SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

May 1, 2014

'Connected to being human'

Poetry festival enters fifth year

The Mass Poetry Festival isn’t just for poets.

Though several sessions at this weekend’s event will focus on matters of craft, even these are well attended by people who’ve never tried to write a poem.

“You explore new things,” said Jennifer Jean, who teaches poetry at Salem State. “A lot of people who come, who are not writers, love learning. It keeps them alive and connected to being human.”

This is the festival’s fifth year, and most of the readings and sessions will again take place at Peabody Essex Museum, while a number will also be held at the Hawthorne Hotel and other venues around Salem.

“This year we pared down the (number) of sessions from 95 to about 80,” said January O’Neil, festival director. “We rely on so many volunteers and venues that we don’t want to put too much of a toll on resources.”

But there are still plenty of programs to attend, on everything from culinary poetry, to poetry and medicine, to “Migrants, Monsters and Mutants” in poetry.

There will be a discussion of sestinas, a 700-year-old form in which “six words appear at the end of 39 lines over the course of six, six-line stanzas and a three-line finale,” according to the festival’s guide.

Other sessions will address general themes such as writing about relationships, and on fluid sexual identities, to another on writing and taboos.

“We’ve also got two good slams,” O’Neil said. “Friday night is a college slam. The Saturday night slam is Boston versus New York.”

Families who attend can also have fun by visiting interactive, poetry-themed installations, calligraphy classes, and book-making activities.

There are 14 headliners reading their work this year, in pairs or groups of three, with many major voices along with a few poets who are just beginning to reach wider audiences.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • macaws Vet Connection: Pet birds need training, social interaction and time out of the cage People are fascinated with the big colorful birds on display at Animal Kingdom and wild bird sanctuaries. It's always fascinating to see someone walking down the street with a big-beaked bird on his or her shoulder as a companion. We are all drawn to

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ask Dog Lady: Her little dog is obsessed with food Dear Dog Lady: I have a 3-year-old, long-coated Chihuahua named Mexipep (after a brand of hot sauce). She has many fine attributes -- she's very sweet, not nervous and barky like the short-coated Chihuahuas can be. On the subject of food, however, th

    July 25, 2014

  • howe Book Notes: Local novelist sees ‘conversion’ syndrome in witch trials The parallels between 1692 and today are so close, they're frightening. That's one conclusion you could draw from reading "Conversion," Marblehead resident Katherine Howe's new novel, which compares the world of the Salem Witch Trials to the life of

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • vehicles Quick pick: Festival of vehicles

    Festival of vehicles Take a ride over to the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library for the 16th annual Vehicle Night on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The festival of fire trucks, emergency vehicles, cruisers and snow plows takes place in the library park

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Friday's Best Bets Best Bets for Friday, July 25

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Tyke becomes a terror when mom takes back her cellphone Dear Abby: When my friend "Fran" and I get together with our kids, they often play games on her cellphone until the battery dies. If she tries to take the phone from her 6-year-old to make a call or recharge the phone, he starts yelling at her, pushe

    July 25, 2014

  • misselwood_2 Rare, classic cars make an appearance at annual Endicott College show

    The original Concours d'Elegance was a fashion show on wheels. "It did start in 17th century France, where some of the aristocracy wanted to show off the fashions they were wearing," said Patrick Cornellison, chairman of the event. "Mainly women woul

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • twenties_3 Ipswich's Castle Hill braces for 1,000 at Roaring '20s Lawn Party

    The latest dance craze started in the 1930s. The Lindy Hop, which first flourished in the ballrooms of Harlem, is expected to draw hundreds of people to a dance floor at the Crane Estate this Sunday. Organized by Boston Swing Central, a dance club in

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • kallyson North Shore entertainment calendar Good cause YARD SALE TO BENEFIT JIMMY FUND. Saturday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 11 Anna Drive, Danvers. Family yard sale with all proceeds benefiting the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. WOOSHIE'S WARRIORS FUNDRAISER FOR MS. Sunday, July 27, 10 a.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • The reader's eye Name: Erika Torkildsen Hometown: Beverly Description: "I took this at the Salem Common around a park where I noticed a ripped basketball net amid the blue sky. Instead of taking the picture from my original view, I tipped the camera up from under the

    July 24, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker