CommunitiesMEET THE MEMBER

Meet The Member: Mass Poetry

Website: https://masspoetry.org/

Staff: Executive Director: Daniel Johnson; Education Director: Erica Charis-Molling; Events and Communications Coordinator: Talia Franks; Community Engagement Coordinator: Kaylin Wu; Festival Director: MP Carver; Festival Manager: Crystal Valentine

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In your words… Tell us about your organization, business, initiative.

Mass Poetry is a literary outreach nonprofit supporting, broadening, and connecting poets, poetry, and audiences in and around Massachusetts. We are home to the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, U35, Student Day of Poetry, and more.

Tell us a bit about you and why you do what you do? Share your passions for your business, initiative, organization.

We harness the power of words to engage and empower diverse communities across our commonwealth. Our innovative programs spark dialogue, connection, and self expression. We envision a vibrant, inclusive community that lifts all voices.

What role do you think your business plays in supporting a more creative community? OR your community in general.

Our core principles are: diversity, collaboration, and paying for creative work. We strive to include poets and poetry of all styles and schools, as well as poets of all ages, genders, geographies, languages, and cultures across the Commonwealth.

We promote existing poetry and cultural organizations in every way possible—especially by building on and complementing their work. We pay people for their labor, hoping to assist in development of revenue streams for the creative endeavors in any way we can.

What was the last thing you watched or book you read that made an impact on you?

Daniel: “The Art of Losing Anthology” by Kevin Young

Erica: “Beginning with O” by Olga Broumas

M.P.: “The Tiny Journalist” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Crystal: DMX – ‘The Industry’

Talia: “The Girl and the Goddess” by Nikita Gill

What’s the one thing people would be surprised to learn about you our your business?

Fact One: While the Massachusetts Poetry Festival now makes its home in Salem, our first Festival was in Lowell.

Fact Two: Before Amanda Gorman’s iconic and powerful performance at Biden’s inauguration, she collaborated with Mass Poetry. Our rendition of her poem “In This Place (An American Lyric)” is a stirring choral recitation in the form of a short film released in conjunction with National Poetry month in 2020. https://youtu.be/W9UmyBSMn3A


WANT TO LEARN MORE? GO TO THEIR WEBSITE: MASS POETRY

INTERESTED IN HAVING YOUR BUSINESS FEATURED AND PARTNERING WITH THE COLLECTIVE TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS? #JOINCREATIVECOLLECTIVE TODAY!


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