May 22, 2018

Dear friends,

As many of you know, our first full-time executive director, Laurin Macios, will be transitioning out of the ED role in the coming weeks. For more than five years, Laurin has worked with Mass Poetry in almost every conceivable role. For the last year, she has been our executive director, leading the organization to bigger and better things. We are enormously grateful to Laurin for all of her contributions to building the organization over the years. Without her dedicated leadership – and her many hours of blood, sweat, and tears – there would be less poetry in Massachusetts, and the world. Please join me in thanking Laurin for everything she has done for poetry in New England.

 Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson

Our “quaint conspiracy of hope” continues. On June 11, we will welcome our next Executive Director, Daniel Johnson, to the Mass Poetry team. If you don’t know Daniel, you soon will.

Daniel Johnson–a poet, educator, and veteran nonprofit leader–is delighted to join forces with Mass Poetry as its executive director. Most recently, Daniel served as the founding executive director of 826 Boston’s youth writing center in Roxbury for nearly a decade. At 826 Boston, Daniel helped deliver writing programming to more than 20,000 under-served Boston Public School students, published a number of award-winning collections of student writingand helped grow 826 Boston into the city’s premier youth writing center. A Teach for America alumnus, he is a tireless proponent of delivering arts programming where it’s needed most and has taught in a variety of settings from urban schools to prisons, and county hospitals to residential programs.

Daniel is the author of How to Catch a Falling Knife, a book of poems published by Alice James Books. In conjunction with the book’s release, he performed an illuminated text involving poetry, music, and the found home movies of a World War II-era Fuller Brush salesman. Daniel is currently working on a collection of elegies for the American journalist James Foley, a longstanding friend who was killed by ISIS in Syria in 2014. Daniel’s writing has been featured in outlets such as NPR, PBS News Hour, Best American Poetry, Boston Review, and elsewhere. In 2016, Daniel was named a finalist for the Poet Laureate of Boston and has received numerous honors for his writing including awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Chicago Poetry Center. In 2018, Daniel is serving as an Artist-in-Residence with the City of Boston. He is also a member of the Writers’ Room of Boston. When not reading or writing poetry, Daniel enjoys setting off on adventures with his wife and kids in New England and beyond. 
 
The Board of Directors of Mass Poetry is thrilled to welcome Daniel. Laurin will be working with him on this transition over the next two weeks. Daniel will officially join us June 11.
 
Thank you for your support throughout this important transition.
 
Best,
Nicco Mele
Chair of the Board, Mass Poetry