Apr 232017

Poetry is a bouquet, and just as a bouquet of flowers may be filled with colors, shapes, and scents, so to is a poem a blend of words, rhythms, and sounds. This will be evident May 5-7th when the 9th annual Massachusetts Poetry Festival welcomes many of America’s most admired poets to a celebration of Massachusetts’ lively contemporary poetry scene in historic downtown Salem, MA

The Mass Poetry Festival offers nearly 100 poetry readings and workshops, a small press and literary fair, panels, poetry slams, and open-air readings. Panel topics range broadly from The State of Poetry, poetry and gender, poetry and aging, book publishing, and children’s poetry.

Of special note, on Friday, May 5, MPF will host a “Student Day of Poetry” in which 300 high school students from across the Commonwealth study with acclaimed poets and instructors to discover their own unique voice.

Throughout the weekend, you are also invited to absorb the thoughts and expressions of acclaimed poets such as: Pulitzer-prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Louise Glück, Guggenheim fellow Eileen Myles, Kazim Ali, Andrea Cohen, Cornelius Eady and Rough Magic, Ross Gay, Rigoberto González, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Emily Pettit, Tom Sleigh, and Dara Wier.

For a full breakdown of the schedule go to the MPF site.

As example of the diversity:

Friday from 1:15- 2:15pm at Old Town Hall (second floor) 32 Derby Square, a relatively new genre of music known as Post Rock will be combined with poetry and in so doing create “Post Rock Poetry.” Grounded in 1980’s and 90’s indie rock music, it is primarily instrumental, guitar, base, drums, and keyboard, with few lyrics. Typically, post rock pieces are lengthy and may contain, “… repetitive build ups of timbre, dynamics and texture.” (Wikipedia, 9/11/2016.) Because Post Rock seldom has lyrics, it lends itself to the creation of Post Rock Poetry that can explore the quest for a peace, understanding, and rising above hostilities and misfortune. In short, it rings with hope.

Then Friday evening, two of the finest poets writing today— the award-winning Ross Gay and Aimee Nezhukumatathil— will present from 7:30–9 p.m. in the Atrium of the Peabody Essex Museum.

Saturday afternoon will feature a musical performance by Cornelius Eady and his band Rough Magic, blending poetry and music at the Peabody Essex Museum. Headline poets Andrea Cohen, Tom Sleigh, Kazim Ali, and Rigoberto González will read throughout the day at the Peabody Essex Museum, celebrating the diversity and common threads among us all.

Saturday evening will feature award-winning poet and novelist Eileen Myles, 7:30–9 p.m. at The Bridge at 211. After her reading, she will be interviewed by WBUR’s celebrated host Christopher Lydon. Eileen Myles demonstrates the extraordinary possibilities of poetry to reveal the personal and political experiences of American life.


  • Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex Street
  • Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square
  • Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square
  • Museum Place Mall, 1 E India Square Mall, New Liberty Charter School, Rooms 1-4 (on second floor)
  • The Bridge at 211 (Universalist Unitarian Church), 211 Bridge St
  • Howling Wolf, 76 Lafayette Street

From the beginning, the goals of Mass Poetry have been to “support poets and poetry in Massachusetts, to build new audiences for poetry, and to make poetry more accessible for those who need it most—often those who have the least access to it.” By bringing it to the streets and venues in Salem Ma, accessible to residents and visitors, the poetic bouquet of words, rhythms, and sounds can be enjoyed by so many more. You are invited to be among them.

Admission is $20, and $7 for students & seniors; an additional $10 service fee is charged for all workshops.

For additional info on The Massachusetts Poetry Festival, contact January Gill O’Neil at january@masspoetry.org.

(Photo courtesy of Creative Salem)

Jan 212017

Don’t tell your Valentine where you are going February 10th. Make it a big surprise. And it will be when he or she sees all the chocolates and wine delights within Colonial Hall at Rockefellas as part of the 15th annual Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Sculpture Festival kick off party.

This luscious tasting event runs from 6:30-8:30pm; sponsored by St. Jeans, it features wine and chocolate samplings from premier Salem restaurants, stores, and sweet shops, as well as music by Molly Pinto Madigan.

Easily considered the highlight of the early Salem Ma social season, Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Sculpture Festival kick off party usually sells out quickly, with tickets priced at only $30 a person.

It is a great romantic event if you wish to keep to yourselves, or a lovely opportunity to mingle with other aficionados of chocolate in its many forms and uses. And don’t forget the opportunity to sample an unlimited variety of wines!

It of course is not the only event for Salem’s So Sweet

This year, we have a record-breaking 25 beautiful ice sculptures that grace downtown Salem starting February 11. Some of the themes for this year’s ice sculptures will include the Queen of Hearts, Cinderella’s Carriage, a goat named Bella and more – plus an actual ice bar on Rockafellas’ patio!

A map can be found in the brochure (available in shops around town) during the festival and online at www.salemsosweet.com. Be sure to make plans for a special evening stroll on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 5 pm to 9 pm, when the sculptures will be illuminated by Retonica!

The Salem Trolley will offer trolley rides around the festival route weather permitting on February 11 & 12 from 12 pm to 4 pm for only $2 an adult (free for children).

Many downtown businesses will offer chocolate samplings and sweet discounts around downtown Salem all weekend in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Check to see who is participating in the “Sweet 10% Promotion” – make a full-price purchase at one participating downtown business and get 10% off your purchase at the next participating business! Offer is good Feb. 11 and 12 only, some restrictions may apply. In addition, many of Salem’s finest restaurants and retailers will be offering their own luscious chocolate and love-inspired specials and events.

Ice Sculptures Promote Fun

A full list of ice sculptures, participating businesses, and promotions is listed below and online, and will be available in brochures around town during the festival. Salem’s So Sweet is organized by Salem Main Streets and the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and supported by Creative Salem, Deschamps Printing Co., Destination Salem, Retonica, and Rockafellas. Visit our website for more events and details as they become available – www.salemsosweet.com – or follow our Facebook page for all the latest updates – https://www.facebook.com/salemsosweet.

Chocolate and Wine Tasting Participants

Adriatic Restaurant & Bar
Bit Bar Salem
Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream
Gulu-Gulu Café
Harbor Sweets
Hawthorne Hotel
Homewood Suites by Hilton Boston/Peabody
KOTO Asian Grill – Sushi & Lounge
Pirate Dog Brand LLC / Rumson’s Rum
Regatta Pub at Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Salem Beer Works
Turtle Alley Chocolates
Victoria Station & Vic’s Boathouse
Ye Olde Pepper Companie

Ice Sculptures

· Globe – Sponsored by The Journeymasters
· Han Solo – Sponsored by Gulu-Gulu Café and Flying Saucer Pizza
· Snowflake – Sponsored by Laura Lanes Skin Care
· Opening of Sophia Gordon Center – Sponsored by Salem State University
· Ice Bar – Sponsored by Rockafellas
· Champagne – Sponsored by Adriatic Restaurant & Bar
· Clock – Sponsored by Creative Salem, Hawthorne Hotel, and Retonica
· Cinderella’s Carriage – Sponsored by Maria’s Sweet Somethings
· Fish – Sponsored by Koto
· Green Tara – Sponsored by Coon’s Card and Gift Shop, Penelope’s Pet Boutique, and Tibet Arts
· Bella the Goat – Sponsored by Bella Research Group
· Lobster Love – Sponsored by Turner’s Seafood
· Salem Film Fest 2017 – Sponsored by Salem Film Fest
· Steampunk Heart – Sponsored by Emporium 32, Modern Millie, Pamplemousse, Salem Trolley, and Trolley Depot
· Winnie the Pooh – Sponsored by Museum Place Mall: A Sacred Place Wellness, Bada Bing Barbershop, Bewitched in Salem, Coldwell Banker, Essex’s N.Y. Deli & Pizza, Jodi Bee Bakes, Kan.del, Lotus Gifts, nAGLY, Omen, Pol onus European Deli, Primary Residential Mortgage, Remix Church, Thai Cuisine & Seafood, Village Tavern, Witch Pix, and Witch Tee’s
· Shoe – Sponsored by Peabody Essex Museum
· Arcade – Sponsored by Bit Bar Salem
· Ruby Slippers – Sponsored by Salem Witch Museum
· Bakery – Sponsored by Coffee Time Bake Shop
· St. Jean’s Sweet Savings – Sponsored by St. Jean’s Credit Union
· Queen of Hearts – Sponsored by Joliet Tea Company
· Mug – Sponsored by Notch Brewery & Taproom
· Waterfront Hotel – Sponsored by Regatta Pub at Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites
· Rumson’s Rum – Sponsored by Pirate Dog Brand LLC / Rumson’s Rum
· Candy – Sponsored by The House of Seven Gables and Ye Olde Pepper Companie

Sweet 10% Participants and Promotions

Army Barracks
Come and check out a unique Army/Navy store in Salem!

Bit Bar Salem
Buy one dessert, get another of equal lesser value free. 10% of all other food and non-alcoholic beverages. Offer valid Feb 10 – 12. Come in and play!

Salem’s ONLY Korean restaurant that offers Korean fried chicken as well as Korean entrees. Receive 10% off food with brochure.

Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream
Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream – Open April 1 thru November 1.

Coffee Time Bake Shop
Try our heart shaped triple chocolate cake, mousseberry cake, real hot chocolate and delicious real cream pastry.

Coon’s Card and Gift Shop & Penelope’s Pet Boutique
Visit our Green Tara Ice Sculpture display and stop inside to get a piece of chocolate for you and a treat for your pup!

The Coven’s Cottage
We will be serving hot chocolate and sweet refreshments from local shops!

Receive 10% off any full price purchase February 10th- February 12th. Curtsy features gifts for the home, jewelry, accessories, baby, fine sleepwear, and contemporary women’s fashion.

Finz Seafood & Grill
Come see how sweet Finz can be! Daily chocolate specials on the menu and behind the bar.

Harbor Sweets
10% off your purchase on February 11 with this brochure. (Closed Sunday, Feb. 12.)

Hawthorne Hotel
Enjoy a 10% discount at the Tavern or Nat’s when presenting this brochure.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Boston/Peabody
New and existing Hilton HHonors members receive 10% or more off hotel rates

House of Seven Gables
Visit us for cookie decorating (12pm – 3pm), crafts on Sunday, guided museum tours, and Valentine shopping in our Museum store.

J. Mode
Receive 10% off any purchase February 10th- February 12th. J.Mode receives contemporary sportswear daily from Bailey 44, Three Dots, Ecru, Johnny Was, and Nicole Miller.

Jodi Bee Bakes
Join us on Sunday, Feb 12 from 1pm – 4pm for our 2nd Annual “Bee Indulgent.”

Jolie Tea Company
Free chocolate-dipped madeleine with purchase; Queen of Hearts High Tea by reservation; 10% off on loose-leaf tea.

Keamy Cosmetic Centre
Enjoy 10% off all Botox and fillers to celebrate Valentine’s Day (valid 2/11 only).

KOTO Asian Grill – Sushi & Lounge
Salem’s So Sweet 10% promotion for dinner menu only, includes take-out and dine-in.

Laura Lanes Skin Care
Treat yourself or loved one to a facial or massage, and check out our new certified organic lip balm.

Maria’s Sweet Somethings
Take a dip at our fountain of chocolate, sample sweets, enter to win a Valentine gift basket, jelly bean counting contest, and gummy bear contest. Find us on Facebook!

Notch Brewery & Taproom
It’s the debut launch of our Milk Stout! 10% off all non-beer items.

Chocolate & Wine tasting Saturday & Sunday February 11th & 12th 2pm – 4pm!

Peabody Essex Museum,
The Museum Shop will be sampling chocolates from Harbor Sweets.

Regatta Pub at Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Enjoy 10% off all food and stay! Cocoa rubbed baby-back ribs w/chocolate BBQ sauce, peanut butter balls, & bourbon 5 layer chocolate cake specials.

RJ Coins and Jewelry
20% off all fine jewelry including Frederic Duclos, Roman Glass, and our new Dog Fever line!

Salem Witch Museum
Show this ad and receive 10% off our newest t-shirt featuring Rhinestone Ruby Red Slippers and wording “there’s no place like Salem!”

Sea Level Oyster Bar & Kitchen
Make a full-price purchase at one of the participating business and show your receipt to get 10% off at Sea Level!

Tibet Arts & Healing
Visit our Green Tara Ice Sculpture display and stop inside to get the free lesson for self-healing with singing bowl.

Trolley Depot
Gift with purchase of $25 or more, plus our annual indoor sidewalk sales for Sweet Deals!

Victoria Station & Vic’s Boathouse
Mention “Salem’s So Sweet” to server to receive a complimentary Ghirardelli chocolate mousse!

Ye Olde Pepper Companie
Offering coupons for 15% off to all who stop by our table at the Chocolate and Wine event, good February 16th – February 28th.

Tickets to the Salem’s So Sweet kick off party are $30 a person and can now be purchased over the phone by calling 978-744-0004, online at www.salemsosweet.com, or in person at the Salem Chamber of Commerce, 265 Essex Street, Suite 101.

Dec 012016

For the sake of argument, let’s say that neither Black Friday, nor Small Business Saturday nor
Cyber Monday were sufficient enough to meet your shopping needs for the holidays, birthdays and anniversaries that fall in December. What else can you do?. How about a visit or two to Salem during our Festive Fridays celebration, which begins Dec. 2nd.

Explains Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets executive director, “Salem Main Streets knows how it is. You WANT to shop local, but you get home from work too late in the evenings and you’re simply too busy on the weekends. That’s why Salem Main Streets is encouraging downtown retailers to stay open late every Friday this December leading up to Christmas and Hanukkah to help you with your holiday shopping!”

festivefridaysWhich stores will be open during Festive Fridays? Glad you asked that.

Each week on Facebook, we’ll post a list of businesses who have committed to staying open until at least 8 pm, as well as announcing any great deals or special treats that you can look forward to.

As an extra incentive for you to shop & participate, Kylie adds, “If you post a #selfiewithashopkeeper any Friday evening in December on Facebook or Instagram, you could win a prize from a local business!”

So, after a long Friday to end a long work week, do you want to then drive to the mall, find a parking spot, walk across the parking lot to enter a packed mall only to be jostled by other tired, unhappy shoppers unable to find that unique gift for aunt Ellen, cousin Eddie or the boss?

Or do you want to stroll along our walkable streets to sample from an eclectic bunch of stores that are staying open later because they genuinely want your business and that of anyone you recommend their products or services to?

For additional information relating to any of these events, please contact Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director, at (978)744-0004 or kylie@salemmainstreets.org, or visit http://salemmainstreets.org/festivals/holiday-happenings/salem-festive-fridays/ and follow Salem Main Streets on Facebook and Twitter.

Oct 012016

Step right up ladies and gentlemen to the Food Truck of your choice, Saturday & Sunday (Oct. 1 & 2) as not one, not two, but 25 rolling restaurants set up for business at the Salem Common from 11am to 6pm.

The Salem Food Truck Festival is a two-day event being hosted by South End Open Market at Ink Block and Creative Salem.

From the Salem Food Truck Festival  Facebook page, they comment “We are excited to offer fellow food lovers an event featuring 25 food trucks, live music and family fun. With a range from grilled cheese to whoopie pies, there is sure to be something for everyone! Save the date and save your appetites for one of the area’s biggest food truck events!”

These entrepreneurs go through a lot, as you can see from the Infographic: parking nightmares, gas prices, weather and permits. They could use your support.

food-trucks-on-the-commonBesides the background on the Food Truck biz, we’ve also presented the list of trucks that, as of this writing, will be parked along the Salem Common.

  • Roxy’s Grilled Cheese
  • Bon Me Food Truck
  • The Whoo(pie) Wagon
  • Bon Me Foods
  • Pomaire Boston Chilean Food Truck
  • Tenoch Mexican
  • The Roving Lunchbox
  • The Dining Car
  • ChikChak Food Truck
  • Plouf Plouf Gastronomie
  • Frozen Hoagies
  • Sheherazad Truck
  • North East of the Border
  • Mo’Rockin Fusion
  • Trolley dogs
  • The Chuck Wagon
  • Taco Party
  • Vulgar Display of Poutine
  • Morning Salute
  • Sach Ko Truck
  • Cookie Monstah
  • Japalicious
  • Friskie Fries
  • Sante Mobile Farmhouse Café

And from what we’ve learned of Food Truck etiquette, it is ok to buy one thing from one and another thing from another. The perfect walk-up mix & match lunch or dinner option.

(Infographic from Column Five )