Daniel Johnson, Executive Director
Daniel Johnson–a poet, educator, and veteran nonprofit leader–most recently 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 writing, and 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.
January O’Neil, Massachusetts Poetry Festival Executive Director
January Gill O’Neil is the author of Misery Islands (2014) and Underlife (2009), both published by CavanKerry Press. A third collection, Rewilding, will be published by CavanKerry Press in fall 2018. She is the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and an assistant professor of English at Salem State University. She is a board of trustee member with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and Montserrat College of Art. Misery Islands was selected for a 2015 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence. Additionally, it was selected by Mass Center for the Book as a Must-Read Book for 2015, and won the 2015 Massachusetts Book Award.
January’s poems and articles have appeared in or are forthcoming with the Academy of American Poets, American Life in Poetry, Plume, Harvard Review, Harvard Review’s Renga for Obama, Green Mountains Review, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Paterson Literary Review, Rattle, Ploughshares, Sou’Wester, North American Review, The MOM Egg, Crab Creek Review, and Cave Canem anthologies II and IV, among others. Underlife was a finalist for ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award, and the 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize. In 2009, January was awarded a Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grant. She was featured in Poets & Writers magazine’s January/February 2010 Inspiration issue as one of its 12 debut poets. A Cave Canem fellow, she runs a popular blog called Poet Mom (http://poetmom.blogspot.com/).
Previously, January was a senior writer/editor at Babson College. She earned her BA from Old Dominion University and her MFA at New York University. She lives with her two children in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Sara Siegel, Program Director
Sara Siegel is a lifelong writer and crafter based in Somerville. After graduating Washington University in St. Louis and working at women's health organizations in NYC, she moved to Burlington, Vermont to earn a Masters in Public Administration at UVM. While there she worked at Vermont Children's Trust Foundation, a grant-making organization working with prevention programs throughout the state. Sara moved to Boston in 2012, and spent nearly three years as the Development and Alumni Relations Associate with School Year Abroad, a high school study abroad and homestay with campuses in China, France, Spain and Italy. Sara's short stories have been published in Wild Violet, Vantage Point, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal and Cleaver Magazine. Her sketch comedy group, Mister Bismuth, regularly performs at ImprovBoston in Cambridge.
Claire Laine, Program Assistant
Claire Laine is originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Macalester College. She moved to Massachusetts in 2016 to attend Harvard Divinity School, and recently graduated with a Master of Theological Studies in Literature, Religion, and Culture. Her prior professional experiences include writing, editing, book selling, and ballet dancing, and she is excited to further immerse herself in the literary community here in Massachusetts. In addition to being a Program Assistant at Mass Poetry, she is an Associate Editor at Skyword, a content marketing agency based in Boston. When she is not reading or writing, she is probably baking or making elaborate mail for her family and friends.
Annie Lindenberg, Development Assistant
Annie Lindenberg is a writer and student who was born and raised in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2015 she relocated to Boston to study Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College with a minor in History, which she will graduate with in December 2018. She has previously written for IES Abroad as a travel blogger while she studied throughout Europe as well as Emertainment Monthly where she wrote television and movie reviews.