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 mike. 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  17, 2017  Double Feature: Natalie Shapero and Dan Tobin


Natalie Shapero is the Professor of the Practice of Poetry at Tufts University and an editor at large of the Kenyon Review. Her poetry collections are Hard Child and No Object, and her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, Poetry, The New Republic, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, a Kenyon Review Fellowship, and a GLCA New Writers Award. She lives in Somerville.


Daniel Tobin is the author of eight books of poems, Where the World is Made, Double Life, The Narrows, Second Things, Belated HeavensThe NetFrom Nothing, and Blood Labors (forthcoming 2018) in addition to The Stone in the Air, his versions of poems from the German of Paul Celan. He is the author of the critical studies Awake in AmericaPassage to the Center: Imagination and the Sacred in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney, and the forthcoming On Serious Earth.  He is also editor of The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present, Light in Hand: Selected Early Poems of Lola RidgePoet’s Work, Poet’s Play: Essays on the Practice and the Arts (with Pimone Triplettand The Collected Early Poems of Lola Ridge. His poetry has won the “The Discovery/The Nation Award,” The Robert Penn Warren Award, the Robert Frost Fellowship, the Katherine Bakeless Nason Prize, the Massachusetts Book Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, among other honors.


October 15, 2017     Kimiko Hahn, with opener Krysten Hill


Kimiko Hahn is the author of nine books of poems, including: Brain Fever (W.W. Norton, 2014) and Toxic Flora (WWN, 2010), both collections prompted by science; The Narrow Road to the Interior (WWN, 2006) a collection that takes its title from Basho’s famous poetic journal;The Unbearable Heart (Kaya, 1996), which received an American Book Award; Earshot (Hanging Loose Press, 1992), which was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and an Association of Asian American Studies Literature Award. Honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, PEN/Voelcker Award, Shelley Memorial Prize, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the N.Y. Foundation for the Arts. She is a distinguished professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation at Queens College, CUNY. In 2016 Hahn was elected President of the Board of Governors, Poetry Society of America.


Opening Poet:

Krysten Hill is an educator, writer, and performer who has showcased her poetry on stage at The Massachusetts Poetry Festival, Blacksmith House, Cantab Lounge, Merrimack College, U35 Reading Series, and many others. She received her MFA in poetry from UMass Boston where she currently teaches. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in apt, Word Riot, The Baltimore Review, B O D Y, Muzzle, PANK, Winter Tangerine Review and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2016 St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award. Her chapbook, How Her Spirit Got Out, is now available through Aforementioned Productions.

November 19, 2017                 Double Feature: Jennifer Barber and Fred Marchant


Jennifer Barber’s poetry collections are Works on Paper, which received the 2015 Tenth Gate Prize (The Word Works, 2016), Given Away (Kore Press, 2012), and Rigging the Wind (Kore Press, 2003, winner of its 2002 First Book Award). Her poems have appeared in magazines and journals such as the New Yorker, Poetry, the Missouri Review, Orion, Post Road, Upstreet, Poetry Daily, and the Gettysburg Review. She has received an Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a St. Botolph grant. She teaches at Suffolk University in Boston, where she is founding and current editor of the literary journal Salamander, currently in its twenty-fifth year.


Fred Marchant’s new collection of poetry, Said Not Said, was published by Graywolf Press in May 2017. He is also the author of Tipping Point, Full Moon Boat, House on Water, House in Air, and The Looking House. Editor of Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford, Marchant is the founding director of the Suffolk University Poetry Center.


December 17, 2017                 Jana Prikryl, with opener Richard Waring


Jana Prikryl’s first book of poems, The After Party, was published last year. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, the London Review of Books, The Paris Review, The Baffler, and The New York Review of Books. She writes essays on photography and film for The Nation and The New York Review of Books, where she works as a senior editor. Born in the former Czechoslovakia and raised in Canada from the age of six, she has lived in New York City since 2003.


Opening Poet:

Richard Waring’s poetry has been anthologized in The Pocket Poetry Parenting Guide; Rough Places Plain: Poems of the Mountains; and Unitarian Universalist Poets: A Contemporary American Survey. His poems have appeared in Sanctuary, the magazine of Massachusetts Audubon Society; JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association; the Comstock Review; the American Journal of Nursing; and elsewhere. A chapbook, Listening to Stones, was published in 1999 by Pudding House Publications. What Love Tells Me is his first full-length poetry collection, released in September, 2016, by Word Poetry. He is senior layout artist for the New England Journal of Medicine.


January 21, 2018     Steph Burt, with opener Laurie Rosenblatt

Steph (also Stephen and Stephanie) Burt is Professor of English at Harvard and the author of several books of poetry and literary criticism, including The Poem Is You (Harvard University Press, 2016) and Advice from the Lights (Graywolf, 2017). Her poems, reviews, essays and articles have appeared in many journals across the English-speaking world, among them The Nation, ALH, The Believer, Boston Review, ELH, the New York Times Book Review, The London Review of Books, PN Review, Rain Taxi, and the Times Literary Supplement. When she is not writing about, or writing, poetry, she has been known to write about comic books, pop music, science fiction, and women’s basketball. She lives in Belmont with her spouse and two children.


Opening Poet:

Laurie Rosenblatt is the author of one full-length book of poetry, In Case (Pecan Grove Press, 2013), and two chapbooks, Blue (University of Toledo Press, 2012) and A Trapdoor, a Rupture, Something with Kinks (Finishing Line Press, 2017). Her collaboration with the painter Richard Raiselis, Cloud 10, was produced by Gallery NAGA in Boston in 2012. Individual poems have appeared in Salamander, The Common, Harvard Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review and elsewhere. 

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, Tam Lin Neville, 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.