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.
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.
Emily Duggan, Development Assistant
Emily Duggan writes and performs poetry, comedy, and theater in Boston and Chicago. They are currently a member of improv and experimental theater troupes with the Riot Theater Company in Roslindale, and they have appeared as a featured poet for the Boston Poetry Slam and as an ensemble member at Chicago's Green Mill. Meanwhile, they have studied writing, comedy, and applied theater at Brandeis University, The Second City -- Chicago, Emerson College, GrubStreet, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Their poetry has been published in Tinderbox Poetry Journal. Emily used to make their living as a working stiff in Boston's ghost-tourism industry.
Isaiah Frisbie, Events Assistant
Originally from Southern California, Isaiah earned his dual BA in Literary Arts and English Nonfiction Writing from Brown University. He's currently pursuing his MA in Civic Media at Emerson College. A first-generation college and low-income student himself, he spent the majority of his undergraduate career working in community organizing and on-campus advocacy initiatives. He is particularly invested in the intersections of writing, social justice, educational equity, and artistic activism. Isaiah is also a writer and poet and considers poetry to be a conduit for closure and resistance. His previous professional experience includes editing, social media marketing, photography, and graphic design.
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 a Publicity Assistant at Harvard University Press. When she is not reading or writing, she is probably baking or making elaborate mail for her family and friends.