The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Amy Dryansky Named Northampton's 8th Poet Laureate

Photo by Trish Crapo
The Northampton Arts Council is thrilled to announce the appointment of Amy Dryansky as Northampton’s poet laureate for the 2017 – 2019 term. As Northampton’s 8th laureate, Dryansky joins the illustrious ranks of poets Martin Espada, Janet Aalfs, Jack Gilbert, Lesléa Newman, Lenelle Moïse, Richard Michelson, and Patrick Donnelly.

Dryansky’s first book, How I Got Lost So Close to Home, won the New England/New York Award from Alice James Books. Her second book, Grass Whistle (Salmon Poetry, Ireland) received the 2014 Massachusetts Book Award for poetry. Dryansky’s poems have appeared in a variety of anthologies and journals, including Barrow Street, Harvard Review, New England Review, Memorious,  Orion and The Women’s Review of Books. She’s received honors and awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Dryansky is also a former Associate of the Five College Women’s Studies Center, where she looked at the impact of motherhood on women poets.

Dryansky has a long history of working at and for arts and community organizations in the Valley, and is currently the assistant director of the Culture, Brain & Development Program at Hampshire College. During her tenure as poet laureate, she hopes to partner with local organizations like the Center for New Americans, the Literacy Project, Historic Northampton, David Ruggles Center and the Northampton Arts Council to highlight the diverse voices--past and present--that make up our vibrant Northampton community.

Dryansky lives in Conway, has two kids ages 15 and 18, and tries very hard to maintain a blog called Pokey Mama, about her attempts to navigate the territory of mother-writer. Her kids, despite their mother’s many accolades, remain unimpressed with the fact of her being a poet.

For more about Dryansky and her work, please visit:

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