Newburyport Literary Festival

A Celebration of Literature, Readers, and Writers
• In-Person & Virtual Events • April 26–28, 2024

Melissa BalmainMelissa Balmain

Editors of Light: The Poetry of Melissa Balmain and Kevin Durkin[br] — Saturday 10:00 AM Melissa Balmain is the editor of Light, the country’s oldest journal of humorous poetry, which she helped bring online after 20 years in print. ( Her new poetry collection, Walking In on People (Able Muse Press), was chosen by final judge X.J. Kennedy as the winner of the Able Muse Book Award. Balmain’s poems and nonfiction have appeared in many anthologies, and in publications including The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, American Arts Quarterly, The Spectator (UK), and The New York Times. She teaches humor writing and journalism at the University of Rochester, and lives nearby with her husband and two children.

Meredith BergmannMeredith Bergmann

Breakfast with the Poets — Saturday 8:30 AM Meredith Bergmann is a sculptor. Her public monuments can be seen in Boston and New York, and she is currently creating the FDR Hope Memorial for Roosevelt Island, NYC. Her poetry and criticism have appeared in Barrow Street, Contemporary Poetry Review, Hudson Review, The New Criterion, The Raintown Review, The Same, The Tri Quarterly Review and the anthology Hot Sonnets, and in numerous journals online. Her sonnet “The Bird in the Bathroom” won an honorable mention from the Frost Farm Poetry Prize in 2013. Her chapbook A Special Education has just been published by EXOT Books. She is poetry editor of American Arts Quarterly and its website at Meredith lives in New York City with her husband, a writer and director, and their son.

David BermanDavid Berman

Breakfast with the Poets — Saturday 8:30 AM David Berman, a noted attorney, is a graduate of the University of Florida. He earned graduate degrees at Johns Hopkins University and Boston University, where he studied with Robert Lowell. While attending Harvard Law School he frequently published work in the Harvard Advocate. Berman’s work has also appeared in numerous magazines, including Counter Measures, The Formalist, Harvard Magazine, Piedmont Literary Review, The Epigrammatist, Sparrow, Lambs & Trochees, and Orbis. He has also published three chapbooks: Future Imperfect (State Street Press, 1982), Slippage (Robert L. Barth, 1996), and David Berman: Greatest Hits 1965–2002 (Pudding House, 2002). His awards and honors include several from the World Order of Narrative and Formalist Poets, which sponsors a yearly national competition. A 27 year resident of Belmont, Berman is fortunate enough to have many interests in life including food, wine, history, the Bible, and music.

Michael CaseyMichael Casey

Soldier Poets: The Poetry of Michael Casey and Hugh Martin — Saturday 3:00 PM Michael Casey grew up in Lowell, Massachusetts and is a graduate of the Lowell Technological Institute. He served as a military policeman during the Vietnam War at Fort Wood, Missouri and LZ Bayonet, Quang Ngai Province. Stanley Kunitz selected his book Obscenities in the Yale Younger Poet Series in 1972. Carnegie Mellon University Press reprinted it in 2014. His later books include Millrat and Check Points, both from Adastra Press in Easthampton, Massachusetts. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The Nation, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. He reviewed Tim O’Brien’s first book If I Die in a Combat Zone for the Jesuit magazine America.

Robert CordingRobert Cording

Matter and Spirit: The Poetry of Robert Cording and Paul Mariani [br] — Saturday 2:00 PM Robert Cording teaches English and creative writing at College of the Holy Cross where he is the Professor of English and Barrett Professor of Creative Writing. He has published seven collections of poems: Life-list (Ohio State University Press/Journal award, l987); What Binds Us To This World (Copper Beech Press, l991); Heavy Grace, (Alice James, l996); Against Consolation (CavanKerry, 2002); Common Life, (CavanKerry, 2006); Walking With Ruskin (CavanKerry, 2010), and A Word in My Mouth: Selected Spiritual Poems (Wipf and Stock, 2013). A new book, Only So Far, is forthcoming from CavanKerry Press in 2015.

Robert CrawfordRobert W. Crawford

The Poems Containing History: [br] The Poetry of Erica Funkhouser & Robert W. Crawford [br] — Saturday 1:00 PM Robert W. Crawford lives in Chester, New Hampshire. His second book of poetry, The Empty Chair, won the 2011 Richard Wilbur Award His first book, Too Much Explanation Can Ruin a Man, was published in 2005. He is a two-time winner of the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, the co-founder of the Hyla Brook Poets, and a long-time member of Newburyport’s own Powow River Poets. He is also the Director of the Writing in Form and Meter poetry conference held at the Frost Farm in Derry, NH.

David DavisDavid Davis

Breakfast with the Poets — Saturday 8:30 AM David Davis has been a member of the Powow River Poets since 2005. He is an artificial intelligence researcher and high-tech entrepreneur with a long-term interest in writing. A story of his in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, anthologized and translated into multiple languages, was listed as one of the top 20 science fiction short stories of its year. Davis has edited or written five books in his area of technical expertise, has published one book of poetry, and is currently working on Poetry in The Field, an anthology of poems begun with notes taken on site.

Kevin DurkinKevin Durkin

Editors of Light: The Poetry of Melissa Balmain and Kevin Durkin [br] — Saturday 10:00 AM Kevin Durkin’s poems have appeared in Poetry, The Yale Review, American Arts Quarterly, The New Criterion, and the anthologies Poetry Daily, Irresistible Sonnets, and Able Muse Anthology. He has been a finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, the Morton Marr Poetry Prize, and the Donald Justice Poetry Prize. His first collection of poetry, Los Angeles in Fog, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2013. He has taught English in Singapore, Kitakyushu (Japan), New York City, and Washington, D.C., and he has performed in the plays of Shakespeare across America. Currently the managing editor of Light, the nation’s premier venue for light verse, he resides with his wife and their two daughters in Santa Monica.

Rhina EspaillatRhina P. Espaillat

Breakfast with the Poets — Saturday 8:30 AM Rhina P. Espaillat has published nine full-length books and three chapbooks, comprising poems, essays and short stories in both English and her native Spanish. She has also published translations in both directions, including work by St. John of the Cross, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and Robert Frost, and has won various national awards, in the U.S.A and the Dominican Republic, for work in both languages, including the Richard Wilbur Award, the Nemerov Prize, The Robert Frost “Tree at My Window” Translation Prize, the May Sarton Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Salem State College.

Erica FunkhouserErica Funkhouser

The Poems Containing History: [br] The Poetry of Erica Funkhouser & Robert W. Crawford [br] — Saturday 1:00 PM Erica Funkhouser has published five books of poetry, the most recent of which is Earthly (Houghton Mifflin). She teaches in the Writing Department at MIT and lives in Essex, MA.

George GreenGeorge Green

The New New York School: The Poetry of George Green and Joshua Mehigan [br] — Saturday 11:00 AM George Green’s book of poems, Lord Byron’s Foot, won the New Criterion Prize in 2012 and the Poets’ Prize in 2014. His work has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including Poetry 180; 180 More Poems; The Best American Poetry 2005, and 2006; The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets; and Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems about Birds. Green grew up in western Pennsylvania but has lived for over three decades in Manhattan’s East Village. He teaches at Lehman College, CUNY, in the Bronx. In 2014 he received an award for literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Jean KreilingJean L. Kreiling

Breakfast with the Poets — Saturday 8:30 AM Jean L. Kreiling is the author of the recently published collection, The Truth in Dissonance (Kelsay Books, 2014). Her work has appeared widely in print and online journals, including American Arts Quarterly, Angle, The Evansville Review, Measure, and Mezzo Cammin, and in several anthologies. Kreiling is a past winner of the String Poet Prize and the Able Muse Write Prize, and she has been a finalist for the Frost Farm Prize, the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award.

Len KrisakLen Krisak

Breakfast with the Poets — Saturday 8:30 AM With work in the Antioch, Sewanee, Hudson, and PN Reviews, Len Krisak is the author of ten books of poetry, including The Carmina of Catullus, Afterimage, Rilke: New Poems, Ovid’s Erotic Poems, Virgil’s Eclogues, The Odes of Horace, and Even as We Speak. He is the recipient of the Robert Penn Warren, Richard Wilbur, and Robert Frost Prizes, and is a four-time champion on Jeopardy!

Paul MarianiPaul Mariani

Matter and Spirit: The Poetry of Robert Cording and Paul Mariani [br] — Saturday 2:00 PM Paul Mariani is the University Professor of English at Boston College and the author of 17 books, including seven volumes of poetry—Timing Devices, Crossing Cocytus, Prime Mover, Salvage Operations, The Great Wheel, Deaths & Transfigurations, and Epitaphs for the Journey and biographies of William Carlos Williams, John Berryman, Robert Lowell, Hart Crane, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Wallace Stevens. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and several National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, and he was a Finalist for the NBA for his biography of Williams. In 2009 he received the John Ciardi Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry and has taught poetry workshops at UMass/Amherst, Boston College, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and the Glen Workshops. He has read his poetry and lectured widely here, in Canada, and in Europe. His life of Hart Crane, The Broken Tower, a feature-length film, directed by and starring James Franco, was released in 2012 and is available on DVD, along with an interview with James Franco.

Hugh MartinHugh Martin

Soldier Poets: The Poetry of Michael Casey and Hugh Martin — Saturday 3:00 PM Hugh Martin is a veteran of the Iraq war and the author of The Stick Soldiers (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2013) and So, How Was the War? (Kent State UP, 2010). He is the recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship and he was the inaugural winner of the Iowa Review Jeff Sharlet Award for Veterans. He is currently the 2014-15 Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College.

Joshua MehiganJoshua Mehigan

The New New York School: The Poetry of George Green and Joshua Mehigan [br] — Saturday 11:00 AM Joshua Mehigan’s first book, The Optimist, was a finalist for the 2005 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His poems have appeared in many periodicals, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Poetry, which awarded him its 2013 Levinson Prize. He was also the recipient, in 2011, of a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His second book is Accepting the Disaster, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in July 2014.

Jonathan MendozaJonathan Mendoza

Annual Youth Poetry Slam — Saturday 2:30 PM Jonathan Mendoza is a Boston-based activist, spoken word artist, educator and musician. He is a two-time Louder Than A Bomb Massachusetts semi-finalist and has performed at Brave New Voices and CUPSI. He was selected to perform in the ‘Best of the Rest’ showcases for both the 2014 LTAB MA and CUPSI 2015 finals stages and has been featured in various venues throughout Massachusetts. He currently studies at Berklee College of Music, teaches an arts-based social justice and literacy curriculum for youth in Villa Victoria’s South End, Boston community and is a MassLEAP spoken word teaching-artist. He believes art should not just be a form of social commentary but a method of social action and loves few things more than watching communities grow and strengthen through the youth spoken word movement.

Stephen ScaerStephen Scaer

Breakfast with the Poets — Saturday 8:30 AM Stephen Scaer of Nashua has publishes poems and translations in journals such as Highlights for Children, Cricket, National Review, First Things, Measure, The Formalist, and Light Quarterly. He is a past winner of the Nemerov Sonnet Award and the New England Shakespeare Festival Sonnet Award. His first collection of poems, Pumpkin Chucking, was published in 2013 by Able Muse Press.