Poetry & Discussion: "Poetry and Our Times"

3 – 4 PM
Whistler House Museum of Art

This informative discussion features Martin Espada, Richard Hoffman, and Ann Killough discussing the role of poetry in our communities and the poet’s capabilities to affect social, political, and cultural change.



  1. Hello—I’d like to suggest some “Poetry for Our Times” by pointing back to the beginning—with America’s First Poet in English, Thomas Morton of Merrymount (and author of 1637’s “New English Canaan”). Morton was a learned Elizabethan adventurer who reached Mass. Bay (Quincy Shore) in 1624, set up a multicultural trading-post and plantation (whose good cheer scandalized his starving Pilgrim neighbors), and who in May 1627 raised a Maypole to which he affixed our first English poetry about America—a riddling “Poem” and a Drinking “Song” whose lyrics are a love-story and a manifesto for a new American community. This earned Morton the title also of “America’s First Rascal” and made him Mass. Bay’s first political exile in 1630. As Morton’s editor/biographer I’d like people to know they can see his achievements in life and poetry for themselves at http://ancientgreece-earlyamerica.com ; and, they can hear “his” voice in poetry, song and love of American nature by running “Thomas Morton of Merrymount” at YouTube! Enjoy this festival and I hope someday that Morton as our land’s “poetic father” will be part of it! Come and share the next Revels at Merrymount in May 2009! Your wellwisher, Dr. Jack Dempsey