Poet Laureate of Northampton 2017-2019
Poet Laureate of Northampton 2015-2017
Patrick Donnelly is the seventh Poet Laureate (2015 – 2017) of Northampton, Massachusetts. Poets Martin Espada, Janet Aalfs, Jack Gilbert, Lesléa Newman, Lenelle Moïse, and Richard Michelson have previously held the position. Northampton is the county seat of Hampshire County, Massachusetts, with a population of about 29,000. The city has vibrant and diverse art, music, and literary communities, and is home to Smith College, where Donnelly is a lecturer.
A Josten Live! Fridays @ Five Event
At the Grave of Maria Callas: How Does an Aria Turn into a Poem?
Northampton poet laureate Patrick Donnelly will explore the roots of his poetry in his training as an opera singer, and especially in his 50-year admiration of the art of Maria Callas.
Donnelly will debut a new sequence of poems about Callas, and introduce historic recordings and videos of the singer that some have called the most important artist of the 20th century. As well, Donnelly will explore the attraction of gay men to opera and to Callas in particular, and seek to answer what it is about opera that is consoling and inspiring for queer people. This multi-media event will interest lovers of music, theater, poetry, design, and fashion, and especially opera, a synthesis of all the arts.
Friday February 17, 2017, 5:00 PM
Werner Josten Performing Arts Library
Northampton, MA 01063
413-585-2930 / 2935
campus map: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/info/directions/map
Josten Live! is a patron-driven performance series that celebrates the creative lives of Josten Library users and the acoustic brilliance of its Mezzanine.
The Genius of Poetry must work out its own salvation in a man: It cannot be matured by law and precept, but by sensation and watchfulness in itself. —John Keats
POETS FOR LIFE: POETS RESPOND TO AIDS: http://poetsforlife.brownpapertickets.com
On Saturday, April 9th at 3:00 PM, Patrick Donnelly, 20152017 poet laureate of Northampton, MA, will host POETS FOR LIFE: POETS RESPOND TO AIDS, a benefit reading in support of A Positive Place (formerly AIDS Care/Hampshire County), a non-profit organization providing a wide array of services for people with HIV in Hampshire and surrounding counties.
The event will be held at the Paradise Room, Conference Center, Smith College, 51 College Lane, Northampton, MA 01063. The Northampton Council for the Arts and the Poetry Center at Smith College are co-sponsors of the benefit.
Poet Laureate Patrick Donnelly says "In the 35 years since AIDS began, there has been not only a medical and social-service response to preventing and treating the disease, but there has also been a response from artists of all kinds, mourning the losses, and celebrating the victories. Specifically, American poets have created an entire literature of AIDS, leaving for the future an important record of this time."
POETS FOR LIFE will feature readings by award-winning poets EDUARDO C. CORRAL, PATRICK DONNELLY, MICHAEL KLEIN, and JOAN LARKIN, who will not only read from their own poetry about the epidemic, but from the work of other notable poets, living and dead.
Since 1991, A Positive Place, formerly AIDS CARE/Hampshire County, has been the sole provider of comprehensive, confidential case management and health-related support services, filling life-saving needs for people living with HIV/AIDS in the county. Anyone living with HIV or AIDS is eligible for services regardless of level of need, health status, or ability to pay. Services are free of charge to people living with HIV.
Northampton Poet Laureate’s “Choral Poem Project"
Patrick Donnelly, 2015 – 2017 Poet Laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts, is a long-time advocate for poetry, not only as an “on-the-page” experience, but as a spoken-out-loud, communal, theatrical art. With that in mind, in the fall of 2015 Donnelly called together a group of Northampton-area residents to perform an excerpt of Albert Goldbarth’s epic poem “Library.” The poem was performed live at Donnelly’s inaugural reading on November 1, 2015 at Smith College’s Neilson Browsing Room, and earlier that same day the group also made this film of the performance at Josten Performing Arts Library.
Patrick Donnelly’s books of poetry are The Charge (Ausable Press, 2003, since 2009 part of Copper Canyon Press) and Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin (Four Way Books, 2012), the latter book a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. He is director of the Poetry Seminar at The Frost Place (Robert Frost’s old homestead in Franconia, NH, now a center for poetry and the arts), and an associate editor of Poetry International. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Slate, Ploughshares, The Yale Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Massachusetts Review, and many other journals. Donnelly has taught at Smith College, Colby College, the Lesley University MFA Program, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.
Patrick Donnelly, sharing some poems and thoughts about poetry with the students of Smith Vocational and Agricultural School, on the last day of National Poetry Month, 2015.
Donnelly’s projects as Poet Laureate will include:
- Free workshops focusing on poetry as an oral art, fostering public speaking skills for creative writers and young people
- The “Choral Poem Project,” for poets, community members, and young people, featuring performances of poetry by “choirs” of speakers
- Events celebrating the vibrant community of literary translators in Northampton
- “Poetry and HIV,” a benefit reading in support of A Positive Place (formerly AIDS Care Hampshire County), a Northampton AIDS-service organization
|Lesléa Newman, Richard Michelson, Patrick Donnelly, and Martin Espada, 3/22/2015|
Poet Laureate of Northampton 2012-2015
His children’s books have been listed among the Ten Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and The New Yorker; and among the 12 Best Books of the Decade by Amazon.com. He has been a Massachusetts Book Award Finalist (2x), a Harlem Book Fest Wheatley Award Finalist and a National Jewish Book Award Finalist (3X), as well as receiving a National Parenting Publication Gold Medal and an International Reading Association Teacher’s Choice Award.
50 Northampton restaurants featured a poem by a local Northampton area poet in their window or on their menu. You could not go out to eat in the city without encountering poetry.
You can read local coverage here:
NPR on WHMP- Northampton Poetry Radio (bi-monthly radio interview program)
I have interviewed National Poet Laureates like WS Merwin
|Robert Pinsky and Kay Ryan, prominent award winning poets such as Mark Doty and Eleanor Wilner—but also many interviews with our Northampton area presses Open Field, Levellers, Perugia, Shape and Nature. and more than a dozen local Poets|
Poet Laureate of Northampton 2003-2005
|Janet E. Aalfs|
|Janet E. Aalfs|
|Janet E. Aalfs|