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?

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.


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

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.

Apr 282016

The beautiful Atrium of the Peabody Essex Museum was the perfect setting for a night of chatting, dining, praising and even a bit of networking this Wednesday in Salem, MA as the 94th Annual Celebrate Salem Awards event took place.

Salem Awards Party Night

Thirty-six nominees! Six award categories. Businesses. Organizations. Individuals. And winners were decided upon by a very special jury —- you and your peers in the community.

What say you?

  • Businesswoman of the Year – Joanne Scott, Boys and Girls Club
  • Businessman of the Year – Rob Liani, Coffee Time Bake Shop
  • New Business – Sea Level Oyster Bar
  • Excellence in Retail – The Cheese Shop of Salem
  • Community Service – Plummer Home
  • Long-Term Achievement – National Park Service/Salem Maritime Historical Site

Congratulations to the winners, the nominees, and to the Salem Chamber of Commerce for continuing this tradition of letting our community “speak” about good business practices and appreciated customer service procedures by voting for the best of the best.

Apr 232016

Poetry in all its forms will be on active display April 29-May 1 as the 8th annual Massachusetts Poetry Festival presents a diverse schedule of events and speakers in various Salem venues.

Among the events will be nearly 100 poetry readings and workshops, a small press and literary fair, panels, poetry slams, visual arts, and open-air performances.

Among the participants will be Sandra Beasley, Martha Collins, Mark Doty, Edward Hirsch, Marie Howe, Ada Limón, Greg Pardlo, David Rivard, Charles Simic, and Ocean Vuong.

The Mass Poetry Festival is so vast that we can’t cover in one blog, so this time out, we thought to shine a light on the poetry activities set for JUST the Peabody Essex Museum. For the complete schedule go to Mass Poetry website.

US & THEM: Poets Read Original Works and New Translations

10:15-11:15 am at Studio 1, Create Space
US & THEM began with a group of translator/writer/poets who met at the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference in June 2015. This reading features New England poets presenting their original work (US) and work they have translated (THEM) and explores the effects of translation on one’s own writing. Moderated by Todd Portnowitz. Speakers include Sam Bett, Maria Jose Gimenez, Pablo Medina and Lloyd Schwartz.

Writing with a Natural Poet: Workshop for Children & Parents

10:15-11:15 am at Studio 2, Create Space
When children and adults write side-by-side, something magical happens. Maybe it’s because children are natural poets. Their love of word play and sound, their quick observations of the moments we adults have come to recognize as poetry give them an advantage. Children’s authors Burleigh Muten and Jeannine Atkins provide unique, fast-paced writing prompts to spark your creativity. Poets ages 6 and older are welcome with an adult.

Headline Reading: Edward Hirsch

10:15-11:15 am at East India Marine Hall
Hear from a celebrated poet and peerless advocate for poetry.

Panel Discussion: Common Threads

11 am-12:15 pm at Bartlett Gallery
Join Susan Donnelly, Alan Feldman, Danielle Legros Georges, Henry Lyman and Alice Kociemba as they read and discuss the poems published in Common Threads 2016. Moderated by Alice Kociemba.

Mass Poetry Fest 2016Collaborations with Chance: The Art of Dada Poetry

11 am-2 pm in the Atrium
Join multidisciplinary artist Sandra Adams for this drop-in opportunity to learn the art of Dada poetry, a practice that focuses on chance as a means to find profound meaning in the seemingly absurd. Working from a random selection of words cut out from print media, participants assemble phrases or short poems that are bound to surprise and delight.

Writing for Truth and Beauty: Using Your Photos as Poetic Inspiration

11:15 am-noon at Studio 2, Create Space
Whether they’re treasured family snapshots, polished studio portraits or cell phone images, certain pictures arrest our attention and prompt an emotional response we cannot immediately express. Writing poetry from photos allows us to express the truth of what we feel and haven’t said. (This session is full)

Youth Poetry: Publishing and Performance

11:30 am-12:30 pm at Studio 1, Create Space
Books of Hope lead a youth poetry workshop, open mic and feature, as well as a discussion around publishing for youth audiences. Moderated by Erich Haygun and Jayy Dod of Books of Hope, Youth Publishing. Speakers include Michael Jones, Andrinne Pierresaint, Briana Pierrette, Tyler Roze and Jahi Spaloss.

Headline Reading: Marie Howe

11:30 am-12:30 pm |at East India Marine Hall
Marie Howe is an American poet. Her most recent poetry collection is The Kingdom of Ordinary Time. In August 2012 she was named the State Poet for New York.

Group Reading: A Many Sided Reality

1-2 pm at East India Marine Hall
The poetic sequence has become a staple of contemporary poetry from its beginnings in the work of Whitman and Dickinson, Yeats and Eliot, and a great many others. Likewise, the book-length poem has found renewed purchase in the culture. This panel of four prominent poets – Christine Casson, Martha Collins, Steven Cramer and Daniel Tobin – discuss the subject and read from their work in these two important and dynamic sub-genres of the art. Moderated by Daniel Tobin.

Please note that Massachusetts Poetry Festival registration is required for events outside PEM. But, festival badges will be honored as museum admission during the festival.

And as we said at the outset, these are events JUST at Peabody Essex Museum! For more information (admission, reservations, whether full or available, etc.) on these PEM events, please call 978-745-9500. PEM is located at 161 Essex Street in downtown Salem Ma.