We Want to Hear from You about Common Threads

A special message from our Program Director, Laurin Macios:

 Common Threads 142015 will mark the 5-year anniversary of Common Threads, and we see the milestone as not only a means for celebration, but for the re-invigoration of our Common Threads programming. If you signed up to receive Common Threads in past years, we want to hear from you. If you could take a moment to help us improve our programming by filling out this brief survey, we’d be grateful.

We are looking forward to bringing you a great Common Threads publication and program in 2015! Stay tuned for details in the next few months.

Thanks and best,

Laurin's signature



Laurin Macios
Program Director, Mass Poetry

Only $1,580 Left to Raise to Keep Poetry on the T All Summer!

 Donate now to replace ads with poems on the MBTA.

A word from Michael Ansara, Co-founder of Mass Poetry.

Campaign update:

Click to see a Poetry on the T video.

Click to see a Poetry on the T video.

We’ve raised $7,420 of our $9,000 goal with 6 days to go. Thank you to the 158 funders who have made that happen. Check them out on our Funder Wall of Fame below, and consider becoming a funder of this exciting program. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of something big and inspiring for Boston! [Read more…]

January O’Neil on WBUR’s Blog Remembers Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou2Cognoscenti, WBUR’s blog with the watch words “Thinking That Matters,” presents  our own Festival Executive Director, January O’Neil, as she remembers Maya Angelou:   A Fellow Poet On The Life And Legacy Of Maya Angelou.

January explains why all six of Angelou’s memoirs sit proudly on her bookshelf.



Indiegogo Update: $4,815 Raised; $4,185 Left to Go!

SloganReplace ads with poems on the MBTA.

“Poetry on the T is a way to get words off the page, out of classrooms, and into the world. It’s a twenty minute trip to falling in love with a poem. It’s some kid whose teacher has spent the year thrashing (or, maybe even worse, ignoring) poetry finding a line of verse to follow him home.” -Danielle Jones-Pruett

Today, with 15 days left to go, we have raised 51% of the funds needed to keep Poetry on the T all summer. Don’t miss the chance to be a funder of this inspiring program. And remember: we will be using the momentum of this successful campaign to show large, long-term sponsors that the public wants Poetry on the T! Together, we can turn this project into a lasting program. [Read more…]

“The Elk” by J. Lorraine Brown

Coffee ice cream was his favorite,
tomato soup with a pat of butter,
smooth peanut butter out of the jar.
He loved big band music—
Glenn Miller’s Poinciana.
The Red Sox drove him crazy.

Sundays, he sat on the bench
in our breakfast nook,
invoices sorted into jerky piles,
adding machine arched like a dragon.

He wore work pants ironed
by my mother, a tan shirt
with a Mobil patch on the pocket
(silver tire gauge tucked in the corner).
Cold weather cracked his hands.

But he astonished as an Elk
when he wore his black tuxedo
and a jeweled medallion on a chain—
the “Tiler” who stood by the door
to introduce the other Elks
like a butler at a fancy ball.

They met in the old church basement
where he introduced the “Exalted Ruler.”
Exhausted Rooster, he told me,
and the medallion was real,
not some cheap little trinket.

J. Lorraine Brown

J. Lorraine Brown

J. Lorraine Brown is the recipient ofa MA Professional Development Grant and a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship. She has been published in such literary journals as the Cumberland Poetry Review and the North American Review. She received a PNWA Zola Award, and Poet Laureate Ted Kooser selected one of her poems for his nationwide newspaper column. Her chapbook, Skating on Bones, was a 2012 “Must-Read” Book of Poetry. Her 2nd and 3rd chapbooks were nominated for this award as well. Her poetry is part of Broadsides on the Bus, 2014, a collaborative effort celebrating Cape Cod poets and artists.

This Weekend: The Newburyport Literary Festival


Newburyport Poetry FestivalThe ninth annual Newburyport Literary Festival (NLF), The Curious Mind, will take place April 25-26 in various venues throughout downtown Newburyport, Massachusetts. This year the Festival will honor renowned local author Andre Dubus III. [Read more…]

Poet and Translator Nina Cassian Has Died


Nina Cassian by Jim O'Connor

Nina Cassian by Jim O’Connor

Nina Cassian, the exiled Romanian poet who sought refuge in the United States after her poems satirizing the regime of President Nicolae Ceausescu fell into the hands of his secret police, died last week at the age of 89.

Cassian published more than 50 books of poetry, at least two of which were in English after she settled here.  [Read more…]