Massachusetts Poetry Festival Comes to New Bedford!

mpfPlease join us to celebrate the start of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival at the Seamen’s Bethel in New Bedford, on October 15th from 6:30-9:00 PM.

We in New Bedford are thrilled to have been selected to host the festival’s Southeastern Massachusetts kickoff event. At the same time, readings will be happening throughout the state in Amherst, Boston, Lowell, Martha’s Vineyard, Salem, and Worcester. In New Bedford, Poets from Rehoboth’s Poetry in the Village Series, the Brockton Library Poetry Series, Whaling City Review LIVE, the Bartleby Scrivener Poetry Workshop, Middleborough’s “Arts From The Heart” series, 3rd EyE Unlimited, and other poetry groups in the region will be featured.

Check out the great poets we’ve got lined up for the kickoff event at the Seamen’s Bethel (this list will be updated periodically as new bios are coming in every day):

Janet E. Aalfs, who grew up in New Bedford, was the poet laureate, 2003-2005, of Northampton, MA where she now lives. A 7th degree black belt, she has directed Valley Women’s Martial Arts: Institute for Healing and Violence Prevention Strategies since 1982. Books of her poetry include Reach (Perugia Press) as well as several chapbooks, and her writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Aalfs performs and teaches weavings of movement and spoken word. In 2008-2009 she traveled to Japan, China, South Africa, the Netherlands, and Germany to share her work, and was a Festival Poet at the G.R. Dodge Poetry Festival in New Jersey.

Betsy Bilodeau has been writing poetry since she was a teenager. Over the last few years her interest in the arts has grown and evolved. She also enjoys photography and works diligently at formatting her poetry and photos on the same page. Betsy’s poems are often quite personal, but she also writes about the overlap of nature and science. Betsy works as a Clinical Social Worker and is a member of the Nomad Writers who meet weekly in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.

*Robert Barboza has been a journalist and member of the regional poetry community since his undergraduate days at Southeastern Massachusetts University. The founder and editor of Two Trees poetry magazine (1979-1982), he is a two-time winner of the Herring Run Arts Fest Poetry Slam, and has been a featured and guest reader at poetry venues throughout the South Coast. He currently serves as the editor of the Westport/Dartmouth weekly newspaper, The Chronicle, and as a member of the Rochester Cultural Council. His poems have appeared in print and on-line in A Comet’s Tale, Caesura, Like This, Red Fez, Temper, Two Trees, Union & Sixth, and Visions & Verse.

Tem Blessed (Temistocles Ferreira)

James Bobrick A long-time resident of the New Bedford area, James Bobrick’s work has appeared in numerous regional, national, and international magazines and journals. His Throwbacks: Selected Poems was published by Spinner Publications in 2005. Recent work will appear in the autumn issue of The New Formalist.

Roger Boucher assists with the monthly production of Poetry in the Village in Rehoboth, Mass. He is retired, with the good fortune of having received a kidney transplant in 2006. Along with being chairman of the lay-led religious services committee of Murray Church in Attleboro, Roger spends his time writing a novel and writing and refining his poetry. He is a member of the Nomad Writing Group that meets weekly in Rehoboth.

*Maggie Cleveland looks for omens and wears her heartbreak like jewels in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, where she works as a grant writer and lives as a proud mama of two fierce little girls. She is the director of the New Bedford-based Whaling City Review LIVE poetry series, and will be coordinating the southeast regional kickoff event for the 2009 Massachusetts Poetry Festival. Maggie was the co-founder of the Baker Books Poetry Series, which she hosted from 1995-2000. She is the author of The Kids Ate My Homework: A New Bedford Area Resource Guide for Adult Students with Children (2008), and was recently published in the Newport Review, Elephant, and the journal …like this. Maggie is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College.

Frederick Cooper has been a resident of Berkley, MA for the past several years. His writing began when he woke up from a dream. Once he began, he was encouraged by a very special person – and from there, he continues.

Louise Dery-Wells is a poet, actress, psychotherapist, community activist and producer director of “Arts From The Heart” and its Theatre of the Imagination, a multi arts venue in Middleborough. She also produces a poetry and music series for the seasons. She has published her poetry in The Tidepool Poets, Selected Poems from the Daily Grind, and A Nightmare on Main Street, A Halloween Anthology. She is also author of Notes From the Corner…Reflections of a Middleboro Peace Protestor, and a newspaper column in the Middleboro Gazette called “Hard Times”. Her poetry is also posted on her website http://www.pathfinding.com.

Mónica Fernandes Opinionated, spiritual, and in constant search of enlightenment, Mónica Fernandes considers herself a dreamer and a creator. From Lisbon, Portugal, Monica is a marketing professional, jewelry designer, Reiki Master Teacher and people connector. Currently on the board of two Massachusetts networking groups, Monica writes every week thanks to the Nomad Writers Group, her second family.

*Billy Finnegan, the self proclaimed “Pirate’s Poet”, is the founder and co-editor of … like this, a poetry magazine circulating in Southeastern Massachusetts. His poetry has been published in … like this, Elephant, Rootdrinker, Temper, Siren, Flying Fish, Fell Swoop as well as various broadsides through Benevolent Bird Press. Though currently residing in his hometown of North Attleboro, MA, he is a member of the New Bedford Poets as well as a frequent participant in New Bedford’s Whaling City Review.

Patricia Gomes Creator of the Octologue, an 8-line syllabic form of poetry, Patricia Gomes has been published in countless literary journals and anthologies, both in print and electronically. She is the author of three chapbooks and performs her work extensively throughout the New England area. Ms. Gomes, the former editor of Adagio Verse Quarterly, is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the recipient of 2008’s Sandstar Award given by the Massachusetts State Poetry Society. She currently hosts Poets Workshop for iVillage® Network, a subsidiary of NBC.

*Claudia Grace is the author of The Other Side of Where I Used to Live (poetry/poetic drama) and Write for Life, An Experience in Creativity, an original system taught in diverse learning communities. As founder and artistic director of A.C.C.E.S.S. Art Corp. International, she has produced 18 cultural documentaries broadcast in 11 New England communities on the cable television series Word That’s Heard. Claudia currently works in test development/assessment and did curriculum development and translation for the maritime industry. She holds an M.A. in English: Creative Writing from Brown University where she produced with Rites & Reason Theater. She has served as poet-in-residence at Bristol Community College where she coordinated a residency program liaising 17 artists with the College and community. She lives on New Bedford’s peninsula with her husband Thomas.

Philip Hasouris is the co-host of the Brockton Library Poetry Series. He is the author of Swimming Alone, and the just released book Blow Out the Moon. Fred Marchant has called Hasouris “unflinching, devoted and determined,” and Marguerite Guzman Bouvard says his “beautiful poems are a testament to the difficult times that propel us into a growth that is also spiritual.”

*Caroline Knox‘s sixth book, Quaker Guns (Wave Books 2008—www.wavepoetry.com), received a Recommended Reading Award 2009 from the Massachusetts Center for the Book; her collection Nine Worthies is forthcoming from Wave. Her poems have appeared in American Scholar, Best American Poetry, New Republic, Paris Review, Poetry (whose Bess Hokin prize she has won), Boston PHOENIX, Times Literary Supplement, Yale Review, and elsewhere. She has received the Maurice English Award, and grants from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the NEA, and The Fund for Poetry.

*John Landry is poet laureate of New Bedford. He has organized poetry readings and publications in the area for 35 years. He has served as contributing editor to the New College Review(San Francisco) and the 50th anniversary Beatitude(SF), His work has appeared in mags and journals internationally. He read at the Library of Congress at the invitation of Gwendolyn Brooks.

Liz LaValley has been a member of the Bartleby Scrivener Poetry Group since its delightful inception almost two decades ago, as well as the Science Fiction Poetry Association, having read at cons on both the East and West coasts. She is inspired by Carrie Fisher’s written work and fem contributions to the image, and is always ready to hand writing implements to the nearest teen, including her incredibly talented children.

Melissa MacLeod is a lover of words who keeps company with the moon while writing. She has degrees in English Textual Studies and Advertising from Syracuse University, which she uses to peddle books as a librarian. She has produced a small volume of poetry and her work appears most recently in the Newport Review. Melissa is slightly ashamed and simultaneously amused that she stole her own book from the library collection.

Frank Miller says: Three to five sentences to sum up – in an interesting fashion – my life. Born in Scotland in the first year of World War Two. Sent out of the country with my mother and brother by a government who expected the invasion at any time. Father and sister left behind, of age to contribute to the war effort. The war ended. We returned. At age sixteen the whole family came to the USA. Education, work, marriage, children, divorce – all to write a bio and read some poetry.

Nancy Morgan-Boucher practices living in this world, with the companionship of her hubby, Roger and their cats, Butterscotch, home-born, and Maeshowe, adopted from a shelter on the winter solstice. Morgan-Boucher, like many poets, began writing as a young child, and in fits and dashes since then. Now she settles in in earnest, finally naming herself a writer and a poet. She is the founder of Rehoboth’s Poetry in the Village series.

*Mwalim (Morgan James Peters) is a performing artist, writer, filmmaker and educator. He is a keeper of the New World Griot and Ahanaeenun (Sacred Clown) oral traditions of his Bajan (Barbados) and Mashpee Wampanoag heritage. An award-winning playwright and storyteller his work has been presented throughout the USA, Canada, the UK and the West Indies. He is the author of A Mixed Medicine Bag (Talking Drum Press, 2007) a collection of his original Black Wampanoag folk-tales/ short stories.

Willie Pleasants writes stories and poems that are educational, spiritual, and entertaining. As a retired public employee, now she has time to share her love of poetry with school children to encourage reading and the love of the arts. She holds a degree from the University of Mass. She has done extra work in films like Fever Pitch and The Proposal. Most of all she loves sharing “the spoken word.”

*Laurie Robertson-Lorant is the author of Melville: A Biography (1996), the only up-to-date, full-length, one-volume readable biography of Herman Melville. She is also the author of The Man Who Lived Among the Cannibals: Poems in the Voice of Herman Melville (2005) and a number of poems published in Atlanta Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Leviathan, Radcliffe Quarterly, Rockhurst Review, Sandscript, Scripsit, Southcoast Poetry Journal, The American Voice, The North American Review, The Worcester Review and other journals as well as in October Mountain: An Anthology of Berkshire Writers, edited by Paul Metcalf, and We Speak for Peace, edited by Ruth Jacobs. She teaches at UMass Dartmouth and has taught at MIT, St. Mark’s School, and Berkshire Community College.

Dana Robert Rowe has been an active poet since 1967, when he began keeping a poetic journal while serving in the US Navy in the Tonkin Gulf. Upon return, he continued to write, reading often in the many coffeehouses of the era, including the well known Tryworks Coffeehouse in New Bedford. He received a bachelor’s degree in English Lit from Southeastern Massachusetts University in 1977. His many careers since then have included journalism, newspaper and magazine editor and freelance writer. He returned to writing poetry after a 25-year hiatus in 2002. He has been working extensively online with poets’ organizations there and attends regional open mics in Massachusetts regularly. He is the host of Poets’ Pathway open mic in Middleboro, MA, and has recently published Main Track, his first chapbook, and directed the performance of his theatrical piece by the same name. He is currently completing an illustrated book of railroading poetry.

*Poets marked with an asterisk will also be featured in a regional reading on Saturday, October 17th at the Pollard Memorial Library in Lowell. See http://www.eventbrite.com/event/415640191/rss to reserve a ticket for the event.

The second annual Massachusetts Poetry Festival will be held October 15th – 18th. After the regional kickoff events, an impressive array of readings, workshops, and activities will be held in Lowell all day Friday and Saturday.

On Saturday night, there will be a reading featuring Louise Gluck, Robert Pinsky, Anne Waldman, and Afaa Weaver. Sunday, the festival will move to Boston and Cambridge. All events are free, but it’s suggested that folks who want to participate reserve a space ahead of time. Visit http://masspoetry.org/ for a complete listing and schedule. Betsy Bilodeau has been writing poetry since she was a teenager. Over the last few years her interest in the arts has grown and evolved. She also enjoys photography and works diligently at formatting her poetry and photos on the same page ! Betsy’s poems are often quite personal, but she also writes about the overlap of nature and science. Betsy works as a Clinical Social Worker and is a member of the Nomad Writers who meet weekly in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.

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6 Responses to “Massachusetts Poetry Festival Comes to New Bedford!”

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  4. David R.macomber Says:

    Fantastic that all these poets and writers ,plus other arts are gathering together in festivity to share and compare their work with others like them or to offer advice and guidance to aspiring poets developing their skills!

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