Born in Haverhill, Mass., Al was the first to receive a Master’s degree from Brown University’s writing program. He was the first trumpet player for Roomful of Blues in the mid-Seventies, and since the eighties has appeared as writer and horn player on alums and DVDs by Roomful founder Duke Robillard. He formed his own record company Sweetspot Records in 1998, and has released eighteen solo albums featuring almost 200 of his songs. He has been nominated eight times for a Blues Music Award, including one in 2016 as Best Contemporary Blues Album for his CD Mid-Century Modern.
Celebrated for his mastery of lyric writing as well as music, Al’s skill with words extends to his other career as a poet: he is published regularly in leading journals and has two books, A Lit House (Winnikinni Press, 2012), and Tonesmith (Antrim House, 2017), with a third, Solos, due in 2021. He won the Meringoff Award for Poetry in 2015, and his verse radio play Flash Blind won a silver award at the HEARnow festival for American audio theater in the summer of 2020. He was a teacher of English, music, and physics in a private Rhode Island high school for 25 years before devoting himself to music and poetry full time in 2005. He is a member of the Powow River poets and has taught song lyric writing at the West Chester Poetry Conference and for Newburyport Adult Education. He is the host of the online poets-in-conversation show Poems On.
Michael Cantor is the author of Furusato (Kelsay Books, 2019) and Life in the Second Circle (Able Muse Press, 2012), which was a finalist for the Able Muse Prize and 2013 Massachusetts Book Award for Poetry. His chapbook, The Performer (Pudding House Publications, 2007) was his first published collection. His work has appeared in The Dark Horse, Measure, The Raintown Review, Frogpond, New Walk, Think, Light, and numerous other journals and anthologies. He has won the Newburyport Association Poetry Prize and the New England Poetry Club Erika Mumford and Gretchen Warren awards. A native New Yorker, he has lived and worked in Japan, Latin America and Europe and presently divides his time between Plum Island, MA, and Santa Fe, NM.
Charles Coe is the author of three books of poetry: All Sins Forgiven: Poems for my Parents, Picnic on the Moon, and Memento Mori, all published by Leapfrog Press. He is also author of Spin Cycles, a novella published by Gemma Media. Charles was selected as a Boston Literary Light by the Associates of the Boston Public Library and is a former artist fellow at the St. Botolph Club in Boston. A short film “Charles Coe: Man of Letters,” by Roberto Mighty was named “Outstanding Documentary Short” at the 2020 Roxbury Film Festival. Charles was a 2017 artist-in-residence for the city of Boston, where he created an oral history project focused on residents of Mission Hill. He is poetry editor of “Multiplicity,” an online literary journal published by Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Mass, and associate editor of “About Place,” an online literary journal published by Black Earth Institute. Charles has served as poet-in-residence at Wheaton College and at the Chautauqua Institution in New York State and is an adjunct professor of English at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, and Bay Path University, where he teaches in both MFA programs. He is co-chair of the Boston Chapter of The National Writers Union, which serves free-lance writers and editors.
Martha Collins’ most recent collection of poetry is Because What Else Could I Do (Pittsburgh, 2019), which won the William Carlos Williams Award. She has published nine earlier books of poetry, including Admit One: An American Scrapbook, White Papers, Blue Front, and the paired volumes Day Unto Day and Night Unto Night, as well as four volumes of co-translated Vietnamese poetry and a number of co-edited volumes. Founder of the Creative Writing Program at UMass-Boston and former Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College, Collins lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her website is marthacollinspoet.com
Robert W. Crawford
Robert W. Crawford has published two books of poetry, The Empty Chair (2011, Richard Wilbur Award), and Too Much Explanation Can Ruin a Man( 2005). His sonnets have twice won the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. He is a long-time member of the Powow River Poets of Newburyport, MA. Currently, he is the Director of Frost Farm Poetry in Derry, NH, which includes the Hyla Brook Reading Series, the Frost Farm Poetry Conference, and Frost Farm Poetry Prize. He was named Derry NH’s first Poet Laureate in January 2017. He lives in Chester, NH, with his wife, the poet Midge Goldberg.
Susan de Sola
Susan de Sola’s collection, Frozen Charlotte: Poems, recently published by Able Muse Press, has been reviewed widely to acclaim. Her poems have appeared in journals such as The Hudson Review and PN Review, and have been included in anthologies, such as Best American Poetry. The 2018 winner of the Frost Farm Prize, she is a past winner of the David Reid Poetry Translation Prize. She has been a faculty member and Poet in Residence at the West Chester Poetry Conference, and served as Assistant Poetry Editor at Able Muse. Her poem “A Party for Kevin (the piglet)” has been set to music by Lori Laitman for LyricFest, and will be performed in July: https://lyricfest.org/look-listen/ A native New Yorker, she lives near Amsterdam with her family. Her website is: www.susandesola.com
Rachel DeWoskin is the award-winning author of the poetry collection, Two Menus (University of Chicago Press, 2020); five novels: Someday We Will Fly (Penguin Random House, 2019); Banshee (Dottir Press, 2019); Blind (Penguin Random House, 2015); Big Girl Small (FSG, 2011); Repeat After Me (The Overlook Press, 2009); and the memoir Foreign Babes in Beijing (WW Norton, 2005), about the years she spent in Beijing as the unlikely star of a Chinese soap opera. She has received a National Jewish Book Award, a Sydney Taylor Book Award, an American Library Association’s Alex Award, and an Academy of American Poets Award, among others. Two of her books, Foreign Babes in Beijing and Banshee, are being developed for TV. Her poems, essays, and articles have appeared in journals and anthologies including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Ploughshares, and New Voices from the Academy of American Poets. DeWoskin is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Arts at UChicago and an affiliated faculty member in Jewish and East Asian Studies.
Rhina Espaillat’s most recent publications are two poetry collections, And After all and The Field, a monograph titled “Translation: the Shared Art of Writing Backwards,” and Brief Accident of Light: Poems of Newburyport, a collaboration with Alfred Nicol, fellow member of the Powow River Poets.
Midge Goldberg was the recipient of the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award for her book Snowman’s Code, as well as the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. Her poems and translations have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Hopkins Review, Light, Appalachia, 100 Poems: The Romantics, published by Cambridge University Press, and on Garrison Keillor’s A Writer’s Almanac. Her other books include Flume Ride and the children’s book My Best Ever Grandpa. She is a longtime member of the Powow River Poets and has an M.F.A. from the University of New Hampshire. She lives in Chester, New Hampshire, with her family, two cats, and an ever-changing number of chickens.
Opening Ceremony: Living Glass: The Poetry of Deborah Warren — Friday, 6:00 PM
Public Poems and Private Songs: The Poetry of Martha Collins and Ernest Hilbert — Saturday, 2:00 PM
Ernest Hillbert is the author of Sixty Sonnets, All of You on the Good Earth, and Caligulan, which was selected as winner of the 2017 Poets’ Prize. His fourth collection, Last One Out, appeared in March 2019. He lives in Philadelphia where he works as a rare book dealer and book reviewer for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. His poem “Mars Ultor” was included in Best American Poetry 2018, and his poems appear in Yale Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Parnassus, Sewanee Review, Hudson Review, Boston Review, The New Republic, American Scholar, and the London Review. Visit him at www.ernesthilbert.com
A.M. Juster is a poet, translator and critic. His tenth book, Wonder and Wrath (Paul Dry Books 2020), includes original poetry and translations from several languages. His next book will be the first translation into English of Petrarch’s Canzoniere that mirrors its rhyme and meter; it is scheduled for 2023 publication by W.W. Norton. His work has appeared in Poetry, Paris Review, and Hudson Review, and he has won the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award three times, the Barnstone Translation Prize, and the Richard Wilbur Award. He has two honorary degrees and was the recipient of the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2010 Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Joan Alice Wood Kimball
Joan Alice Wood Kimball, a member of the Powow River Poets, helped found the Concord Poetry Center, runs poetry workshops in Wayland and Concord, Mass. For six years she was a member of the performance troupe, X. J. Kennedy & the Light Brigade, which offered comic verse on stage, on TV, and at four Massachusetts Poetry Festivals. She is the author of three books of poetry: Early Light, This River Hill (with photographs by Richard Young), and Summer River (with sketches by Margot Kimball). With Debra Martin, she co-edited Walter Howard’s posthumous collection, Reflections in Moonlight. Her work has appeared among other places in Measure, Iambs & Trochees, Arion, Atlanta Review, Raintown Review, Peacock Journal, Comstock Review, and The Lyric, and recently in four anthologies, including the Powow River Poets Anthology II.
Anne Mulvey began writing poetry in response to her brother Michael’s death in 1994. Her poems have been published in Abafazi, The Bridge Review, The Community Psychologist, The Offering, The Powow River Poets Anthology II, and grassroots publications. Anne, Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, has incorporated poetry and creative writing into academic courses and community-based projects. She is certified as an Amherst Writers & Artists leader and an InterPlay leader. A long-time member of the Powow River Poets in Newburyport, Massachusetts, Anne lives in Groveland with her spouse, Donna O’Neill, and their rescue dog, Bitsie.
Alfred Nicol’s most recent publication is the chapbook Brief Accident of Light: Poems of Newburyport (Kelsay Books, 2019) a collaboration with poet Rhina Espaillat. Nicol’s full-length poetry collection, Animal Psalms, was published in 2016 by Able Muse Press. He has published two other books of poetry, Elegy for Everyone (2010), and Winter Light, which received the 2004 Richard Wilbur Award. Nicol’s poem “Addendum” was included in the 2018 edition of The Best American Poetry.
Chris O’Carroll was a virtually unknown stand-up comic in the year 2000, when he self-published Take These Rhymes . . . Please: Rude Limericks and Other Crimes Against Literature and began hawking that volume after the show at comedy clubs. From toking on limericks, it was a short step to mainlining sonnets, and he soon became a virtually unknown poet. His collection The Joke’s on Me was published in 2019 by White Violet Press. He has been a Light magazine featured poet and a frequent flier with that journal’s topical Poems of the Week, and his work also appears in New York City Haiku, The Best of the Barefoot Muse, Love Affairs at the Villa Nelle, and The Great American Wise Ass Poetry Anthology.
Linda Pastan- Underneath the Ordinary — Saturday, 4:30 PM
Linda Pastan graduated from Radcliffe College, received an MA from Brandeis University and an honorary doctorate from Kenyon College. She has published 15 volumes of poetry, most recently Insomnia and A Dog Runs Through It. Two of these books have been finalists for the National Book Award. She has won numerous awards, including The Radcliffe Distinguished Alumni Award and The Maurice English Award. In 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement. Pastan is a former Poet Laureate of Maryland.
Kyle Potvin’s debut full-length poetry collection, Loosen, is available from Hobblebush Books (January 2021). Her chapbook, Sound Travels on Water, won the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award. She is a two-time finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. Her poems have appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Whale Road Review, Tar River Poetry, Ecotone, The New York Times, and others. Kyle lives in southern New Hampshire.
January Gill O'Neil
January Gill O’Neil is an associate professor at Salem State University, and the author of Rewilding (2018), Misery Islands (2014), and Underlife (2009), all published by CavanKerry Press. From 2012-2018, she served as the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, and currently serves on the boards of AWP, Mass Poetry, and Montserrat College of Art. Her poems and articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day series, American Poetry Review, Ecotone, New England Review, Ploughshares, and WBUR’s Cognoscenti, among others. The recipient of fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Cave Canem, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, O’Neil was the 2019-2020 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi, Oxford. She lives with her two kids in Beverly, MA.
Natasha Trethewey served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014). She is the author of five collections of poetry, Monument (2018), which was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award; Thrall (2012); Native Guard (2006), for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002); and Domestic Work (2000), which was selected by Rita Dove as the winner of the inaugural Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African American poet and won both the 2001 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize and the 2001 Lillian Smith Award for Poetry. She is also the author of the memoir Memorial Drive (2020). Her book of nonfiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, appeared in 2010. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. At Northwestern University she is a Board of Trustees Professor of English in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. In 2012 she was named Poet Laureate of the State of Mississippi and and in 2013 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Photo Credit: Jill Norton Photography.
Paulette Demers Turco
Paulette Demers Turco, a Powow River Poet since 2018, co-organizes the Powow Reading Series, and is editor of The Powow River Poets Anthology II (Able Muse Press, January 2021). Her poetry appears in The Lyric, Ibbetson Street, The Poetry Porch, Quill & Parchment, Poems for Plovers (chapbook by Hawk & Whippoorwill, 2020), 2020 Hippocrates Awards Anthology, Merrimac Mic Anthologies II-V. Her chapbook, In Silence was published by Finishing Line Press in 2018. Awards include: Robert Frost Poetry Award; First Prize in the Rockport Ekphrastic Poetry Contest; Lesley University MFA in Writing President’s Award and an MFA from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.
Deborah Warren’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and The Yale Review. She is the author of several books including Zero Meridian (2004, Ivan R. Dee), Dream With Flowers and Bowl of Fruit (2008, Evansville) and Ausonius: The Moselle and Other Poems (2017, Routledge). She has been the recipient of the Meringoff Prize, the Robert Frost Award, the Robert Penn Warren Prize, and the Howard Nemerov Award. She has two books forthcoming in 2021: Strange to Say: Etymology for Serious Entertainment (Paul Dry, 2021) and Connoisseurs of Worms (Paul Dry, 2021).
The Last Poet of the Village, Anton Yakovlev’s book of translations of poetry by Sergei Yesenin, was published by Sensitive Skin Books in 2019. His latest English-language poetry chapbook is Chronos Dines Alone (SurVision Books, 2018), winner of the James Tate Prize. He is also the author of Ordinary Impalers (Kelsay Books, 2017) and two prior chapbooks. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Criterion, The Hopkins Review, Measure, Posit, and elsewhere. Born in Moscow, Russia, Anton is a graduate of Harvard University and a former education director at Bowery Poetry Club in New York City.