Poet in Residence Cohort

Below is our cohort of Mass Poetry-certified poet educators. All can be placed as a poet in residence for a semester or full year. Email sara@masspoetry.org to access their materials including lesson plans and curricula to determine which poet is the best fit for your school.


Frances Donovan’s work has appeared in such publications as Borderlands, Snapdragon, Marathon Literary Review, Gender Focus, The Writer, Chronogram, Incessant Pipe, and Oddball Magazine. View more publication credits (with links) here.  She holds a degree in English from Vassar College and is an MFA candidate at Lesley University. Frances curated the Poetry@Prose reading series and has appeared as a featured reader at numerous venues in the Northeast. In 2017 she became a certified Poet Educator in Massachusetts. She enjoys candle-lit dinners, long walks on the beach, and writing about herself in the third person. Find her on social media at twitter.com/okelle, www.facebook.com/frances.donovan.poet, and plus.google.com/+FrancesDonovan.

Photo © Debi Milligan 2017

Photo © Debi Milligan 2017

Wendy Drexler’s third poetry collection, Before There Was Before, was published by Iris Press in April 2017. She is the author of Western Motel (Turning Point, 2012), and a chapbook, Drive-ins, Gas Stations, the Bright Motels (Pudding House, 2007). Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Ibbetson Street, J Journal, Nimrod, Off the Coast, Prairie Schooner, Salamander, The Maine Review, The Mid-American Review, The Hudson Review, The Worcester Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and other journals; featured on Verse Daily and WBUR’s Cognoscenti; and in the anthologies Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and Burning Bright: Passager Celebrates 21 Years. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, she grew up Denver, Colorado, and now lives in Belmont, Massachusetts. She is a free-lance editor and has been a poetry editor for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. She has taught poetry at the Cambridge Community Learning Center, working with immigrants ranging in age from 20 to 75 who are learning English as a second language, and has conducted poetry workshops with seniors in assisted living. In 2016 she co-authored her first children’s book, Buzz, Ruby, and Their City Chicks.


Poet-in-residence at Everett High School (Spring 2018) through a Mass Poetry and Mass Cultural Council grant. Taught incarcerated men in the PEN New England program. Co founded and taught a weekly poetry course in the Concord Massachusetts Correctional Institution. Since completing her MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University, her poetry has appeared in literary journals such as The Massachusetts Review, Connotation Press and Feminist Studies. She has completed residencies at Ragdale, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Hedgebrook. Previously, she invested in early stage software start ups. She holds degrees in Materials Science from MIT and Cambridge University and in Management from the MIT Sloan School. Currently a member of the Massachusetts Commission for LGBTQ Youth.

Photo by Andrea Young

Photo by Andrea Young

Zara Raab grew up in rural Northern California, and settled in Massachusetts in 2013. She has published two full-length poetry collections, and two chapbooks, as well as many book reviews and interviews. She has attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and the Frost Place, and is currently (2018) enrolled in an M.F.A. program. Her poems appear in several anthologies, including New California Writing, The Place That Inhabits Us, and Poems of the 99 Percent. She's been reading, writing, publishing, reciting, and otherwise participating in the literary life for many years. 


Marjorie Thomsen loves teaching others how to play with words and live more poetically in the world. She is the author of “Pretty Things Please” (Turning Point, 2016). Two poems from this collection were read on The Writers Almanac. One of Marjorie’s poems about hiking in a dress and high heels is being made into a short animated film. Nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, she has received several writing awards and has had the opportunity to read her poetry locally and in other states. She is certified to be a Poet in Residence in the Massachusetts Public Schools and holds a master’s in social work. Currently, Marjorie serves on the board of the New England Poetry Club and is an instructor at Boston University’s School of Social Work. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and three spirited teenagers.