, contact me at (413) 628 -4039
or  smiddle@crocker.com

Susan Middleton’s poems have appeared in a number of literary and environmental publications. In 2004 she and several other western MA poets founded Slate Roof, a collaboratively run small press, which published her chapbook, Seed Case of the Heart (Slate Roof Press, 2007). In 2013 she won 2nd prize for a short story in Write Action’s 8th Annual Prose & Poetry Writing Contest. Susan has been participating in workshops and peer-run groups based on the AWA method since 1996, and leading AWA workshops since January 2013. She also has extensive editing experience, having participated in critique groups for over 15 years and edited books as a freelance for over 25 years.



Our Bodies Are The Keepers of Our Stories

In this monthly workshop, writers and yogis of all levels will gather to practice yoga and writing concurrently in order to excavate and gain access to the infinite wisdom, language, and stories held within the body. Using meditation, asana, yoga philosophy, atypical writing exercises, and illustrative texts, each themed workshop will be both study and practice. We’ll explore how yoga supports and enhances the craft of writing as well as our writing process. The result will be tremendously rich, vibrant writing, a true sense of creative freedom, and a sure-fire way to never have writer’s block again.

Students will have the opportunity to share their work in class and to continue the conversation online between workshops.

February 14 – Valentines Day! Who Are You & What Do you Love? Loving conversations with language and the body

March 6 – Mi Casa es Su Casa—Embodying Characters and Consciousness’s

April 17 – Moving Mountain Practice—On Changing Perspectives

May 15 –Writing What’s Difficult—The Emotional Body

June 19 — Practice is Practice is Practice — Lessons from Gertrude Stein and Vinyasas

Maria Williams-Russell is the author of A Love Letter to Say There Is No Love and the founding editor of Shape&Nature Press. A longtime yoga enthusiast, Maria received her Embodyoga 200 hour yoga teaching certificate in at Yoga Center Amherst in 2014. She spends much of her time teaching writing and yoga, writing her own poetry, poring over manuscripts, and driving her kids around. She believes all our stories: real, imagined, past, present, and future reside in the vast universe of the body and that yoga offers deep access to those stories and to our creativity while making visible our connection to everything else.



 Blue House Visiting Writers Series at Elms College
Presents Jericho Brown
Thursday, February 25
Elms College Alumni Library Theater, Chicopee, MA
7pm reception, 7:30 reading
Future featured poets:
3/15/16 – Rachel Glaser, Seth Landman, Ted Powers
(at Blue House 147 Grape St. Chicopee)
4/12/16 – Brenda Shaughnessy & Arda Collins
at Alumni Library Theater
More info: http://www.elms.edu/calendar/events/home-events/Visiting-Writers-Series-2015-2016 


Belchertown based poetry critique group
looking to add one or two new (published) members.
Currently meeting 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month, 10 – 11:30 am.
Contact: Denise 413-244-3290 or dcfontaine@yahoo.com

Fiction Writing Group at East Forest Park Library
122 Island Pond Road (Next to Rite Aid in the plaza) Springfield First Wednesday of Each Month Time: 6:00 pm Contact: Theresa Boulrice (413) 263-6836)

Emily Dickinson International Society

(EDIS) presents: “Poetry Conversation”
Jones Library, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA; in the Amherst Room, 2nd floor 1st Friday of each month — 2pm – 3:30pm 2nd Thursday of each month — 5:45pm – 7:15pm All who are interested in sharing thoughts and ideas in a group discussion based on selected poems/letters by Emily Dickinson are welcome.


The next business/sharing meeting is Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 6:30pm.
Poetry share at 7.
Please consider joining the Florence Poets Society. Your $20 membership dues (Sept. – Aug.) support our annual journal, Silkworm, as well as public readings and events. We meet monthly at the Lilly Library in Florence on the 2nd Thurs. of each month, and all are welcome. Please visit our web site for more information: http://www.florencepoets.com or contact us at info@florencepoets.com.



For the Spring semester (starting now) Poetry à la Carte will air at a new time:
Tuesdays at 5 pm.
We’ll begin with January poets in a rollicking mood — Lewis Carroll, Mary Mapes Dodge (you may know her as the author of Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates), Gelett Burgess, a smidgen of Norman Mailer, and a few others of an unexpected and merry crew!

WMUA-Amherst (the student and community radio station of UMass-Amherst) can be listened to at 91.1 FM within range of the transmitter. WMUA is also streamed live at http://www.wmua.org/. The program, produced by Daisy Mathias, includes reading aloud from past and contemporary poets, and occasionally features live interview and poetry-reading with a local poet.




Greenfield Word
9 Mill Street Greenfield
3rd Tuesday of the month
Doors open at 7:00
Reading starts at 7:30
January 19th, 2016
This month’s Features are:
Adam Grabowski and Veda Leone
There are 10 open mic slots of 5 minutes each
$1 to $5 sliding scale donation
Hope to see you there





~Writers Read Monthly Reading Series~

Tuesday, February 23rd at 5:30pm at the Lee Library Association, 100 Main Street, Lee –parking at the library. If you have questions and/or are interested in reading in the series, though we can make no promises initially, please email David Giannini, coordinator of the WRITERS READ series, davidgpoet@gmail.com

There’s a vibrant and active poetry community in the Albany area.
Go to http://www.albanypoets.com/ for schedules and events!


The Hangover Hour Poetry Salon
is every other Sunday afternoon, with a poet from the community reading the works of a poet from history. The open mic before the feature is a tight 5 minutes, for poems, stories or other spoken word propaganda. Spread the word nerd! The future is a drag, man!!! We start promptly at 5:00 p.m. every other Sunday, so come early, have a tasty beverage and be cool cats. 18+ Nicks (124 Millbury Street, Worcester)

Poetry, People!

Every Thursday 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (sometimes later)
@ The Coffee Loft 406 Lincoln Street Marlborough, MA
508.251.1431 Poetry, verse, and short stories are are welcome at this very friendly, informal open reading.
Now booking for features to start in March.
Please contact Jarad at CoffeeLoftBooking@gmail.com for more info or to become a featured poet.

The Little “a” Poetry Series
Every Thursday night at 7pm, with an open mic preceding the feature. It is free and all ages, and will be held at The Strange Attractor, 97D Webster St, Worcester MA. Hosted by “Cowboy” Matt Hopewell, who also does the booking and can be reached at themadcowboy@gmail.com or by phone at (508) 479 8311 .


CT has a wonderful and comprehensive newsletter online. Write to ctpoetnews@yahoo.com to get the CT Poet newsletter in your email, or the CT Poetry Calendar is online at http://www.ctpoetrycalendar.com




If you want more events in the Boston area (and there are many more!) write to Dan Bouchard to get his poetry calendar in your email at bouchard@MIT.EDU
Poetry Slam
Every first and third Wednesday of the month. First, Poetry Slam, then is an open mic Equilibrium 14 Elm Street sign-up at 7:30 event is 8-10pm http://www.facebook.com/BrattleboroPoetry For a VT poetry events calendar go to: http://www.phayvanh.com/ For info on Brattleboro poetry and Write Action visit their website – http://www.writeaction.org Poetry readings at the Putney Library 55 Main Street, Putney VT (802) 387-4407


News for Poetry News should be sent to lori@thepoetrynews.com. Please send your announcements in text only – do not format (no special fonts, left-align, no colors, etc.) and check it for errors. Send by Wednesday for Thursday publication. Thank you, Lori Desrosiers – Publisher, Editor, wearer of all hats.

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