Mass Poetry: Common Threads 2013

Each year, Mass Poetry chooses poems by writers connected to our great state and creates a kit, called Common Threads, which will be distributed (free of charge) to schools, bookstores, public libraries, book clubs, and writing groups. We hope to encourage 10,000+ readers to discuss and interact with the selected poems. It’s our way of celebrating Massachusetts’ illustrious poetic past while introducing new audiences to contemporary poets who are shaking things up right here in the present: a way of sharing our common threads.

Award-winning poet Jill McDonough on this year's selections:

“Ten pastorals… as rollicking take-this-job-and-shove-it: ‘Tell the top brass, if/ they ask, I don’t give/a damn about their asses.’ As drunken urban water skiing, but with snow instead of water. And a pick-up truck instead of a boat. As meditation on life and death, on loveliness: ‘Flame and rust, the permutations/of burning.’ [Of] news you didn’t remember could split you inside out. Battlefield close-up, geography of afterlife, ‘countries in which my love/took place.’ As grateful wonder over how your life turned out to be ‘the/center of all beauty.’ 
These 10 fantastic poems are by Andrea Cohen, Martha Collins, Robert Frost, Jack Gilbert, Steven Jonas, Matt Miller, Frank O’Hara, Lloyd Schwartz, Patricia Smith, and Afaa Michael Weaver. Poets we can claim in Massachusetts, bringing us worlds on the page.”

The kit, coming in March, will include a booklet with all the poems, discussion questions, writing prompts, and videos of the poems being read.

To receive notification of the kit’s availability, please take a moment and sign up today!:


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