MassPOP Poet Residency Program in North Allston

The MassPOP poet residency program served the North Allston/Brighton area through an integrated yearlong program of intensive poet teaching sessions at the Gardner Pilot Academy, a reading series at the Honan-Allston Library, and a partnership with a local letterpress studio, Firefly Press, in the creation of a commemorative printed product for students and the community. The program was multi-faceted, in that the primary focus was the teaching component, and the scope of the program involved and enriched the general North Allston/Brighton community.

The goals of the North Allston/Brighton poet residency program were as follows:

Printer John Kristensen demonstrates the printing process to the Gardner Pilot Academy 5th graders

Printer John Kristensen demonstrates the printing process to the Gardner Pilot Academy 5th graders

  • To provide local elementary students with the basic tools for understanding, appreciating, writing and reading a wide range of poetry.
  • To empower the students in their relationship with language as a means of creative expression and to develop their abilities of description, articulation, and observation.
  • To fund two poet residents that would provide Gardner Pilot Academy students with role models demonstrating the viability of artistic expression and creative writing and exposing students to the living practice of poetry.
  • To facilitate student publication of their work through the creation of a physical culminating printed project. And to introduce students to the medium of letterpress printing, an art form with strong ties to the poetry world.
  • To promote collaboration between local teachers and poets and to enrich and expand upon the existing poetry curriculum.
  • To impact the larger North Allston/Brighton community with a local reading series, support for local Boston artists, and the formation of partnerships for further collaborations with the community

The poet residents chosen for this year received a stipend, a local reading and a printed commemorative broadside.

Patrick Donnelley and Gardner Pilot Academy 5th Graders reading at the Honan-Allston Public Library

Patrick Donnelley and Gardner Pilot Academy 5th Graders reading at the Honan-Allston Public Library

The two poets chosen for the 2009-2010 school year were:

Patrick Donnelly is the author of The Charge (Ausable Press, 2003, since 2009 part of Copper Canyon Press) and Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin, forthcoming from Four Way Books. He is a 2008 recipient of an Artist Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is the Associate Editor of Poetry International.

Jason Roush is the author of three books of poems: After Hours (2005), Breezeway (2007), and Crosstown (2009). He teaches writing, literature, and cultural studies at Emerson College.

This program was made possible by a grant from the Harvard Allston Partnership Fund.

For more information contact Chloe Garcia Roberts at chloe@masspoetry.org