4x4: Poets from Newburyport and Salem Celebrate the Massachusetts Poetry Festival

Join us for this exciting event that brings together some of the most talented poets writing on the North Shore today. Poets from Newburyport and Salem read from recent works and selected favorites. Poets include: David Berman, Jennifer Jean, Claire Keyes, Len Krisak, Jean Monahan, J.D. Scrimgeour, Deborah Warren, and Anton Yakovlev. Hosted by January Gill O’Neil.

This event is one of the many regional poetry celebrations taking place in October as part of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival.



David Berman, a noted attorney, is a graduate of the University of Florida, where he studied with Elliott Coleman. He earned graduate degrees at Johns Hopkins University and Boston University, where he studied with Robert Lowell. While attending Harvard Law School he studied with Archibald MacLeish and 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, Iambs & 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).

Jennifer Jean is the author of the poetry chapbook In the War (Big Table Publishing Co., 2010). Her poetry, essays, literary interviews, and reviews have been published in numerous journals, including North Dakota Quarterly, Denver Quarterly, Awakenings Review, Santa Clara Review, Southern California Review, Caketrain, Relief Quarterly, The Wilderness House Review, The MOM Egg Journal, Art Throb and Megaera; as well, she's received an Agnes Butler Award from the Academy of American Poets. Jennifer is Poetry Editor for the arts and lifestyle magazine Art Throb, directs Thursday’s Theatre of Words & Music artist’s performance series, and teaches writing and literature at Salem State University.

Claire Keyes has published reviews and poems in The Women’s Review of Books, The Georgia Review, Calyx and Rattle, among others. On-line, you can find her work at The Valparaiso Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal and Umbrella. She has won the Robert Penn Warren Award from New England Writers as well as a First Prize in poetry from Smartish Pace. The Question of Rapture, a book of poems, was published by Mayapple Press in 2008. She lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts with her husband, Jay Moore, and teaches in the Lifelong Learning Program at Salem State University.

Len Krisak has taught at Brandeis University, Northeastern University, and Stonehill College. His two chapbooks, Midland and Fugitive Child, came out in 1999 from Somers Rocks Press and Aralia Press, respectively. In 2000, his full-length collection Even as We Speak won the Richard Wilbur Prize (judged by Mary Jo Salter) and was published by the University of Evansville Press. In 2004, If Anything appeared from WordTech Editions, in 2006, Carcanet published his Odes of Horace, a complete translation, and in 2010 his complete translation of Virgil’s Eclogues was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Jean Monahan is the author of three books of poetry. Hands won the Anhinga Prize in 1991; Believe It or Not was published by Orchises Press in 1999, and Mauled Illusionist by Orchises in 2006. She has been published in Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, DoubleTake, The New Republic, The American Scholar, Orion, Salamander, Shenandoah, and various other journals and magazines.

January Gill O’Neil (host) is the author of Underlife (CavanKerry Press, December 2009), which was a finalist for ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award, and the 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize. She was featured in Poets & Writers magazine’s January/February 2010 Inspiration issue as one of their 12 debut poets. A Cave Canem fellow, she is a senior writer/editor at Babson College, runs a popular blog called Poet Mom, and lives with her two children in Beverly, MA.

J.D. Scrimgeour has published a collection of poetry, The Last Miles (2005), and two books of creative nonfiction, Spin Moves (2000) and Themes For English B: A Professor’s Education In and Out of Class (2006), which won the AWP Award for Creative Nonfiction. With Philip Swanson, this year he released a music and poetry CD with MSR Classics, Ogunquit.

Deborah Warren’s poetry collections are: The Size of Happiness (2003, Waywiser, London), runner-up for the 2000 T. S. Eliot Prize; Zero Meridian, which received the 2003 New Criterion Poetry Prize (2004, Ivan R. Dee); and Dream With Flowers and Bowl of Fruit, which received the Richard Wilbur Award (2008, University of Evansville). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and The Yale Review.

Anton Yakovlev grew up in Moscow, Russia, but moved to the United States with his family in 1996. He received his B.A. from Harvard University with a double major in Filmmaking and English. He currently works as a project manager for Pearson Education, working on college textbooks in Geography. He is a member of several poetry workshops, including The Powow River Poets in Newburyport, MA.


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