“An Evening of Inspired Leadership” Is an Inspired Success!

Gov Patrick“An Evening of Inspired Leadership” lived up to its adjective — and it was the audience that was inspired by an amazing array of dignitaries and their selection of favorite poems.

And what a wonderful array of poems it was — Governor Deval Patrick reading the poem at the base of the Statute of Liberty –“Give me your tired, your poor. . . ” Michael Maso, Managing Director of the Huntington Theatre Company,  reading Lawrence Raab’s tribute to the science fiction monster movie “Attack of the Crab Monsters.” And who can forget Ed Davis, former Boston Police Commissioner,  reciting from memory his — and his mother’s — favorite poem, “The Wreck of the Hesperus.” Robert Pinsky, former poet laureate and founder of the Favorite Poem Project, began the evening with the poem “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden.

What a lovely coincidence that both Robin Young of WBUR and Paul Grogan, President of the Boston Foundation, chose the same poem as their favorite poem. Also what a lovely coincidence that the poem was written by one of this year’s Mass Poetry Festival featured poets — Marge Piercy. Her poem was “To Be of Use.” And who will forget WBUR’s Bill Littlefield singing Tom Waits, “The Day After Tomorrow.” We heard poems by Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Khalil Gibran, Umberto Saba, Christopher Millis, Janet Rand, and Eloise Greenfield. We even heard a poem written by a young woman at the Codman Academy, Latasha Snider, a poem of personal liberation.

Michael AnsaraThe evening was brought together brilliantly by the emcee, our own Michael Ansara, who introduced each reader.

Mass Poetry is extremely grateful to the entire lineup of leaders who made the evening possible:

Honorable Governor Deval L. Patrick of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Robert Pinsky, former US Poet Laureate
Professor Ronald A. Heifetz of Harvard University
Jackie Jenkins Scott, President of Wheelock College
Paul Grogan, President of the Boston Foundation
Gerald Chertavian, Founder of Year Up
Joshua Boger, Founder and former CEO of Vertex
Robin Young, Host of “Here & Now” on WBUR
Bill Littlefield, Host of “Only a Game” on NPR
Reverend Barbara Harris, first female Bishop in the Anglican Communion
Giles Li, Executive Director of Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Association
Reverend Gloria E. White-Hammond, M.D., Co-Pastor of Bethel AME Church
Derek Lumpkins, Executive Director of Discover Roxbury
Edward Davis, Former Police Commissioner of the City of Boston.

In addition to Michael Ansara, Mass Poetry Founder, the audience owed the following staff a debt of gratitude:

Gabrielle Algus-Mele, Event Assistant, Mass Poetry
Duy Doan, Program Director, Favorite Poem Project
Amy Gorin, Board Member, Mass Poetry
Laurin Macios, Program, director, Mass Poetry,
LZ Nunn, Director of Development, Mass Poetry
January O”Neil, Executive Director, Massachusetts Poetry Festival
Robert Pinsky, Founder, Favorite Poem Project
Amy Wicks, Event & Marketing Coordinator, Mass Poetry