March 17 — A Fun Fund Raiser for MPF 2011


On Thursday, March 17 at the Salem Athenaeum, Lloyd Schwartz and Sebastien Jean kick off a fund raiser of words and music to support  the 2011 Massachusetts Poetry Festival.

The suggested donation is $50 for the 7 to 9 o’clock event.

Thursday’s Theatre of Words & Music (TTWM) is an artist performance series formerly held at Salem’s Cornerstone Books. It re-emerges with a new location, the Salem Athenaeum. Its debut event will be a fundraiser on Thursday, March 17, to benefit the 2011 Massachusetts Poetry Festival. The two-day event, May 13-14, will bring more than 1,500 poets and poetry lovers to downtown Salem for a variety of extraordinary readings, workshops, music, and performances.

For the fundraiser, featured poet Lloyd Schwartz will discuss the poetry of beloved Massachusetts poet Elizabeth Bishop and his friendship with her, as well as read his own remarkable poetry. Additionally, local musician/composer Sebastien Jean will perform Air for Orchestral Suite in D major by Bach for electric guitar and piano.

 About the featured poet: Lloyd Schwartz is Frederick S. Troy Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Classical Music Editor of The Boston Phoenix, and a regular commentator for NPR’s Fresh Air. His most recent book of poems is Cairo Traffic (University of Chicago Press). He is co-editor of Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters (Library of America) and editor of the new centennial edition of Elizabeth Bishop’s Prose (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011). His poems, articles, and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, The New Republic, The Paris Review, The Pushcart Prize, and The Best American Poetry. In 1994, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.

 About the featured musicianSebastien Jean is a composer, rock guitarist and musicologist.  His compositions have been performed at UMass Boston and Boston Latin school and he has written a score for a short film for L.A. based Strange Bela Productions.  He has gigged with the Industrial/Metal band Manasoma in New York State clubs including C.B.G.B.’s and is currently involved with the Fishwife Music Project which brings a musical dimension to his wife Jennifer’s epic poem “Fishwife Tales.”  Jean has a BA in music (composition focus) from UMass Boston and received his MFA in musicology from Brandeis University.  Jean teaches private guitar lessons and lives in Salem, MA with his wife and two children.

 To make online donations to the 2011 Massachusetts Poetry Festival, go to:

The Salem Athenaeum is at  337 Essex Street.  If you have questions, call the Athenaeum at 978.744.2540.