The Poetry Coalition 2019

“What Is It, Then, Between Us?: Poetry & Democracy”


Synopsis of Project

Mass Poetry is part of 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. This year’s theme is “What Is It, Then, Between Us?: Poetry & Democracy”. 

Throughout spring 2019, Mass Poetry will enlist students, teachers, and members of our community to create erasures, or blackout poetry, of political documents including the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, Letter From a Birmingham Jail, and the speech ‘Our books and our pens are the most powerful weapons’ Malala Yousafzai delivered to the UN. Continuing in the rich, experimental tradition dating back to the 1960s, Mass Poetry will ask poets to create altered documents of the originals by blacking out text while exploring their newfound meaning.


Download and print the selected text from the document of your choosing and create your art. Then submit your work by mailing your blackout poetry in a bubble mailer with a stiff insert as well as a signed and dated release (from a parent or guardian if you are under 18) to Mass Poetry at 15 Channel Center Street, Suite 103, Boston, MA 02210 postmarked by April 30. If you would like your piece returned to you, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope to fit your artwork. We will do our best to return your piece in the condition it was sent to us, but we cannot be responsible for any damage that occurs during mailing. 

Feel free to get as creative as you would like – using sharpies, paint, tape, scissors, glitter, yarn, etc.

You must use the downloadable documents, as they are sized to fit specifications of posters on the T! 

Mass Poetry will include a curated collection of submissions on our website and social media throughout the spring and summer, and we will choose a select number to be displayed on the T as well as in public locales in July. Those whose work is chosen will be notified in May. If you have any questions about the project, please email