2019 Newburyport Literary Festival Poetry Events

We’re proud to announce the list of terrific poets who’ve agreed to read in Newburyport on April 27, 2019:

Ned Balbo

Mary Ann Corbett

David Davis

Rhina  P. Espaillat

Nausheen Eusuf

David Ferry

Daniel Hall

Major Jackson

A.M. Juster

Sydney Lea

January O’Neill

José Edmundo Ocampo Reyes

Mary Jo Salter

Toni Treadway

Anton Yakovlev

See the festival website for more detail as the event approaches. It’s going to be a day to remember.

Photos from Newburyport Literary Festival

Thanks to John Foy for sending the pictures he took of poets reading at this year’s literary festival.

Alfred Nicol introduces an impressive lineup of poets
John Foy reads from Night Visions
Catherine Chandler, whose poems are bright candles
“If you thought you knew what formal poetry was, you need to read Jenna Le.” (K. Bridgford)
Rachel Hadas reads poems of “unapologetic bliss”
Mark Doty: “Poetry…represents the resolutely specific experience.”
2017 Yale Younger Poets Prize winner Duy Doan



2017 Newburyport Literary Festival Poetry Events

8:30 M Breakfast with the Poets: Four Powow River Poets with new books, Bill Coyle, David Davis, Nancy Bailey Miller, and Anton Yakovlev, along with special guest, David Berman.

10 AM Deft with a Dagger: A. M. Juster & Alexandra Oliver. You’ll die laughing.

11 AM The Play of Thought: Deborah Warren & Dan Brown. “Wit” has meant different things at different times. My favorite definition is from the 17th century: “Natural Wit consisteth in two things: Celerity in Imagining (that is, swift succession of one thought to another), and steddy direction to some approved end.” Here are two of our wittiest contemporaries.

1 PM Imagination Without Pretense:  Kevin Carey & Midge Goldberg. William Wordsworth would have loved these two poets, who write about “incidents and situations from common life” in “language really used by men [and women].” That’s probably what makes them both favorites of Garrision Keillor as well.

2 PM Licensed by the Muse: James Matthew Wilson & Catherine Chandler. In a time when many poets declare themselves “liberated” not only from meter and rhyme but even from punctuation and the rules of grammar, these two poets have devoted themselves to the study and practice of Engish verse technique, tapping into a creative wellspring over 700 years old. Theirs is truly “roots” music!

3 PM Master Craftsmen: Robert Shaw & Robert Mezey. Robert Mezey has been accused of “an unyielding poetic integrity;” Robert Shaw would plead guilty of the same offense. That may explain why these two excellent poets have stayed out of the spotlight despite lifetimes of high literary achievement. Like skilled burglars, their focus is not on getting attention but on getting the job done.

A Big Prize for Midge Goldberg

The 2016 Nemerov Sonnet Award winner is Midge Goldberg for “Tennis Pactice Against the Garage Door.” Because the Nemerov Award is a prestigious prize, many of the today’s finest poets enter the competition. Among the finalists were two other poets who’ll read for us at the Newburyport Literary Festival next spring, Robert Mezey and Anton Yakovlev.

Midge is truly on a roll. Her second full-length collection of poetry, Snowman’s Codewas chosen as the 2016 New Hampshire Literary Awards Reader’s Choice for Outstanding Book of Poetry.