During the first weekend of May, Salem becomes the epicenter of contemporary American poetry, offering rare opportunities to hear the nation’s best poets read and discuss their work in intimate and engaging forums.

The Massachusetts Poetry Festival showcases nearly 100 poetry readings and workshops, a small press and literary fair, panels, poetry slams, visual arts, and open-air performances. Panel topics range broadly from the state of poetry, poetry and gender, book publishing, and modernism in contemporary art, to the Common Threads Reading, where contemporary poets with Massachusetts ties discuss their literary connections. More than 150 local and nationally known poets engage with thousands of New Englanders each year.

The 8th Massachusetts Poetry Festival took place April 29-May 1, in historic downtown Salem. Sign up for our newsletter below to get festival updates and announcements, and be sure to check out some of our past festivals.

Dates to Know (subject to change)
Call for Proposals: September 15
Deadline for Proposals: October 30
Call for Volunteers: January
Accepted Proposals Announced: January
Festival Schedule Launched: March

Questions? Email January O’Neil at info@masspoetry.org.

 

Become a Sponsor

Become a sponsor today or email Sara Siegel at sara@masspoetry.org for more information. Payments can be made via PayPal (to info@masspoetry.org) or via check (made out to Mass Poetry, mailed to 15 Channel Center Street, Suite 103, Boston MA 02210).

Phil Levine reading at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2014

Phil Levine reading at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2014

Headline Poet Sponsorship
Mass Poetry would be grateful for a donation of $1,500 to sponsor one of the headline poets that we welcome to the festival. 

Supporters at this level will have the opportunity to meet the poet who he or she has supported with this gift. Additionally, supporters will be named in signage at the entrance to the performance area.

 

Volunteer Sponsorship
A single contribution of $5,000 will support all of our volunteers and their efforts. Everything from t-shirts and snacks to a small reception are provided to our unpaid volunteers.

Signage thanking our volunteer supporters will appear at the VIP reception.

Other gift levels to support volunteer activities are:
• 2 supporters donating $2,500 each
• 10 supporters donating $500 each
• 20 supporters donating $250 each 

 

Volunteer extraordinaire Mik Augustine at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2013

Volunteer extraordinaire Mik Augustine at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2013

Program and Workshop Sponsorship
Program support for participating poets at the festival’s workshops (under the guidance of seasoned poets) is an area where Mass Poetry seeks support. We would greatly appreciate gifts to support this incredibly important facet of the festival, so that talented and promising poets may flourish.

Supporters will receive a selection of poems from the sessions, and will receive recognition with signage at the workshop.

To support a group of 5 new poets, we graciously ask for a gift of $750. The support of each poet (of which we have at least 100 each year) is $150.

To support the workshop leaders, we are asking for a donation of $150 per leader. A gift of $6,250 will support the entire group.

 

The packed panel "Love and Beauty" at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2014

The packed panel "Love and Beauty" at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2014

Performance Sponsorship
The hallmarks of the Poetry Festival are the performances. To that end, we are developing a host committee to support the performances at the festival.

• Sponsorship: $10,000
• Co-sponsorship: $2,500 (maximum of four)
• Supporter: $1000 (maximum of ten)
• Friend: $500 (maximum of twenty)

 

Poets with New Books reading at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2014

Poets with New Books reading at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2014

General Fund Support
Likely the least glamorous but one of the most essential areas of support needed at the festival is the general fund. From police protection to the poetry trollies, we have significant costs of actually putting on the festival that require generous support from donors.

Overall, our overhead costs amount to roughly $7,500. We would gratefully accept donations in any amount to count toward the production of the festival.

Headquarters of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2014, featuring Festival ED January O'Neil, volunteer extraordinaire Lis Weiss Horowitz, and SSU interns Kayla Russell, and Felicia Connolly

Headquarters of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2014, featuring Festival ED January O'Neil, volunteer extraordinaire Lis Weiss Horowitz, and SSU interns Kayla Russell, and Felicia Connolly