Poets with More and More Reasons to Come to the Festival

small festival logoWe have more poets who are excited about the  Festival and are sharing their excitement about specific events. They are Mary Jane Mulholland, Molly Fitzell, Paul Richmond and Joey Gould, as well as a panel recommended by our own Laurin Macios in her newsletter earlier this week — a panel moderated by Doug Holder on the poets at McLean Hospital.

 

Mary Jane Mulholland on the weird, wild and wonderful at the Festival

Mary Jane Mulholland

Mary Jane Mulholland

The weird, the wild and the wonderful — this year’s Poetry Festival promises something for everyone. The traveler in me is drawn to hearing Boston area poets read and discuss how they connect where they are to who they are and how they see the world in “Poetry of Place.” But wouldn’t you know that at the same time there’s “A Séance” next door.  What could be more inviting than that?  Though the appeal is to young poets, an elder like me has so many more souls to call upon. Just reading the description of the workshop gets me started. As a long-time caretaker and Crone-in-training I’ve chosen “Poetry and Medicine” as one of my workshops. With experience and vocabulary in my toolkit, I already have something to bring to the table. The place of poetry in an individual’s life and the world-at-large is so bountifully represented in this year’s festival that it’s hard to choose where to land from one hour to the next. The headliners, of course! Imagine two poet laureates sharing the stage on Friday night: Philip Levine and Carol Ann Duffy! I’ll be there. But More. As an email subscriber to Diane Lockward’s monthly [poetry] newsletter, I’m looking forward to “The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop Group Reading.” I’ve already bought her book, so named, and have followed some of her prompts in my own writing. I look forward to hearing Diane and others share and discuss their work, using prompts drawn from her publication.  If I were still in the high school classroom, I’d be offering my students extra credit for their attendance. What an opportunity to break through doors to a new world, for them as well as for me. 

 
 Mary Jane Mulholland lives and works in Lynn, MA. She is a retired English teacher who currently enjoys yoga, travel, writing, and painting.  Poetry publications have included Soundings East, English Journal, Passages North, and Slow Dancing.

 

Molly Fitzell is excited by “bad ass women” as well as . . .

Molly Fitzell

Molly Fitzell

I’ve been looking forward to the 2014 festival since the end of last year’s. Unfortunately, when this year’s festival line-up was posted it became clear I couldn’t see everything. It’s making me wish I had a time-turner so I wouldn’t have to miss any event. Reality has set in though and I’ve created my list of must-see events.

For me the Bad Ass Women Poets panel has it all in the title. Pretty sure I’m not the only one, check the event listing and you’ll see not only the Bad Ass panel of poets but a stellar list of attendees. The Once Upon a Poetry Stroll event appeals to my enthusiasm for all things fairy tale as well as my nostalgia for the streets of Salem. Then there are the two slams, neither of which I saw at last year’s festival. I kicked myself for missing them last year and made it a promise to myself not to miss them again. Of course my favorite part of the festival is the time I spend as a volunteer. It’s how I first experienced the festival and it’s ingrained in how I celebrate poetry.
Molly Fitzell is an alumni of Salem State University. She has enjoyed attending the festival as a volunteer and poetry appreciator.

Paul Richmond says the Festival keeps getting better and better

Paul Richmond

Paul Richmond

I can’t wait for this years MA Poetry Festival in Salem since it just keeps getting better and better. This years line up of featured readers, individually many of them I have wanted to see but to have all of them being in one place at the festival, I am not going to miss that. This is my chance once a year to soak up the great mix of readings, workshops, Book Fair, panel discussions and this year there is more collaboration with other arts like painting and music. This is a great chance to hear new releases by poets and from the amazing wealth of journals, presses and publications that print the poems of the in-creditable talent in our state and beyond. Of course I am also looking forward to seeing / partying with new and old friends and fellow poets and I am looking forward to my reading on Saturday. See ya there….

Paul Richmond – has work as an artist and performer for 40 years, organizes Word Festivals and reading in Western MA, has three books, all can be found on  www.humanerrorpublishing.com

 

Joey Gould loves it all!

Joey Gould

Joey Gould

What I like most about the festival is the excitement & the involvement: workshops about writing engaging relationships & conjuring the departed on Friday. Open mics at coffeehouses and in Derby Square on Saturday. Drop-in galleries & children’s events at the Peabody Essex Museum all weekend. These are chances to interact with the festival beyond listening, & as a poet, I love that.

My event will showcase wonderful youth poetry from the Helen Creeley Student Poetry Prize finalists, music from As the Sparrow & The Jennifer Grier Trio, & the wonderful emcee work of Tony Toledo, not to mention the versatile Jade Sylvan, who’s been a festival highlight in years past.

All this points to the diversity of The Massachusetts Poetry Festival: love poetry, illness poetry, queer poetry, sestina poetry, queer sestina poetry, & so many other subjects & forms makes the head spin. Worlds unfurl & speak to each other, words spill out of venues into the streets, & the air feels more open for the yearning we feel everyday—for a beautiful world & ears cocked to hear what love has to tell or what sadness cannot bear alone.

Joey Gould tutors writing at Framingham State University & sits on the planning committee for the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. His work has been published in Paper Nautilus and online at Masspoetry.org, he has read poetry at the House of Seven Gables & Uforge gallery, & he has composed improvisational poems for The Theatre of Words and Music. He enjoys long walks through the library, medium-length movies, and short lines at Chipotle.

Spotlight on panel moderated by Doug Holder

Doug Holder1This panel will discuss three poets–Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton–their experiences as patients at McLean, how their experience is reflected in their work, what they created and how they managed to create with the heavy burden of psychiatric illness. Panel members will include Lois Ames, author of the biographical note to “The Bell Jar” and “Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters”; Kathleen Spivack, author of “With Robert Lowell and His Circle…”; and Bob Clawson–confidante to Sexton and manager of her folk/rock band Anne Sexton and Her Kind. The moderator will be Doug Holder, a poet, counselor, and author of the poetry collection: “From the Back Bay to the Back Ward…Poems of Boston and Just Beyond,” and poetry group leader at McLean Hospital since 1982.
Doug Holder is the founder of the Ibbetson Street Press. Since 1982 he has worked as a counselor at McLean Hospital, as well as leading poetry workshops for psychiatric patients, and facilitating internships in the writing community. He teaches writing at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass. and Bunker Hill Community College in Boston.