Mass Poetry supports poets and poetry in Massachusetts. We help to broaden the audience of poetry readers, bring poetry to readers of all ages and transform people’s lives through inspiring verse. We are a 501(c)(3) organization.
I loved poetry from when I was very young. It was the sounds of language that first seduced me, from the lullabies my parents sang, to Shel Silverstein, to the Little Golden Book of Dinosaurs—oh, how my tongue anticipated the heavy, dactylic arrival of the Tyrannosaurus rex, “king of all dinosaurs,” when I could shout, “What a bloodthirsty monster was he!”
But poetry was mostly childish flirtation until I fell head-over-heels for Edna St. Vincent Millay. I was in high school, tenth grade, and opted to do an honors project in English. Of course I chose to do something on poetry, and my teacher suggested I pick a couple of specific poets to read. I remember going to the bookstore and asking the owner for suggestions. He looked at the fifteen-year-old girl in front of him, made some assumptions, and handed me Sylvia Plath. She wasn’t for me, though—not yet, anyway—and I left bookless.
Mass Poetry’s small board of directors are not only ambassadors and true-believing fund-raisers for the organization, they also dream big. While Michael Ansara, co-founder of Mass Poetry and board member, is aware that a poetry reading won’t fill Gillette Stadium next year, his other dreams are ambitious but attainable – if we have the necessary funding and commitment. Though a fact-checker would tell Amy Gorin that the probability of reaching every single student in the Commonwealth with Student Day of Poetry is improbable, she’s out there working to fund incremental and real increases in Mass Poetry’s educational reach. Don McLagan, a third board member, has a more existential vision. He sees poetry as tugging at the “knot of existence,” a salve for the “hubbub of life.” He’d like to spread that balm throughout the population of the state.
Attend a remarkable evening, as exceptional leaders from diverse fields read a poem and reflect on its connection to their life and work. The evening is a fundraiser for Mass Poetry’s many wonderful programs. Come help us celebrate the importance of poetry to people from all walks of life and the crucial role poetry plays in inspiring compassionate, imaginative, powerful leadership. This event is co-sponsored by the Favorite Poem Project.