2017 MASSACHUSETTS POETRY FESTIVAL, May 5 - May 7

The submission period for the festival is now open. You may submit your proposal here. The period will run until October 30.

The festival seeks programming that encompasses the diversity of Massachusetts poets. Within that diversity, we will select the highest quality content and presentation possible.

  • We seek diversity of age, region of the state, language, gender, background, race, and ethnicity.
  • We want to encourage a range of presentations—in particular, from people who are submitting proposals with us for the first time. 
  • We also seek sessions specifically for college students, high school students, and children and families.
  • We also encourage group poetry readings, workshops, panel discussions, and performances that involve music, theatre, dance, and/or visual arts.


Some of the most well-received programming at the festival has been geared to topics such as the following:

  • Poetry of place
  • Cross-regional poetry
  • Multicultural poetry
  • Poetic forms (ex. sonnets, villanelles, haiku, etc.)
  • Poetry of work
  • Poetry of witness/purpose
  • Poetry of gender and sexual orientation
  • Poetry in translation
  • Poetry and the body
  • Poetry and aging
  • Poetry and the arts (theater, music, visual arts)
  • Ecopoetry


Please note the following:

  • Only submissions made in the online form provided will be considered.
  • While there is no fee to submit program proposals, any expenses incurred in the process of submission will be the responsibility of the program/project organizer(s).
  • You may submit up to two proposals (no pseudonyms, please).
  • Because of scheduling constrains, poets and presenters may participate in no more than two accepted events.
  • We accept proposals from individuals for workshops.
  • The festival does not schedule individual poets for readings.
  • We accept proposals for a limited number of group readings.  All readers must be confirmed at the time of proposal submission.  We encourage new groupings (e.g., an East-West or North-South blending of readers from two or more writers’ groups/publications) and/or new configurations (e.g., debut poets from a region) in these proposals. 


Our criteria for submissions are based on the following:

  1. Originality—Is this proposal truly unique from what we have seen at prior Mass Poetry Festivals? 
  2. Quality—Is this a proposal for high quality programming? Is there evidence—references, examples of previous performances—that demonstrate that quality?
  3. Diversity—Does the program reflect the festival’s values? 
  4. Audience—Will this program help build a larger audience? Everyone who participates must help publicize the festival in smart, creative ways.

If you have questions, please send them to info@masspoetry.org. (Please note that email is our preferred and most efficient method of communication, as we are not in the office every day to receive phone calls.)