Common Threads 2013 Is Here!

Artist: Ed Schutte.

Artist: Ed Schutte

We’ve selected ten poems by Massachusetts poets for the Common Threads readings. Included in the article is a link to a PDF with the poems plus questions for discussion and essays for analysis. And check out the videos of the poems being read. Gather the gang and enjoy them together.

Described by poet Jill McDonough as “Ten pastorals, ten poems about the outdoors. Pastoral as joshing, take-this-job-and-shove-it. As meditation on life and death, on loveliness. As drunken urban water skiing, but with snow instead of water. And a pick-up truck instead of a boat. As grateful wonder over how your life turned out. Battlefield close-up, geography of afterlife, a metaphor for the interior landscape of a whole life’s  time. As historical consideration of the outside in news you didn’t remember could split you inside out.”

1.       “Leaves” by Lloyd Schwartz
2.       “Leaves” by Afaa Michael Weaver
3.       “To Whom It May Concern” by Andrea Cohen
4.       “White Paper 38” by Martha Collins
5.       “What to Tweak” by Patricia Smith
6.       “Cherishing What Isn’t” by Jack Gilbert
7.       “To a Strayed Cat” by Stephen Jonas
8.       “Tuggin’” by Matt W. Miller
9.       “Range-Finding” by Robert Frost
10.   “Autobiographia Literaria”  by Frank O’Hara

“Poets we can claim in Massachusetts, bringing us worlds on the page.”

Find the full-kit (poems, discussion questions, writing prompts, videos) in a PDF file: CommonThreads2013

Order online: You can also purchase hard copies of the book through the Harvard Book Store for $10 with $5 of that going to support the work of Mass Poetry  – Buy Now.

Check out the videos of the living poets reading their own poems as well as those poems of the non-living poets.

If you’d like to start of poetry reading group, here’s how one leader did it.

Want more? The Common Threads Reading will be held on Saturday, May 4th, at 11:00 a.m. in Salem, MA. This year’s contemporary poets will read their poems, as well as those of their predecessors, and discuss the “threads” tying their work together. Please join us for this once in a lifetime literary event!