Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2013
The fifth Mass Poetry Festival, scheduled for May 3–5, 2013, in Salem, MA, brings American’s most admired poets from across the country to a celebration of Massachusetts’ lively contemporary poetry scene. Salem becomes the epicenter of contemporary American poetry, offering rare opportunities to hear first-rate American poets read and discuss their work in intimate and engaging fora. Highlights include:
- Friday evening May 3, 2013, Tracy K. Smith (Life on Mars), winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, joins poet and memoirist, Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City), and Jill McDonough (Where You Live) for an unforgettable evening of poems about the humor and the dysfunction of family, Michael Jackson and the Hubble telescope. 7:30–9:30 p.m. in the Atrium of the Peabody Essex Museum.
- Saturday evening May 4, 2013, Sharon Olds (Stag’s Leap), 2013 winner of the TS Eliot Poetry Prize joins the 2010 National Book Award for Poetry winner, Terrance Hayes (Lighthead), and Eduardo C. Corral (Slow Lightning), whose first collection won the prestigious Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. The three writers demonstrate the extraordinary possibilities of poetry to reveal the personal and political experiences of American life. 7:30–9 p.m. at the First Universalist Church of Salem.
- Sunday afternoon May 5, 2013, Santa Fe-based poet Arthur Sze (The Ginkgo Light), recent winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize, joins Cambridge-based Gail Mazur (Figures in a Landscape) 2:15–3:15 p.m. at PEM’s Native American Gallery. The 1994 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Yusef Komunyakaa (The Chameleon Couch) joins two award-winning poets with roots in Massachusetts: Kevin Goodan (Winter Tenor) and Erica Funkhouser (Earthly) 3:45–4:45, PEM’s East India Room.
The Massachusetts Poetry Festival offers poetry readings, workshops, a small press fair, panels, music, and visual arts. Panel topics range broadly from a Cinco de Mayo reading, Taboo, and the Common Threads Reading, where contemporary poets in Massachusetts discuss their literary heirs. More than 100 poets will engage with thousands of people. Admission for all weekend events is $15, $7 for students and seniors. The website www.masspoetry2013.crowdvine.com provides a list of book stores for festival buttons sales and for pre-registering for events.