Mass Poetry believes that words matter. We support poets and poetry in Massachusetts, 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.
The National Endowment for the Arts released information confirming that poetry reading is on the rise. It confirms what we have seen at readings, festivals, in-school participation, and on social media. According to the NEA’s Director of Research and Analysis Sunil Iyengar:
- Nearly 29 million adults in the United States read poetry not required for work or school, the highest rate on record over a 15-year period of conducting the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts.
- Young adults are the fastest growing group of poetry readers among all age groups. Among 18-24-year-olds, the poetry-reading rate has doubled, to 17.5 percent in 2017, up from 8.7 percent in 2012.
It was my privilege to teach as poet in residence at Everett High School for the Spring 2018 semester. My personal goal for this pilot program was to create a safe space for students to write poetry. Through poetry, students develop their sense of self and social awareness; both important aspects of social emotional learning. Poetry created a space where almost every student could share their personal story, many of which their teachers and classmates had not heard before.
Mass Poetry's Professional Development program is focused on the teaching of poetic craft and technique, providing skills for educators to invigorate their classrooms. Anyone who seeks to strengthen their knowledge and skills in creative writing poetry instruction are welcome to attend. Teachers earn PDPs, while others earn Certificates of Completion.
Thrown from stone-polished rivers and churning storms,
at every side a blow,
hairy ropes of gray and white unravel
to drag the slate water underground,
breathe death-filled air where
nibbling creatures arise from the crackling strands of sea ribbon
and rush to meet us in the cascade of life falling together.