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HOME: Poetry workshop series

This project is made possible in part by the Academy of American Poets, with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

HOME is a poetry reading, open mic, and workshop series led by Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola. It consists of a featured reader and brief open mic every first Friday of the month, followed by a writing workshop the following Saturday morning. Workshop topics are listed below.

The theme, HOME, is born out of our current space, time, crisis, and future-shaping. What does home mean? What isn’t home? Who is lacking home? Now that we are all home so much, how do we like our homes? Ourselves? Our families? What is home, in the literal and figurative sense? Is the body a type of home? How so? Is a poem a type of home? How do we integrate this into content and craft?

HOME is curated by our current Poet Laureate, Porsha Olayiwola.  A Boston transplant and Roxbury resident, Olayiwola seeks to create a shared digital space for Bostonians to write and share at the intersection of poetry and storytelling. 

Workshops will be held on the first Saturday of the month, from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Register for a workshop

  • 11:30am - 1:00pm
    Repeats monthly on Saturday, but only the first instance of this set, starting from February 6, 2021, until June 5, 2021
  • Happening Virtually
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    Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture
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  • Poetry Reading and Open Mic Series

    The poetry readings and open mics will be held on the first Friday of every month through June 2021:

    Open mic information

2021-02-06T11:30:00 - 2021-02-06T13:00:00

Upcoming workshops

Upcoming workshops
About the Facilitator

Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York. He has published more than 20 books as a poet, editor, essayist, and translator. His forthcoming book of poems from Norton is called, "Floaters". Other books of poems include, "Vivas to Those Who Have Failed" (2016), "The Trouble Ball" (2011), "The Republic of Poetry" (2006), "Alabanza" (2003), "A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen" (2000), "Imagine the Angels of Bread" (1996), and "City of Coughing and Dead Radiators" (1993). He is the editor of "What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump" (2019). He has received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, an American Book Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His book of essays and poems, "Zapata’s Disciple" (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona, and reissued by Northwestern. A former tenant lawyer, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

The theme for April is "My Last Name". This is a generative workshop. Through the example of a great Afro-Cuban poet and the voices of the poets in workshop, we will explore ancestors, family, culture, history, memory, the known and unknown, the spoken and unspoken, elements that make up what we call “identity.” Poets will write on the spot, wherever they may be, then read their poems aloud — not for critical feedback, but for thunderous applause.

Headshot of Martin Espada, photo courtesy of David González
Headshot of Martin Espada (Photo courtesy of David González)

About the Facilitator

Rajiv Mohabir is the author of "The Cowherd’s Son" (Tupelo Press 2017, winner of the 2015 Kundiman Prize; Eric Hoffer Honorable Mention 2018) and "The Taxidermist’s Cut" (Four Way Books 2016, winner of the Four Way Books Intro to Poetry Prize, Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry in 2017), and translator of "I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara" (1916) (Kaya Press 2019, winner of the 2020 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets), which received a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant Award. His memoir, "ANTIMAN", won the 2019 Reckless Books’ New Immigrant Writing Prize and is forthcoming 2021. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of poetry in the MFA program at Emerson College, and translations editor at Waxwing Journal.

A description of the workshop will be posted here soon.

Rajiv Mohabir headshot
Headshot of Rajiv Mohabir

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