The Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2015

SAVE THE DATE! On May 1-3, 2015 the 7th Massachusetts Poetry Festival will take place in historic downtown Salem, creating the epicenter of contemporary American poetry by offering rare opportunities to hear the nation’s best poets read and discuss their work in intimate and engaging forums.

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
Headliners Announced: September
Deadline for Proposals: October 30
Call for Volunteers: January
Accepted Proposals Announced: January 2015
Festival Schedule Launched: March

Call for Proposals

The submission period for the festival is now open. You may submit your proposal here. The period will run from September 15 to October 30.

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.
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. Additionally, we want to encourage a range of presentations—in particular, from people who are submitting proposals with us for the first time.
While we welcome all types of programming, we especially encourage programming geared to the following topics:
•First-time festival presenters
•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)
•Sessions specifically for college students, high school students, and children and families 

We are looking for group poetry readings, workshops, panel discussions, and performances that involve music, theatre, dance, and/or visual arts.
Note: The festival does not schedule individual poets for readings. We will, however, accept proposals from individuals for workshops. All other programs are for groups of poets and presenters.
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.
Submit your proposal.

If you have questions, please send them to

Questions? Email January O’Neil at