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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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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Jul 212016
 

Look at what the summer sea breeze just blew across the Essex Street Pedestrian Walkway.

Designed to be complimentary to the popular 3rd Thursday of the month PEM/PM parties at the Peabody Essex Museum (which this evening is coincidentally called Summer Breeze),  The Museum Place Mall is launching what it hopes will be an every 3rd Thursday of the month event when select businesses in the Mall will retain later business hours as well as offer special promotions to all of their customers!

Some of the incentives to be offered include:

  • A free Aromatherapy session with any 10 minute or longer chair massage at A Sacred Place Wellness Center
  • 25% off cash sales of any clock at Bewitched in Salem, with extended hours to 7:30pm
  • A free small iced or hot coffee with any $10 purchase from 6-8pm at Jodi Bee Bakes
  • Refreshments and 10% off all purchases from 6-8pm at Kan.del
  • $10 off any half hour reading at OMEN
  • 10% discount on premium packages at Salem’s Vintage Photography, with extended hours to 7:30pm
  • Pork Rib dinner at Village Tavern! Large Succulent ‘right-out-of-the-smoker’ Pork Ribs served with five side orders! $11.99 (normally $18.99)

And possibly more!!!

Summer BreezeThis is an interesting and quite welcome compliment to the diverse activities that the Peabody Museum presents.  And not to leave out tonight’s PEM/PM activities, you are invited to explore American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals, from 6-9pm.

Taste local seafood, listen to breezy reggae beats by DJ Zeke Stern of the Green Lion Crew, enjoy works by plein-air painting group The Newburyport 10, create rearrangeable poetry and be fascinated by a presentation from staff at the Shoals Marine Lab.

Cash bar will feature Chateau Beaulieu Rose, Provence and Caribbean Rum Punch. And as always, there will be a pecial small plates menu from the Hawthorne Hotel.

It will be an interesting evening. If you have the time, we invite you to follow the breeze.

The Peabody Essex Museum is located at 161 Essex Street.

 

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Apr 292016
 

MPF16+BannerWe understand, you worked on Friday and missed the first day of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. But fear not, ’tis more than one day in length. It will be shared among attendees on Saturday and Sunday of this weekend!

Here are a couple of links you might want to keep handy when you arrive. There is a lot going on, so be prepared to make some choices.

Not only are there many, many speakers. But they are also quite a diverse group.

Another interesting twist on a poetry festival is The Small Press and Literary Fair which takes place outside of the Peabody Essex Museum on Saturday. You will most likely find materials from literary journals, library organizations, university libraries and academic programs. Venues

And just where does this grand festival take place in Salem? Perhaps ask where it is not. Seriously…

  • Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St.
  • Salem Five Community Room, 210 Essex St.
  • Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square, W.
  • Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square
  • New Liberty Charter School, Museum Place Mall, 1 E. India Square Mall
  • The Bridge at 211, 211 Bridge St.
  • Howling Wolf, 76 Lafayette St.

For a larger version of map go to  www.masspoetry.org/venues-2016.

According to the Festival website “We encourage those who have the means, to add a donation to their button purchase to help us continue to offer the festival experience at a low price.”

It is a worthy cause.

Roger Housden, author and public speaker, has said in an edition of the Huffington Post “Poetry at its best calls forth our deep being. It dares us to break free from the safe strategies of the cautious mind; it calls to us, like the wild geese, as Mary Oliver would say, from an open sky. It is a magical art, and always has been — a making of language spells designed to open our eyes, open our doors and welcome us into a bigger world, one of possibilities we may never have dared to dream of.”

But this weekend you may dare dream and experience. Visit Salem and you will hear and see poetry come alive at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival.

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