In November 2015, more than 20 nonprofit poetry organizations joined forces to form a national Poetry Coalition working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.

In March 2017, the Poetry Coalition launched its inaugural effort, Because We Come from Everything: Poetry & Migration. For this collaborative effort, each organization in the Poetry Coalition will bring its unique mission to the task of presenting programs and projects on the theme of migration.

Mass Poetry's 2017 Poetry Coalition Programming
Because We Come from Everything: Poetry & Migration

On a rainy weekend in Salem, poetry reigned supreme during festival weekend. City streets were covered with poems as part of the Mass Poetry Festival’s Migration Poetry Contest.

Sixty-four entries were received from Massachusetts residents on the broad theme of migration. Our theme, Because We Come from Everything: Poetry & Migration, borrows a line from U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera’s poem, “Borderbus.”

The five winners are:
From “Embarkation” - Lisken Van Pelt Dus
From “Explorer” -Ashmita Malkani
From “EXQUISITE FRUIT” - Janet Aalfs
From “From the Sky” - Sarah Snyder
From “Kneeling to Kiss the Ground” - Jane Yolen


The poems were featured on Salem Streets through our program Raining Poetry...

Check out the video!

Check out the video!

Using a biodegradable water-repellent spray and stencils made by local artists, we placed poems throughout the streets of Salem. The spray vanishes once dry, so the poems are invisible, until it rains—which it did on festival Saturday. Once wet, the area around the poems will darken, enabling passersby to read them. The poems will remain for 6-8 weeks.

Excerpts of the poems were stenciled near Old Town Hall at Front Street in downtown Salem just in time for the festival. They will be on the streets for a few more weeks. Bring a bottle of water and watch the poems appear before your eyes!