Common Threads is annual publication of 7-10 poems by Massachusetts poets chosen by a Massachusetts poet, with a guide to reading and discussing the poems, videos of the poems being read (by the poets themselves when possible), and outreach to libraries, senior centers, book clubs, and more, to facilitate ~350 poetry discussion groups throughout the state in an effort to broaden the audience for poetry.

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Common Threads

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Common Threads is on hiatus for 2017.
Please check back for our 7th edition in 2018.

Please continue to use past issues, available via PDF download or hardcopy purchase, to facilitate poetry readings and discussion groups in your community.


Past issues:


Common Threads 2016
Guest Editor: Alice Kociemba
$10 Hardcopy Free PDF
Media Package

"This edition of Common Threads explores threshold moments—those boundaries between ourselves and others, the past and the present, what we perceive and what is. These poems show that, by crossing those thresholds and telling the stories, we enter new realizations and understandings, which in turn lead to transformation—the astonished discovery that we are all part of the greater whole, a connected universe." - Alice Kociemba, Guest Editor


1) "O Taste and See" by Denise Levertov
2) "Chanson on the Red Line" by Susan Donnelly
3) "The Terrible Memory" by Alan Feldman
4) "Incident" by Natasha Trethewey
5) "The List Grows" by Danielle Legros Georges
6) "The House Remembers" by Robert Francis
7) "St. Kevin and the Blackbird" by Seamus Heaney

Common Threads 2015
Guest Editor: Alice Kociemba
$10 Hardcopy | Free PDF
Media Package

"The overarching theme of this fifth edition of Common Threads is love—a reverence for life and a zest for living that is intensified at moments of birth and death, the cherishing of one’s birthplace and the longing for what has been left behind, a passion for peace and respect for poetry itself as witness, and finally, the precious and precarious beauty of nature. Each of these eight poems reveals love’s common threads." - Alice Kociemba, Guest Editor


1) “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World” by Richard Wilbur
2) “The Birthing” by Deborah Digges
3) “For the Man Who Spun Plates” by John Hodgen
4) “Prospective Immigrants Please Note” by Adrienne Rich
5) “On Hearing My Name Pronounced Correctly, Unexpectedly, for Once” by Rhina P. Espaillat
6) “The Salt Stronger” by Fred Marchant
7) “Sea Grapes” by Derek Walcott
8) “The Osprey” by Mary Oliver


Common Threads 2014
Guest Editor: Lisa Olstein
$10 Hardcopy | Free PDF
Media Package


1. “Late Air” by Elizabeth Bishop
2. “Syntax" by Jorie Graham
3. “spring is like a perhaps hand” by E. E. Cummings
4. “Poppies in October” by Sylvia Plath
5. “Or” by Thomas Sayers Ellis
6. "An American Poem" by Eileen Myles
7. “Lullaby” by Peter Gizzi
8. “Halley’s Comet" by Stanley Kunitz
9. “Resume" by Agha Shahid Ali
10. “For the Graduation” by Robert Creeley

Common Threads 2013
Guest Editor: Jill McDonough
$10 Hardcopy | Free PDF
Media Package


1. “Leaves” by Lloyd Schwartz
2. “Leaves” by Afaa Michael Weaver
3. “To Whom It May Concern” by Andrea Cohen
4. “White Paper 38” by Martha Collins
5. “What to Tweak” by Patricia Smith
6. “Cherishing What Isn’t” by Jack Gilbert
7. “To a Strayed Cat” by Stephen Jonas
8. “Tuggin’” by Matt W. Miller
9. “Range-Finding” by Robert Frost
10. “Autobiographia Literaria”  by Frank O’Hara

Common Threads 2012 Edited/Compiled by: Morie Deykute & Kevin R. Morrissette
$10 HardcopyFree PDF
Media Package


  1. "The Author to Her Book" by Anne Bradstreet
  2. No. 1129 - "Tell all the Truth but tell it slant" by Emily Dickinson
  3. "The Fire of Drift-Wood" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  4. "For the Union Dead" by Robert Lowell
  5. "Horseface" by Sam Cornish
  6. "if see no end in is" by Frank Bidart
  7. "Baseball" by Gail Mazur
  8. "Out at Plansville" by David Ferry
  9. "The Hardness Scale" by Joyce Peseroff

Common Threads 2011
Edited/Compiled by: S. D. MullaneyKevin R. Morrissette
$10 Hardcopy | Free PDF


  1. "In the Waiting Room" by Elizabeth Bishop
  2. "Samurai Song" by Robert Pinsky
  3. "The Lost Pilot" by James Tate
  4. "Occupation" by Suji Kwock Kim
  5. "Vita Nova" by Louise Glück
  6. "Love Song: I and Thou" by Alan Dugan
  7. "New England Ode" by Kevin Young


Become a Sponsor

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

Program Support
To support the annual Common Threads publication, media package, outreach, and events, Mass Poetry encourages gifts at the following levels:
• Friend: $100
• Co-sponsor: $250
• Sponsor: $500
• Co-chair: $1,000 

Supporters will be honored by acknowledgement in the publication and on signage at the Common Threads event at the Mass Poetry Festival.