Brookline Poetry Series

The Brookline Poetry Series meets once a month on Sunday afternoons, September through May, normally in Hunneman Hall at the Brookline Village Library (361 Washington St., Brookline, MA 02445). Usually, one or two established poets read, followed by an open mic. You may contact the organizers via email at Please put “Brookline Poetry Series” in the subject heading. Please do not send written correspondence in care of the Library.

Timing of performances:

  • 1:30 PM  Doors open
  • 1:45 PM  Open mic sign-up
  • 2 – 4 PM  Poetry readings

N.B., Usually the third Sunday of the month. On rare occasions, this may vary to accommodate holidays or special Library events, so be sure to check the Library Calendar or this page before attending. (Also, all meetings are held at the Brookline Village if possible, but on very rare occasions we have had to move to the Coolidge Corner Location because of a scheduling conflict.)

Featured Readers

September 16, 2018
Featured poet: Dana Levin

Photo of Dana LevinDana Levin is the author of Banana Palace (Copper Canyon Press, 2016), Sky Burial (Copper Canyoon, 2011), Wedding Day (Copper Canyon 2005), and In the Surgical Theatre (Copper Canyon 1999). In the Surgical Theatre was chosen by Louise Glück for the 1999 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize and went on to receive numerous honors, including the 2003 PEN/Osterweil Award. Levin’s poetry and essays have appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Best American Poetry 2015, The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Boston Review, The American Poetry Review, Poetry, and The Paris Review. Her fellowships and awards include those from the National Endowment for the Arts, PEN, the Witter Bynner Foundation and the Library of Congress, as well as the Rona Jaffe, Whiting and Guggenheim Foundations. She currently serves as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Maryville University in St. Louis.

Opening Reader: Christine Tierney

Christine Tierney ( is a poet, childcare aficionado, disco lover, and closeted comedian. She holds a BA in film from Emerson College, and an MFA in creative writing from The Stonecoast Writing Program. Her manuscript, make me unsick was selected as a finalist for the 2016 Gambling the Aisle Chapbook Contest, and as a semi-finalist for the 2017 Elyse Wolf Chapbook Contest. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net, a Pushcart Prize, and the Best New Poets anthology, and has appeared in Fourteen Hills, Poet Lore, PMS, Sugar House Review, The Nervous Breakdown and other cool places. She is the founding editor and editor-in-chief of the hip and hybrid-loving online literary journal, little leo.

October 21, 2018
Featured poet: Rebecca Morgan Frank

A black-and-white photo of Rebecca Morgan FrankRebecca Morgan Frank is the author of three collections of poetry: Sometimes We’re All Living in a Foreign Country (Carnegie Mellon 2017); The Spokes of Venus (Carnegie Mellon 2016); and Little Murders Everywhere, a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Her poems have appeared in such places as The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Guernica, and the Harvard Review. She is the recipient of the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award for her next manuscript and fellowships from such places as the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her collaborations with composers have been performed and exhibited across the U.S. She is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the online literary magazine

Opening Reader: Pam Matz

Pam Matz is a poet, librarian, and teacher. Her work has appeared in MemoriousPainted Bride Quarterly, Bloodroot,  and Shadowgraph Quarterly.  She has an MFA from Bennington, is pursuing a master’s in Medieval Studies at the Harvard Extension School, and is grateful to be part of the Boston poetry community.

November 18, 2018
Double Feature: Carol Moldaw and Crystal Williams

A black-and-white photograph of Carol MoldawCarol Moldaw is the author, most recently, of Beauty Refracted (Four Way Books, 2018) as well as five other books of poetry, So Late, So Soon: New and Selected Poems (Etruscan Press, 2010), The Lightning Field, which won the 2002 FIELD Poetry Prize, Through the Window (La Alameda Press, 1998), Chalkmarks on Stone (La Alameda Press, 1998), and Taken from the River (Alef Books, 1993). She is also the author of the novel The Widening (Etruscan Press, 2008). Moldaw is the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Marfa Writer’s Residency, an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize, and her work is published widely in journals, including AGNI, Antioch Review, Boston Review, Chicago Review, Conjunctions, Denver Quarterly, FIELD, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Parnassus, Threepenny Review, and Triquarterly. From 2005-2008 Moldaw was on the faculty of Stonecoast, the University of Southern Maine’s low-residency M.F.A. program, and she has conducted residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, taught at the College of Santa Fe and in the MFA program at Naropa University. In the spring of 2011 she served as the Louis D. Rubin, Jr., Writer-in-Residence at Hollins University; currently she teaches privately in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she lives.

A black-and-white photograph of Crystal Williams.Crystal Williams began her career in the arts as an actress, working in Washington, DC. before moving to New York to pursue a career in the arts. Once in New York, she transitioned from theatre to performance and poetry, becoming a regular at the Nuyorican Poets Café in the mid-90s where she earned a spot on the 1995 Nuyorican Slam Team, which competed in the National Slam in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her highly anthologized performance poem, “In Search of Aunt Jemima,” was the only poem of that competition to receive a perfect score and it continues to be regularly performed by new generations of young women more than twenty years later. Williams has published four collections of poems, most recently Detroit as Barn, finalist for the National Poetry Series, Cleveland State Open Book Prize, and the Maine Book Award. Her third collection, Troubled Tongues, was awarded the 2009 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the 2009 Oregon Book Award, the Idaho Poetry Prize, and the Crab Orchard Poetry Prize. Her first two books, Kin and Lunatic, were published by Michigan State University Press in 2000 and 2002, respectively. Her work has regularly appeared in the nation’s leading journals and magazines, including: American Poetry Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, PEN: America, The Indiana Review, The Sun, Tin House, Ms. Magazine, Ploughshares, and Callaloo. Most recently, Crystal Williams was one of ten poets commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art to write poems as a part of the Jacob Lawrence Migration Series exhibit. Williams was on faculty at Reed College in Portland, Oregon for thirteen years before moving in Fall 2013 to Bates College as a Professor of English and a senior administrator. In October 2017, she joined Boston University as Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion.

December 16, 2018
Featured Reader: Lisa Dordal
Lisa Dordal, author of Mosaic of the Dark from Black Lawrence Press, teaches in the English Department at Vanderbilt University. A Pushcart Prize nominee and the

recipient of an Academy of American Poets University Prize, the Robert Watson Poetry Prize, and the Betty Gabehart Poetry Prize, her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Best New Poets, Ninth LetterCALYXVinyl Poetry, The Greensboro Review, and Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse. Her website is

Opening Reader: Carla Schwartz

Carla Schwartz is a poet, filmmaker, photographer, and blogger. Her poems have appeared in Aurorean, Eyedrum Periodically, Fourth River, Fulcrum, Bluefifth, Cardiff, Common Ground, Cactus Heart, Leveler, Long Island Review, Lost River, Mom Egg, Submittable, Switched-on Gutenberg, Gyroscope, Mojave River, Naugatuck River, Oyster River, Paddock, Solstice, SHARKPACK, Triggerfish, Sweet Tree, Varnish, and Ibbetson Street, among others. Her poem Gum Surgery was anthologized in City of Notions, A Boston Poetry Anthology. She has two books of poems: Intimacy with the Wind, (Finishing Line Press) and Mother, One More Thing (Turning Point). Her CB99videos youtube channel has 1,900,000+ views. Learn more at, or or find her on twitter or instagram @cb99videos.

January 20, 2019
Featured Reader: Evie Shockley
Evie Shockley is the author of semiautomatic (2017), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the LA Times Book Prize.  She has published four other collections of poetry—including the new black (2011), which won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award—and a critical study, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (2011).  Her honors include the 2015 Stephen Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry and the 2012 Holmes National Poetry Prize.  She is spending 2019-2020 as a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Shockley is Professor of English at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

Opening Reader: Joshua Coben

Joshua Coben’s first book, Maker of Shadows (Texas Review Press, 2010), won the X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize. His second collection, Night Chaser, was a finalist for the Vassar Miller Prize and the New American Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, The Cincinnati Review, College English, Pleiades, Poet Lore, Poetry Daily, and elsewhere. A St. Louis native, he has worked for over twenty years in the Boston area as an elementary school teacher and librarian.

February 17, 2019
Featured Reader: Javier Zamora
Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador and migrated to the US when he was nine. He is a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University and holds fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University, the Lannan Foundation, MacDowell, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, Stanford University, and Yaddo. Zamora’s poems appear in Granta, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, The New York Times, and elsewhere. Unaccompanied (Copper Canyon, 2017) is his first collection.

Opening Reader: Susan Richmond

Susan Edwards Richmond is the author of five poetry collections, the most recent of which is Before We Were Birds, published by Adastra Press in 2017. In addition to her other collections, Purgatory Chasm, BotoIncrease, and Birding in Winter (Finishing Line Press), Susan’s poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including Appalachia, Blueline, The Iowa Review, Poetry East, Runes, and Sanctuary: the Journal of the Massachusetts Audubon Society. She earned an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of California, Davis, and a B.A. with Honors in English from Williams College. She has taught at U.C. Davis, Clark University, Boston University, Emerson College, and the Shirley Medium Correctional Facility. She is poet-in-residence at Old Frog Pond Farm & Studio in Harvard, MA, where she curates a Poem of the Month and organizes an annual plein air poetry walk and chapbook. She currently teaches in Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Community Preschool. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Susan’s first picture book is forthcoming from Peachtree Publishers. Her website is

March 17, 2019
Featured Reader: George Kalogeris
George Kalogeris is the author of a book of paired poems in translation, Dialogos (Antilever, 2012), and of a book of poems based on the notebooks of Albert Camus, Camus: Carnets (Pressed Wafer, 2006). His poems and translations were anthologized in Joining Music with Reason, chosen by Christopher Ricks (Waywiser, 2010). His current book of poems, Guide to Greece, is just out from Louisiana State University Press (2018). He teaches English Literature and Classics in Translation at Suffolk University.

Opening Reader: Holly Guran

Holly is author of Twilight Chorus (Main Street Rag), River of Bones (Iris Press) and the chapbooks River Tracks and Mother’s Trails. She has earned a Massachusetts Cultural Council award (2012) and is a member of Jamaica Pond Poets. Her work has appeared in journals including Compassion Anthology, Mom Egg Review, Poet Lore, Poetry East, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Borderlands, Santa Fe Literary Review, Worcester Review, and Salamander. Holly resides in
Boston with her husband, Phil, and their dog, Ginger.

April 28, 2019
Double Feature: Matthew Olzmann and Connie Voisine

A photograph of Matthew OlzmannMatthew Olzmann is the author of two collections of poems, Mezzanines, which was selected for the Kundiman Prize, and Contradictions in the Design, both from Alice James Books.  His writing has appeared in Best American Poetry, Waxwing, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Brevity, Southern Review and elsewhere.  He’s received fellowships from Kundiman, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Kresge Arts Foundation. Currently, he teaches at Dartmouth College and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

A photograph of Connie Voisine.Connie Voisine, a native of Fort Kent, Maine and now lives at the other border in New Mexico where she lives and teaches. She is the author of the recent chapbook of poems, And God Created Women, and the full-length book, The Bower, released by University of Chicago Press in 2019. A previous book, Rare High Meadow of Which I Might Dream, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. She has poems published in The New Yorker, The Georgia Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Magazine, Black Warrior Review, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. Educated at Yale University, University of California at Irvine, and University of Utah, Voisine teaches in the creative writing program at New Mexico State University and also coordinates La Sociedad para las Artes, its outreach organization.

May 19, 2019
Featured Reader: Patrick Donnelly
Patrick Donnelly is the author of four books of poetry: The Charge (Ausable Press, 2003, since 2009 part of Copper Canyon Press), Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin (Four Way Books, 2012), a 2013 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, Jesus Said (a chapbook from Orison Books, 2017), and Little-Known Operas (Four Way Books, 2019.) Donnelly is director of the Poetry Seminar at The Frost Place, Robert Frost’s old homestead in Franconia, NH, now a center for poetry and the arts. Donnelly’s translations with Stephen D. Miller of classical Japanese poetry were awarded the 2015-2016 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. Donnelly’s other awards include a U.S./Japan Creative Artists Program Award, an Artist Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Margaret Bridgman Fellowship in Poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a 2018 Amy Clampitt Residency Award.

Opening Reader: January Gill O’Neil

January is the author of Rewilding (Fall 2018), Misery Islands (2014), and Underlife (2009), published by CavanKerry Press. She is an assistant professor of English at Salem State University, and boards of trustees member with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and Montserrat College of Art. From 2012-2018, she served as executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. In 2018, January was awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant, and was named the John and Renée Grisham Writer in Residence for 2019-2020 at the University of Mississippi, Oxford. She lives with her two children in Beverly, Massachusetts.

The Brookline Poetry Series was founded in the spring and summer of 2001 by our friend and fellow poet Diane Collins Ouellette. Diane died of cancer several months into the series, and, with her husband Berred’s support, we continued. We are guided by her original mission: a quality venue for local poets, both published and yet-to-be published; a place for a multiplicity of poetic voices; a series particularly dedicated to featuring the work of Brookline poets.

In the years since, we have featured the best contemporary voices in American poetry, as well as many fine local poets.

We are dedicated to providing a forum for poets of all experience to listen and read their work. In 2005, the Boston Globe named us the Best in Boston for our open mike.

We welcome all Boston-area poets to our series.

Since March 2008, the series has been held at the Public Library of Brookline.

Brookline Poetry Series Co-Directors: Ann Killough, Susan Jo Russell, Aimée Sands

Contact: Please put “Brookline Poetry Series” in the subject heading. Please do not send written correspondence in care of the Library.