Brookline Poetry Series

The Brookline Poetry Series meets once a month on Sunday afternoons, September through May, normally in Hunneman Hall at the Public Library of Brookline Village Location (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 poetry@brooklinelibrary.org. 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 18

Shapiro photo copyAlan Shapiro has published many poetry collections (most recently Reel to Reel, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Night of the Republic, finalist for both the National Book Award and the Griffin Prize), four books of prose, including The Last Happy Occasion, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Broadway Baby, a novel. Winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award, LA Times Book Prize, and an award in literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, he will bring out two books in 2016: Life Pig, a book of poems, and That Self-Forgetful Perfectly Useless Concentration, essays on convention, suffering and self-expression.

Jonathan Aibel has studied with Lucie Brock-Broido, Henri Cole, Cleopatra Mathis and Kathryn Deputat.  His poetry has appeared in Mason’s Road, the Aurorean, and Round Magazine, and appeared on the Rusty Truck and Vox Poetica websites.  It has also been included in the anthology Rhyme & Punishment from Local Gems Press.  In his other life, he is a software engineer specializing in quality, and he lives in Concord, Massachusetts with his wife, son and two cats.


October 16

jackson121Major Jackson is the author of four books of poetry: Roll Deep (2015); Holding Company (2010); Hoops (2007); and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry.  He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writer’s Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and a creative arts fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. He has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, Callaloo, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and Tin House, and been included in several volumes of Best American Poetry.  Major Jackson lives in South Burlington, Vermont, where he is the University Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Vermont. He is a core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars and serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.

Opening poet:
Didi Jackson‘s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in PloughsharesGreen Mountains ReviewThe CommonWater~Stone Review, and Passages North, among other publications. Her manuscript, Almost Animal (now Before the Body), was a finalist for the 2016 Alice James Book Award, a finalist for the 2016 Autumn House Press Book Award, and a finalist for the 2015 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize offered by Persea Books.  Her chapbook, Slag and Fortune, was published by Floating Wolf Quarterly in 2013. She lives in South Burlington, Vermont teaching Poetry and the Visual Arts and Creative Writing at the University of Vermont.


November 20

Collins_photoMartha Collins’ most recent book of poetry, Admit One: An American Scrapbook, was published in the Pitt Poetry Series last spring.  She has also published seven earlier collections, including Day Unto Day, White Papers, and Blue Front, as well as four volumes of co-translated Vietnamese poetry. Collins has won numerous awards for her work, including an Anisfield-Wolf Award, a Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the NEA, the Bunting Institute, the Witter Bynner Foundation, and the Siena Art Institute. Founder of the creative writing program at UMass-Boston, she served as Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College for ten years and is currently editor-at-large for Oberlin’s FIELD magazine.

Opening poet:
Donald Vincent is a poet, rapper, painter, and lover of all things art. He teaches in the Writing, Literature, and Publishing Department at Emerson College. After completing his MFA in Poetry from Emerson, he created Mr. Hip Presents, a reading series that brings together established and emerging poets, spoken word artists with live jazz music in Boston. His first music project, ‘Jokes From My Ex’ was released digitally in September of 2015 and his poems can be found online at DearDonadlVincent.com/poetry. If not in a classroom or teashop, Mr. Hip can be found scouring the hashtags of Instagram and Twitter.


December 18 

Holiday Favorite Poem Reading.  Come and read or recite a favorite poem.  Refreshments provided.


January 22

 

ossipKathleen Ossip is the author of The Do-Over, a New York Times Editors’ Choice; The Cold War, which was one of Publishers Weekly’s best books of 2011; The Search Engine, which was selected by Derek Walcott for the American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize; and Cinephrastics, a chapbook of movie poems.  Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Best American Magazine Writing, the Washington Post, Paris Review, Poetry, The Believer, A Public Space, and Poetry Review (London). She teaches at The New School in New York, and she is the editor of the poetry review website SCOUT (scoutpoetry.com).

Opening poet:
Geraldine Zetzel, after many years in Cambridge, now lives in Lexington, MA. Her passion for poetry began early in childhood. Her career was in teaching, teacher training and child advocacy. Currently she leads courses in the Tufts Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning. In addition to her new book, Traveling Light, she is the author of Mapping the Sands, and two chapbooks, Near Enough to Hear the Words and With Both Hands. A number of her poems have appeared in anthologies and journals.

 


February 19

ferry_photoDavid Ferry is an acclaimed American poet and translator. Ferry’s translations, which include some of the world’s major works of poetry including The Odes of Horace, and both The Eclogues and Georgics of Virgil, are known for their fluency and grace. In addition to his lauded translations, Ferry is also a prize-winning poet in his own right. His poetic works include Dwelling Places (1993) and Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations (1999), which won the Lenore Marshall Prize, the Bingham Poetry Prize, the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress, and was a finalist for the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award and the New Yorker Book Award. Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations (2012), won the National Book Award for Poetry.

Opening Poet:
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 (Oxford, 2010). He teaches English Literature and Classics in Translation at Suffolk University.


March 19

lindsay_photoFrannie Lindsay‘s fifth poetry volume, If Mercy, was published in the spring of 2016 by The Word Works. She has received prizes from other presses for all of her previous volumes, and has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The American Poetry Review, The Yale Review, The Georgia Review, Field, Crazyhorse, The Harvard Review, Salamander, and many others. She was awarded the 2008 Missouri Review prize in poetry, and one of her poems appears in Best American Poetry 2014. It has also been featured in Ted Kooser’s syndicated column, American Life in Poetry, on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac and on Poetry Daily. She is also a classical pianist, and has been active in greyhound rescue for 23 years.


potts_photo
Lynne Potts’s first book, Porthole View, won the 2012 National Poetry Review Press poetry prize. Two more poetry collections are forthcoming in 2017– a second with National Poetry Review Press and one with Glass Lyre Press.

Her poems have appeared in: Paris Review, Southern Poetry Review, California Review, Meridian, American Letters and Commentary, New American Writing, Cincinnati Review, Oxford Magazine, Plum, and numerous other publications.   In 2012 she was awarded Artist Fellow by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  She has been a finalist for five book prizes.

Lynne lives in Boston and New York, and is Poetry Editor for AGNI at Boston University.


April 23

garciaKim Garcia is the author of The Brighter House, winner of The White Pine Press Poetry Prize 2015, DRONE, winner of the 2015 Backwaters Prize, Tales of the Sisters, winner of the 2015 Sow’s Ear Chapbook Contest, and Madonna Magdalene, released by Turning Point Books in 2006. Her poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Crazyhorse, Mississippi Review, Nimrod and Subtropics, and her work has been featured on The Writer’s Almanac. Garcia teaches creative writing at Boston College.

Opening poet:
Jan Schreiber, Brookline’s Poet Laureate, has published poems in national magazines such as the Hudson Review, Christian Science Monitor, Southern Review, Literary Imagination, and Measure over several decades. His previous poetry books include Digressions, Wily Apparitions, Bell Buoys, and two books of translations. He inaugurated the Godine Poetry Chapbook series and received the Carey Thomas Award for Creative Publishing. A co-founder of Canto magazine and of the Symposium on Poetry Criticism at Western State Colorado University, now in its eighth year, he teaches in the Osher Institute at Brandeis University. His critical book Sparring with the Sun was published in 2013, and his latest book of poems, Peccadilloes, appeared in 2014.


May 21

georges_photoDanielle Legros Georges is a poet, essayist, professor at Lesley University, and the current Poet Laureate of Boston.  She is the author of two poetry collections, Maroon (Curbstone Press, 2001) and The Dear Remote Nearness of You (Barrow Street, 2016). Her awards include the Brother Thomas Fellowship from the Boston Foundation, fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, and recent commissions from the Boston Public Library and the Trustees of Reservations.

Opening poet:
Jennifer Funk was California born but has been Yankee bred.  A graduate of both Bennington College and The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, she likes to say she has multiple degrees in feeling her feelings and expressing them.  She lives in Concord, MA in what was her grandparent’s house, and when she is not singing back to the trees, asking for poems, please, she is a tutor at a public high school.


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, Aimee Sands

Contact: poetry@brooklinelibrary.org
Please do not send written correspondence in care of the Library.