Poetry News, April 2016


Here is your Poetry News for the month of April, 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):
Mon. April 4 – Xinef Afriam at Wagon Wheel Word Open Mic., Gill, 6pm
Tue. April 5 – Oonagh Doherty, Straw Dog Writers, The Basement, Northampton, 7pm
Tue. April 5 – Poetry Open Mic and Tom Leveille, The Deuce, Northampton, 8pm
Wed. April 6 – Poetry Open Mic at Sam’s Pizza, Northampton, 7pm
Thu. April 7 – Amherst Art Walk,Victoria Luizzi, Sasha Burshteyn at Dickinson Museum, 6pm open mic.
Sat. April 9 – Poems, Prose & Pints, Abandoned Building Brewery, Easthampton, 7pm
Sat. April 9 – Easthampton Bookfest! Info at http://easthamptoncityarts.com
Sun. April 10 – Gallery of Readers, Kathryn Petroccelli, Kathy Fiveash, Neilson Library, Smith, 4pm
Mon. April 11 – Lake House Open Mic, Lauren Singer, Lake House, Ashfield, 8:30pm
Tue. April 12 – Unbuttoned, Open Mic with Eric Paul, Luthier’s Co op, Easthampton, 7pm
Tue. April 12 – Blue House Visiting Writers, Elms College, Chicopee, 7pm
Tue. April 12 – Poetry Open Mic, Emily Rose, Ben Clark, The Deuce, Northampton, 8pm
Wed. April 13 – Lesléa Newman & Andrea Ayvazian, Broadside Books, Northampton, 7pm
Wed. April 13 -Ruth Lehrer & Paul Hostovsky, Meekins Library, Williamsburg, 6:30pm
Thu. April 14 – Florence Poets Society, Lilly Library, Florence, 6:30 business, 7pm poetry.
Thu. April 14 – Moving Through Grief, Jane Yolen & Molly Scott, Neilson. Lib. Smith, 7pm
Sun. April 17 – 7 Minutes, A Literary Spotlight, Springfield Central Library, 1pm
Tue. April 19 – Greenfield Word, 19 Mill St. Greenfield, 7:30pm
Tue. April 19 – Ellen Bass at Smith, Weinstein Aud., Wright Hall, Northampton, 7:30pm
Tue. April 19 – Poetry Open Mic, The Deuce, Northampton, 8pm
Sat. April 23 – Kate Litterer, book release rdg, “Ghosty Boo” Oxbow Gallery Northampton, 6pm
Sun. April 24 – Ana Bozicevic and Bianca Stone at Jones Library, Amherst, 3pm
Tue. April 26 – Joe Weil at Writers Read, Lee Library, 5:30pm
Tue. April 26 – Poetry Open Mic & Rushelle Frazier, The Deuce, Northampton, 8pm




Writer’s Night Out
Featuring Oonagh Doherty
Tue. April 5, 7:00pm
The Basement
21 Center Street
Northampton, MA

Open mic at the Basement, admission is free! Writers, put your name in the hat until 7:10; reading begins at  7:15. Followed by featured reader Sarah Sousa. After that, there will be time to socialize and find out what’s happening in the local writing world!

Oonagh C. Doherty was born in Scotland, and grew up in both the United Kingdom and the United States.  She has published short stories in 34th Parallel, Epiphany; and Connecticut Review.  Her poetry has been published in Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry, Crannog, Margie, William and Mary Review, and Existere and many other venues. Her book During the Truce, a politically oriented memoir of her time in Bogota, Colombia was published by Leveller’s Press in October of 2015.  Oonagh has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, once for prose and once for poetry.



Victoria Luizzi and Sasha Burshteyn at Emily Dickinson Museum
Thursday, April 7th
The Emily Dickinson Museum participates in the Amherst Art Walk on first Thursdays monthly from 5-8PM. Each month enjoy a one-night-only art exhibit, a poetry open mic, and featured readers. The Art Walk is just one way the Museum is bringing local contemporary talent into Emily Dickinson’s creative space. All events are free and open to the public.

5-8PM Art in the Homestead by Hope & Feathers Framing and Printing
5:30PM Musical performance by Conor Ritchie-Dunham
5-6PM Poetry open mic sign-ups
6PM Poetry open mic, featured readers following open mic:   Victoria Luizzi and Sasha Burshteyn 




Meat for Tea  and Unbuttoned Presents: Poems, Prose, and Pints
Saturday, April 9, 7-9pm
The Abandoned Building Brewery, Easthampton
142 Pleasant St. (behind the building, next door to Sonelab)
Experience the prose and poems by local wordsmiths with a pint in hand. Meat for Tea and Unbuttoned presents an evening of readings by local authors and poets.
Readers will be Lori Desrosiers, Tara Jean Bernier, Lauren Singer, Sean Casey, Michael Alvez, Richard Horton, Joseph Boisvere, Samantha Wood, Kaliis Smith, Alison Murchie and Elizabeth McDuffie. Featured reader will be Izhikotane.



The Gallery of Readers Series presents
Kathryn Petroccelli & Kathy Fiveash
reading from their recent work
Sunday, April 10, 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



MONDAY, April 11th at 8:30pm
Come perform a poem, a sonnet, a haiku, or spoken word, all types of original writing are welcome. Or you can come to chill, listen, and cheer on the poets! Sign-ups start at 8:00pm but get there fast, there are a limited number of slots. One poem per person, and please keep your poems to about 3 minutes in length as we want to be able to hear as many people as possible. The event is by donation. Hosted by Myisha Stephens and Sequoia LeBreux

This month’s feature Lauren Singer is the assistant judge of the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, and the North Street Book Prize. She is a native New Yorker currently living in Western Massachusetts. Her poetry has been published in Nerve House, Bareback, Feel the Word, Read This, Kosmosis, One Night Stanzas, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, and other literary magazines across the country. In 2015 she received her MSW at the University of Chicago, is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and an attendee of the New York State Summer Writer’s Institute. She has self-published three chapbooks, and received an honorable mention in the 2011 Wergle Flomp contest.

UNBUTTONED, An Evening of Spoken Word
with featured writer Eric Paul
Tuesday, April 12th from 7:00 – 8:30PM
at Luthier’s Co-op, 108 Cottage St., Easthampton, MA.
This event is free and open to the public.



Blue House Visiting Writers Series, Elms College:
Brenda Shaughnessy and Arda Collins

April 12, 7pm reception, 7:30pm reading
Alumni Library Theater
Elms College, Chicopee

Brenda Shaughnessy’s most recent collection of poems is So Much Synth (Copper Canyon Press, 2016.) Her other books are Our Andromeda, a New York Times’ 100 Notable Book and a finalist for the Griffin International Prize; Human Dark with Sugar (James Laughlin Award recipient and finalist for the NBCC Award) andInterior with Sudden Joy. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Harpers, McSweeney’s, The Nation, The New Yorker,The Paris Review, T magazine, The Penguin Book of Twentieth Century Poetry, and elsewhere. She was a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow in 2013 and is associate professor of English/creative writing at Rutgers University-Newark.

Arda Collins is the author of a collection of poems, It Is Daylight(2009), which was awarded the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, The American Poetry Review, jubilat, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of the May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Denver. She has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, NYU, and currently serves as the Grace Hazard Conkling Writer in Residence at Smith College in Northampton, MA.

The Blue House is located at the edge of campus, near the intersections of Springfield St. and Fairview Ave.



Soul Sisters: Lesléa Newman and Andrea Ayvazian Celebrate
National Poetry Month with a reading at Broadside Bookshop

Wednesday, April 13 at 7:00 p.m.
To celebrate National Poetry Month, Lesléa Newman and Andrea Ayvazian, who consider themselves “soul sisters” will give a poetry reading on Wednesday, April 13 at 7:00 p.m. at Broadside Bookshop. They will each read from new and published work. The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.

“Andrea Ayvazian is a wonderful poet,” said Lesléa Newman. “Her work is deeply spiritual and inspiring. And she is a wonderful human being who infuses the world with light and love. I feel a deep connection with her and am honored to be reading with her.”

“It is my joy to be reading with the famous, well-published, and much-loved poet Lesléa Newman,” said Andrea Ayvazian. “Because we look somewhat alike, we are often mistaken for each other and that always gives me a huge thrill! I admire her writing profoundly and feel so lucky and blessed to share this evening with her.”

Lesléa Newman is the author of 70 books including the poetry collections, I Carry My Mother, Still Life with Buddy, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard(novel-in-verse), and Signs of Love. She has received poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. From 2008- 2010 she served as the poet laureate of Northampton, MA.

Andrea Ayvazian is the Senior Pastor of the Haydenville Congregational Church, United Church of Christ. A published poet and author, Andrea writes a monthly column for the Daily Hampshire Gazette on the intersection of faith, culture, and politics. She is the editor of Psalms In Ordinary Voices, and has four chapbooks of her poems in circulation: Souls Floating By, And So Begin, TheJesus Poems, and With These Words. 

Broadside Bookshop
247 Main Street, Northampton



Wednesday April 13th at 6:30 Pecha Kucha @The Arts Block – 20 images, 20 seconds each – 6 minutes 40 seconds – Pecha Kucha is a storytelling event that brings people together to present and discuss new ideas, art, sustainability and political topics.  Hope you will come out
Presenters (not in order of performance )
1)     Linda Mcinerney
 2)    Doug Anderson
 3)    Rosie McMahan
 4)    Lindy Whiton
 5)    Paul Richmond
 6)    Dina Stander


Smith Poetry Center presents:
Moving Through Grief: Poem, Songs and After
with poets Jane Yolen ’60 and Molly Scott ’59

April 14th, 7PM, Neilson Browsing Room, Smith College
Both Smith alumnae, Yolen, ’60, is an acclaimed, award-winning poet and New York Times best-selling author while Molly Scott, ’59, is a poet, singer/songwriter and psychologist who recently won the Robert Frost Foundation poetry prize. Reading from their books, intertwined with music, they will address personal and societal grieving and the gifts and losses of aging. No fee; refreshments served. Co-sponsored by Poetry Center at Smith and Straw Dog Writers Guild.



7 Minutes: A Literary Spotlight
Sunday, April 17th from 1:00 to 3:00,
Featured Readers:
Alexis Johnson
Julie Winberg
Gerald Yelle
Christopher Thomas Elliott
Amy Laprade
Christina Scott
Tamara Fricke
Maria Luisa Arroyo

Springfield Public Library
220 State Street, Springfield



Greenfield Word
9 Mill Street Greenfield
Tuesday, April 19, 7:30pm
(3rd Tuesday of the month)
Doors open at 7:00
Reading starts at 7:30
This month’s Features are:
Mary Clare Powell & Gail Thomas
 There are 10 open mic slots of 5 minutes each
$1 to $5 sliding scale donation
Hope to see you there





Tuesday, April 19, 2016
7:30 pm, Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
Smith College, Northampton

Ellen Bass’s work has appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies including The New Yorker, The Atlantic and The American Poetry Review. She is the author of three books of poetry, Mules of Love (2002), The Human Line(2007) and, most recently, Like a Beggar (2014), which have garnered praise for its great intelligence and heart. “The irony,” writes Toi Derricotte, is that Like a Beggar is a book about riches. These are luxurious poems, full of gorgeous language; and they also ‘muddy their hands with the actual,’ and ‘handle the hard evidence of the earth.’” In the words of Marie Howe, the book was “written in service and celebration of Eros, the life force that can wake us, the weary citizens of this all too broken world. The poems know what they contend with; they don’t flinch. Then they sing their joy.”

In addition, Bass co-edited (with Florence Howe) the groundbreaking No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (1973). Other nonfiction books include Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth—and Their Allies (1996), Beginning to Heal: A First Book for Men and Women Who Were Sexually Abused as Children (revised 2008), I Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (1983) and The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (1988), which has sold over a million copies and been translated into ten languages.

Bass earned an MA in creative writing from Boston University, where she studied with Anne Sexton. Her honors and awards include two Pushcart Prizes, a Pablo Neruda Prize, a Larry Levis Reading Prize, a Lambda Literary Award, a New Letters Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council. She teaches in the low residency MFA program at Pacific University and has taught poetry and creative writing in Santa Cruz.



Come out to celebrate National Poetry Month at the Wendell Free Library
Saturday, April 23rd 
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
This upbeat event includes:
Poetry Jokes
Open Mic
Featured Readers, Paul Richmond and Jennifer Wallace
Offbeat refreshments
Hosted by Shay Whitman Cooper
And I know many of you have readings coming up also for this great Month of April
Let the words flow…



jubilat/Jones Reading Series 2015-2016
Please join us on Sunday, April 24th at 3:00pm to hear poets
Ana Bozicevic and Bianca Stone!
Born in Zagreb, Croatia, Ana Bozicevic emigrated to New York City in 1997 and studied at Hunter College. She is the author of several chapbooks, including Morning News (2006) and Document (2007). Her first book-length collection, Stars of the Night Commute (2009) was Lambda Literary Award finalist, and her second book Rise in the Fall (2013) won a Lambda Literary Award.

Bozicevic has worked for the PEN American Center and the Center for the Humanities of the Graduate Center, CUNY. She codirects the Stain of Poetry reading series in Brooklyn, New York.

Bianca Stone is a poet and visual artist. She is the author of several chapbooks, including I Saw The Devil With His Needlework (Argos Books), and the poetry-comic I Want To Open The Mouth God Gave You, Beautiful Mutant (Factory Hollow Press). Her first full-length collection is Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (2014). Stone is the editor of Monk Books, a small press that publishes limited-edition chapbooks of poetry and art, and chair of the Ruth Stone Foundation with her husband Ben Pease. She lives in Vermont and Brooklyn.
Sunday, April 24th at 3:00pm
in the Goodwin Room
of the Jones Library
43 Amity St, Amherst, MA
Reading will be followed by a Q & A session with the authors.



Writers Read Monthly Reading Series
TUESDAY, April 26 @ 5:30pm
Featured Reader: Joe Weil
100 Main St, Lee, MA
Guest Host: D.M. Dutcher

Joe Weil is an assistant professor at Binghamton University where he has been teaching creative writing, poetry, and fiction in the graduate and undergraduate programs. His books include: What Remains, Painting the Christmas Trees, The Plumbers Apprentice, and his most recent, The Great Grandmother Light; New and Selected Poems. He has presented poetry and music at venues such as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, The Detroit Opera House, Poets House, and the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. He was featured on PBS’ Fooling With Words with Bill Moyers, and was the winner of the Working People’s Poetry Competition in 2013. He has also won two NFAAA awards for outstanding teaching in the arts.



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



Call for Submissions: Slate Roof Press,
a member-run, not-for-profit collaborative, is pleased to announce the 2016 Elyse Wolf Prize for our annual poetry chapbook contest. The winner receives $500, becomes an active member of the press, and will have his/her chapbook published by Slate Roof. We publish limited-edition, art-quality chapbooks for Massachusetts and regional poets — beautiful books by an award-winning book designer and printer. Winners make a 3-year commitment to the press, including monthly meetings in Greenfield, MA, and share work responsibilities for many aspects of publishing. Submit no more than 28 pages of poetry. $10 reading fee. Deadline (upload/postmark): May 15, 2016. For full contest guidelines, visit www.slateroofpress.com  or http://slateroofpresscontest.submittable.com/submit.



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.
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.




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, April 14, 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
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, April 26 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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