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.

Venues

  • 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)

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Mar 032017
 

Did you notice a larger than usual crowd walking about Salem this evening? It will get even bigger as the 10th annual Salem Film Fest gets underway.

Regarded and highly respected as one of New England’s largest documentary film festivals, it presents a rich and diverse collection of the year’s best work from all over the world.

Film screenings take place March 3-9 at CinemaSalem, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), and the National Park Service Visitor Center. The schedule and full breadth of the week-long events can be viewed at salemfilmfest.com. Attendance at this year’s screening is easily expected to surpass last year’s record setting 6,000+ viewers.

Salem Film Fest concentrates on well-told stories with strong technical elements and interesting visual approaches, letting narratives unfold that wind their way through the human experience in the USA and foreign lands. Many of the films represent a US, East Coast or regional premiere. Filmmakers are expected to be present for more than half of the screenings, giving audiences a unique advantage to learn about the documentary process.

SFF 2017 offers a diverse schedule of feature length and short documentaries, parties, discussions, meet-and-greets, family-friendly screenings, student film showcases, and opportunities to meet visiting filmmakers in intimate settings.

Each film provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the encounters of others in a dramatic and sensory way, embarking upon what is different and recognizing what is common to us all. “The world is an amazing place,” is an oft worn but timely phrase. Salem Film Fest affirms that travel quote for your eyes and ears to behold. And some films may strike that ‘responsive chord’ that can change your life forever.

Again, go to film titles and times for full list of options to see.

Salem Film Fest was founded in 2008 by filmmaker Joe Cultrera (HAND OF GOD), local businessman Paul Van Ness (CinemaSalem, Van Ness Creative), Executive Director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce Rinus Oosthoek and others from the community. Run and operated entirely by volunteers, the week-long festival has become a community-wide event with screenings at CinemaSalem, the Peabody Essex Museum and the National Park Service Salem Visitor Center with filmmaker parties and music events held at venues throughout downtown. Fueled by great films, dedicated volunteers and enthusiastic audiences, festival attendance has grown 15 to 25 percent each year.

Accept our invitation to see the world up close and personal.

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Oct 192016
 

moon-landingMoon Landings were frequent enough to generate parties and conversations a plenty during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Peabody Essex Museum invites you to relive some of those days during its next PEM/PM late night party, Moon Landing, this Thursday, Oct. 20 from 6-9pm.

The moon has been the subject of art, literature, music, movies and TV as much if not more than most any other topic. It’s always been there, up in the sky. What better topic for the monthly festivities at the PEM where the community is invited.

“Come celebrate the moon with a tantalizing night of lunar festivities. Listen in on discussions about the importance of the moon, hear from artists featured in the new Art & Nature Center Exhibition ‘Lunar Attraction’ and interact with minerals found on the moon. From the race to make a base on the moon to cheese and werewolves, this lunar celebration is sure to be out of this world!”

While you are possibly doing the Moonwalk dance or mooning over someone at the party (but please don’t moon anyone), here are some recent data:

  • Moon Distance: 224,833 miles
  • Most Current Full Moon: Oct 16 12:23 AM
  • Next New Moon: Oct 30, 2016 1:38 PM
  • Next Full Moon: Nov 14, 2016 8:52 AM

Speaking of Moon Landings, just in case you need a conversation starter, here are the dates of the six manned American Moon Landings and the actual time spent on the ground (in case it comes up in a trivia question):

  • Apollo 11: July 20, 1969, stay of 21 hours and 36 minutesmoon-blog-post
  • Apollo 12: November 19, 1969, stay of 31 hours and 31 minutes
  • Apollo 14: February 5, 1971, stay of 33 hours and 31 minutes
  • Apollo 15: July 30, 1971. stay of 66 hours and 55 minutes
  • Apollo 16: April 21, 1972, stay of 71 hours and 21 minutes
  • Apollo 17: December 11,1972, stay of 75 hours

PEM members, college students and Salem residents (with ID) free, nonmembers $12.

The Peabody Essex Museum is located at 161 Essex St, Salem, MA., United States, North American continent, Western Hemisphere, Planet Earth.

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Sep 152016
 

What do people in Salem MA and surrounding communities do on a Thursday night, that is the 3rd Thursday night of the month that other people don’t do? We go to a museum— to party! Tonight the PEM/PM party is called Parranda, from 6-9pm at the Peabody Essex Museum.

parrandaYou are invited to join us at PEM celebrating Salem’s Dominican culture and community, on an evening where the museum stays open later for the general community to make greater use of the facilities in a way that brings people together through an exchange of ideas and culture.

Cut loose, get fired up and enjoy live traditional merengue tipico music as well as the latest hits in Dominican hip hop and electronic music.

But that’s not all there is to Parranda! Savor delicious foods, enjoy artwork by students from the Point neighborhood, create your own fufus, popular Dominican noise-making toys, or grab a pot and join the Parranda.

Co-organized with the North Shore Community Development Coalition, Parranda  should foster a connection with the Dominican community through lively cultural exposure and exchanges.

While there is a $12 entrance fee at the door, Salem residents, college students and PEM members will have free access.

There will also be a cash bar and special small plates menu supplied by the Hawthorne Hotel.

The Peabody Essex Museum is located at 161 Essex Street, Salem Ma. For additional information, please call 978-745-9500.

Estas invitado!

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Aug 232016
 

Sam invitesReflections are how we “see” ourselves. A mirror, a pool of water, the eyes of a loved one. But how does a city such as Salem see its reflection? In the comments of visitors.

To test this point, we found this favorable review of Salem, as seen through the eyes of an Australian traveler. (Thanks to a posting on Destination Salem’s Facebook page back in June).

Linda Bentley from Sydney, Australia is a well-known traveler/reviewer with her own website The Packed Bag and it was interesting to observe the things she wanted to see and did see. Was it the historical, the hysteria, or the hysterical items that called to her?

The blog was simply called USA – Massachusetts: Salem

Potential long stay and short term day trip visitors can look at her blog as a summation of things to do and see in Salem the year round.

But we can use it as a mirror to determine if we are communicating what we want to the outside world. What do you think? Did she share an engaging, inviting, diverse “message”  about Salem, MA?

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