Poetry News – April 2018


Here is your Poetry News for Western Massachusetts for the month of April 2018.
Poetry News is published monthly. NEW EMAIL: Please send events to thepoetrynews@gmail.com. The site will be updated regularly.
To receive Poetry News in your email also send to thepoetrynews@gmail.com


Poetry Highlights of This Month in Western Massachusetts:

Tue. April 3 – Five College Poetry Fest, Alumnae House, Smith College, 7:30pm
Tue. April 3 – Straw Dog Writers Guild Writers’ Night Out: Kris Holloway & John D. Bidwell and Open Mic, The Basement, 21 Center St. Northampton, 7pm
Tue. April 3 – Northampton Poetry: Elias Evander and Open mic at The Deuce, WWII Club Northampton, 7pm
Wed. April 4 – Warrior Writers reading at the Greenfield Library, Greenfield, 6pm
Thu. April 5 – Portuguese poet Alice Branco, Bilingual Poetry Reading, Smith Poetry Center, Wright Hall, Smith College, Northampton, 5pm
Thu. April 5 – Nasty Women Poets reading at the Dickinson Museum, Amherst, 5pm
Thu. April 5 – Collected Poets’ Series: Poets Liz Ahl & Charles Rossiter at Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, 7pm
Fri. April  6 – Pulp Last Chance Slam & jamie mortara, The Roost, Northampton, 7pm
Sat. April 7 – Juniper Literary Fest Book Fair, UMass Amherst
Sat. April 7 – Perugia Press presents: Ida Stewart, Sarah Sousa & Cindy Veach, at Eileen Fischer, 24 Pleasant St. Northampton, 5:30pm
Sun. April 8 – Writers Read at the Inn at Norton Hill: Ernie Brill, Ashfield, 3pm
Sun. April 8 – Factory Hollow Press chapbook release reading, Amherst Books, Amherst, 3pm
Tue. April 10 – UNBUTTONED presents Christian Arthur, Luthiers Co-op, Easthampton, 7pm
Tue. April 10 – Compass Roads, a Strawdog anthology of poetry about the Pioneer Valley, Florence Civic Center,  Florence, 7pm
Tue. April 10 – jamie mortara & Open Mic at The Deuce, WWII Club, Northampton, 7pm
Thu. April 12 – Florence Poets Society meeting & poetry share, Lilly Library, Florence, 6:30pm
Sat. April 14 – Easthampton BookFest, Eastworks, Easthampton, Noon – 5pm
Sat. April 14 – Meat for Tea presents Poetry, Prose & Pints. Abandoned Building Brewery, Easthampton, 7pm.
Sun. April 15 – Laura Rodley, book release reading, Gill Montague Senior Center, 62 5th Street, Turner’s Falls, 1pm
Tue. April 17 – Open Mic & Last Chance Slam at The Deuce, WWII Club, Northampton, 7pm
Tue. April 17 – Diane Ackerman at Smith, Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, Smith College, Northampton, 5pm
Tue. April 17 – Haiku Poets, “A Long Wait for Spring”. Jones Library, Amherst, 7pm
Thu. April 19 – Edward Bruce Bynam and Wally Swist at Pelham Library, Pelham, 6:30pm
Fri. April 20 – Third Friday Poetry Open Mic at the Arms Library, Shelburne Falls, 7pm (sign up 6:30
Sat. April 21 – Paths to Publishing, Lilly Library, Florence, 10:30am
Tue. April 24 – Favorite Poem Project at Smith, Weinstein Aditorium, Wright Hall, Smith College, Northampton, 7:30pm.
Tue. April 24 – Greenfield Word – Featuring Joshua Michael Stewart and Marian Kelner plus Open Mic, 9 Mill St. Greenfield, 7:30pm
Tue. April 24 – Writer’s Read at the Lee Library: Owen Lewis & Doug Anderson, 6:30pm
Wed. April 25 – Teatro V!DA Youth Open Mic, Bing Arts Center, 716 Sumner, Springfield, 7pm
Sat. April 28 – Speaking Out, Writing Political Poems, a workshop with Gail Thomas. Pioneer Valley Writer’s Workshop. 16 Main St. Williamsburg, 1pm Register at



Tuesday, April 3, 7:30 PM

This 16th Annual Reading in celebration of poetry at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts features two students from each institution: Jonah Davis and Avery Farmer (Amherst); Lazuli Liu and Corrie Owens-Beauchesne (Hampshire); Bennett Sambrook and Becca Mullen (Mt. Holyoke); Janelle Tan and Savannah Tilley (Smith); Stacey Cusson and Cressida Richards (UMass).

Alumnae House Conference Hall, Smith College, Northampton, MA

Bilingual Poetry Reading by Portuguese Poet Rosa Alice Branco
Thursday, April 5, 5:00 PM 

Portuguese poet, essayist and professor of Philosophy Rosa Alice Branco has been translated and published widely throughout Europe and beyond. The poet Kevin Prufer called Cattle of the Lord, her latest in English, “a wild and sneaky book, filled with intelligence, wit, and theological anxiety,” and her translator, Alexis Levitin, notes that “[Branco’s] very syntax invites a multifaceted contemplation of the human condition… We squirm and we learn.”

The Poetry Center at Smith College, Northampton, MA

The Collected Poets Series: Liz Ahl & Charles Rossiter
Thursday, April 5, 7:00 PM

Please help us welcome spring and usher in National Poetry Month when poets Liz Ahland Charles Rossiter will read for the Collected Poets Series. Liz Ahl is the author of Beating the Bounds (Hobblebush Books, 2017), Home Economics (Seven Kitchens Press, 2016), Talking About the Weather (Seven Kitchens Press, 2012), Luck (Pecan Grove Press, 2010), and A Thirst That’s Partly Mine (winner of the 2008 Slapering Hol Press chapbook contest). Charles Rossiter, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Recipient, hosts the twice-monthly podcast series at www.PoetrySpokenHere.com. His recent books include: All Over America: Road Poems; Winter Poems; Cold Mountain 2000: Han Shan in the City, and Lakeside Poems. ($2-5 suggested donation)

Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA

Pulp Last Chance Slam feat. jamie mortara
Friday, April 6, 7:00 PM

Want to compete in the National Poetry Slam? Pulp Slam is sending a team in 2018 and this is the last chance slam to qualify! Doors & Sign-Up at 7:00PM, show begins at7:30. Our feature jamie mortara is a queer poet, performer, publisher, organizer, and artist currently based in Portland, OR. They are the author of the poetry collection some planet (YesYes Books) and the interactive fiction collection small creatures / wide field (tNY Press). The poetry slam and feature will be followed by an open mic with all things welcome: music, poetry, comedy, etc. Come slam with us for a chance to make the team! ($5 suggested donation, no one turned away for lack of funds)

The Roost, 1 Market St, Northampton, MA

Perugia Presents Poetry: Ida Stewart, Sarah Sousa & Cindy Veach
Saturday, April 7, 5:30 PM 

Join us for a poetry reading with three stellar poets hosted by the Eileen Fisher Store in Northampton, MA. The reading showcases Perugia Press poet Ida Stewart, and CavanKerry poets Sarah Sousa & Cindy Veach. This will be the local book launch for Sarah’s new book: See the Wolf! You don’t want to miss this line-up of incredible voices in a beautiful space. Celebrate Poetry Month with us!

Eileen Fisher, 24 Pleasant St, Northampton, MA 

A Factory Hollow Press Chapbook Release Party
readings/ new chapbooks from

Ish Klein (“Every Animal Is Your Mother”)
Colleen Louise Barry (“Poultry In Motion”)
Kate Lindroos (“The Costume of a Hunter”)
Scott Jacobs (“Green Colorless Ideas Sleep Furiously”)

Sunday April 8th
Amherst Books


Marie Howe and the 12th Annual High School Prizewinners
Tuesday, April 10 at 7:30pm

Marie Howe sees her work as an act of confession, conversation, prayer. She says simply, “Poetry is telling something to someone.” Her work glows with light and lightness that bear heavy questions of existence. Howe’s latest book, Magdalene, transforms driving, watching television and cleaning kitchen counters into prayer and meditation on mortality. The recipient of many distinguished awards, including fellowships from the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, the Academy of American Poets, and the Guggenheim Foundation, Howe teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and New York University. Prior to Howe’s reading, the winner and finalists of the twelfth annual High School prize will read.Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, Smith College, Northampton

Smith’s Favorite Poem Project

Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30pm

The common thread that brings us all together on Tuesday nights is simple: We. Love. Poems. We have favorite poems that we carry with us throughout our lives, poems to help us celebrate, grieve, and make sense of the world we share. Where do you, our audience, come in? What’s your favorite poem—and why? Would you like to share it would our audience on April 24, 2018?

Click HERE to submit!

Poetry Center faculty and students will review the responses, and choose 10-12 readers for the event. Poems should be geared towards a five minute presentation, comprised of reading the poem, and informally speaking about your connection to it. (You don’t have to be a poet to submit– in fact, we’re looking for a poem by someone else that inspires you.)

Here’s info about the Favorite Poem Project initiated by Robert Pinsky when he was Poet Laureate: http://www.favoritepoem.org/ (with videos of many favorite poems!)

Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall,  Northampton, MA

Compass Roads: Poetry About the Pioneer Valley Book Launch and Celebration
Tuesday, April 10, 7:00 PM 
Jane Yolen and the Straw Dog Writers Guild launch Compass Roads: Poems about the Pioneer Valley. The poems in the collection address the seasons, perspectives and attitudes of the Valley. The collection, published by Levellers Press, includes 36 towns in the Pioneer Valley ranging from Heath to Springfield, New Salem to Chesterfield. Some of the 62 poets included in the anthology are Janet E. Aalfs, Patricia Lee Lewis, Paul Mariani, Richard Michelson, Burleigh Mutén, Lesléa Newman, Pat Schneider, Molly Scott, and Jane Yolen.

Florence Civic Center, Park St, Florence, MA



Laura Rodley Poetry Reading 
Sunday, April 15, 1:00 PM 

Debut of two new books by Laura RodleyCounter Point published by Prolific Press Inc. and Turn Left at Normal published by Big Table Publishing. The event is free, with fabulous refreshments and wheelchair accessible.    

Gill Montague Senior Center on 62 5th St in Turners Falls, MA



The Haiku Poets’ Society of Western Massachusetts
invites you to attend “A Long Wait for Spring.”
An integrated reading and talk in celebration of National Haiku Poetry Day.
Jones Library, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA on April 17, 2018 at 7:00 PM.
The program will be followed by a Meet and Greet with an opportunity
to ask questions and peruse the book table.
Please join us in celebrating the joy of beautiful words.




Poetry Reading by Edward Bruce Bynum and Wally Swist
Pelham Library, 2 South Valley Road, Pelham, MA 01002; (413) 253-0657
Thursday, 19 April 2018, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Poets and writers Edward Bruce Bynum and Wally Swist will read from their poetry on Thursday, 19 April 2018 at the Pelham Library, from 6:30-8:00 p.m.  They will both read for approximately half an hour, be open for a Q&A, and will have their books available to sign.  Refreshments will be served.  The event is free of charge and open to everyone.



Tesserae Event Celebrates Poetry & Community
April, 22, 3:30-5:00pm at the Parlor Room in Northampton.

Northampton’s Poet Laureate, Amy Dryansky, will host a special event on behalf of several local agencies that work to welcome and support immigrants and new Americans in the community. The event, Tesserae: Poetry in Community, is a reading and celebration that will highlight the work of The Center for New Americans, The Literacy Project, International Language Institute, and the Pioneer Valley Workers Center.

 The event is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, April, 22, 3:30-5:00pm at the Parlor Room in Northampton. It will feature readings by award-winning poets Leslie Marie Aguilar, Maria Luisa Arroyo, Tamiko Beyer, Kirun Kapur, Oliver de la Paz and Ocean Vuong.

 According to Dryansky, the purpose of the event is to invite the community to learn about the experiences of immigrants and new Americans, and enjoy excellent poetry. She explains that she chose the name, Tesserae, after the pieces or shards that together, make up a mosaic. She believes it’s an apt metaphor for the many kinds of people who live in the Pioneer Valley, and the important contributions they make to our communities.

The event is free and open to all. Support for the program is provided by the Northampton Arts Council, a local agency supported by the MA Cultural Council. Additional support is provided by The Common, Hampshire College, Levellers Press, The Massachusetts Review, Meridiens, and the Poetry Center at Smith College.

For more information, see the calendar at: http://www.northamptonartscouncil.org/p/c.html

The Parlor Room has a wheelchair accessible entrance, but not restrooms. Please check their site for more information: https://www.signaturesoundspresents.com/the-parlor-room-in-northampton/



Paths to Publishing
April 21, 10:30am-12:00pm
Lilly Library

This roundtable about the pros and cons of different paths to publication can help you figure out where (and where not) to place your writing. Five Straw Dog authors will briefly describe their experiences working with diverse kinds of presses – corporate, indie, hybrid, self-publishing, as well as working with an agent. Then everyone is invited to participate in the discussion to follow. A great opportunity for anyone wanting to know more about the array of publishing opportunities available today. Moderator: Michael Goldman.



Pulp Slam: Poetry & Music Open Mic!

Pulp Slam is a three-part poetry and music show at The Roost. Every 1st and 3rd Friday, it hosts a poetry slam, a poetry feature, and a “Can’t believe It’s Not Poetry” music open mic.
Music Open Mic sign-up begins when doors open at 7:00 pm.
No one will be turned away for lack of funds. For more information, visit pulpslam.com. This event is open to the public.
The Roost, 1 Market Street, Northampton, MA



Open Mic Night for Youth

Every last Wednesday of the month from 7-9 p.m. from September through April, youth ages 12-25 are invited to Ign!te the Mic, The Valley’s only open mic for youth by youth.

A safe and non-competitive space for youth to share poetry, spoken word, music, monologues, theatrical scenes, dance, visual art, puppertry, or whatever your imagination can conceive!

All languages welcome. Admission $5 (no one turned away for lack of funds) Come and experience the healing power of the arts!

Co-sponsored by Teatro V!da and the The Bing Arts Center
Every last Wednesday of the month from 7-9 p.m.
Performers sign up at 6:45 p.m.

Bing Arts Center
716 Sumner Avenue
Springfield, MA

In the Forest Park neighborhood: free on street parking
www.teatrovida.com            www.bingartscenter.org

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

This month’s Florence Poets Society meets Thursday, April 12th. Socializing at 6:30, poetry s at 7:00pm. 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.

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 

2018 Elyse Wolf Prize by Slate Roof Press for a chapbook of poetry

Deadline June 15

Slate Roof Press, a member-run, not-for-profit collaborative, is pleased to announce the 2018 Elyse Wolf Prize for our annual poetry chapbook contest. The winner receives publication and $500, and becomes an active member of the press. Winners commit approximately 10 hr/mo 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. For full contest guidelines, visit www.slateroofpress.com/contest.html  or  http://slateroofpresscontest.submittable.com/submit.



Images & Words Poetry Contest
“a celebratory showcase of poetry and visual art”… along the Westfield Poetry Trail!

Calling all Poets and Writers! To celebrate National Poetry Month, ArtWorks Westfield, in conjunction with local visual artists and downtown Westfield merchants, are excited to announce the Images & Words Poetry Contest taking place during the month of April.

Pieces of visual art will be on display during month of April at the following locations in downtown Westfield … Blue Umbrella Books, Circuit Coffee, Two Rivers Burrito, Mama Cakes, Blended Vintage Marketplace and Skyline Trading Company.

These are the display stations along the Westfield Poetry Trail!

Poets and writers are invited to compose a poem that they feel best reflects the emotions of the piece or perhaps best represents the true meaning of the artwork. Entries should be dropped off at the location of each piece of artwork along the Poetry Trail. Poems can be submitted throughout the month. The final day to submit entries is April 30, 2018.

The artist who created and donated each individual piece of art will select the winning poem and the author of that poem will win the artwork. Six stations along the Poetry Trail … six winners!

Winners will be notified by May 12, 2018. An artist & poet reception will be held later in May to announce the winners, award the pieces of art and read the winning poems.

Contest Rules: All entries must be original and unpublished. All entries must be submitted at the participating location displaying each work of art. Each unique poetry entry can be submitted once during the contest (i.e the same poem cannot be submitted at multiple display stations). Each entry must include your name, e-mail, phone number, mailing address, and the title of the poem you are entering. The final day to submit entries is April 20, 2018.






Women’s Writing Workshops with Chivas Sandage / Eastworks: Studio #413

Jumpstart, restart, and develop your writing in a supportive circle of women. Discover and generate new material, explore and diversify, or make progress on an ongoing project. Expect intriguing prompts, short and long writing periods, regular opportunities to read your work aloud and receive helpful, inspiring feedback. Near the end of each workshop, we read and discuss one participant’s work-in-progress. Genres: nonfiction, fiction, poetry, plays, & more. Participants will offer a spring reading at Studio 413 in the Eastworks Building in Easthampton.

When: Wednesdays 1:00-4:00 pm on February 28, March 14 & 28April 11 & 25May 9 & 23, June 6 & 20, & July 4.

For more information & registration: https://www.writelikeariver.com




Albany Wordfest! 
April 16-22
Go to https://albanypoets.com/ for more information

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)

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 toctpoetnews@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
Cape Cod Poetry is under Barry Hellman’s Cape Cod Poetry Group on Facebook.



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 8-10pmhttp://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 thepoetrynews@gmail.com. Please send your announcements in text only – do not format (no special fonts, left-align, no colors, etc.) and please check it for errors. Send by the end of the month for publication. Thank you, Lori Desrosiers – Publisher, Editor, wearer of all hats.


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