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Special Projects  

Poetry can be a delightful, unexpected part of daily life. It can also help people understand history and current events. Click on the images or headlines below to learn more about each project.

Poetry "Blooms" in Public Spaces

In 2022, poet and literary activist Grey Held and I brought poems to several parks and community centers in Newton, Mass., through the Haiku Newton project. Each display panel featured two haikus – one on the front, one on the back – that address some aspect of the theme Renewal: Celebration, Hope, Reemergence, Nature, Connection. The signs traveled every few weeks, delighting passersby. As one woman told us, the signs “made me stop, think, and breathe." 

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A Poet in Uncertain Times


"Life is uncertain, and it helps to realize that," Ellen Jaffee said when I interviewed her for the spring 2020 issue of Wellesley magazine. 

Since 1993, when Jaffee became a Canadian citizen, she has received grants for writing and arts education from the Ontario Arts Council and has published a young-adult novel and two acclaimed books of poems. She recently self-published her third collection, The Day I Saw Willie Mays and Other Poems, while also battling cancer.

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Collage of Voices: One Hundred Years of Women's Right to Vote

Grey Held and I were pleased to present this video, which reveals how poetry and song played a significant role, as it often does in social change, in the decades-long struggle to ratify the 19th amendment in 1920. A diverse group of 13 women from our community participated. The project was generously supported by a grant from the Newton Cultural Council.

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And the Winners Were...

Every spring, the Gaithersburg Book Festival brings together some of the best writers in the nation. A highlight of the event is the announcement of the High School Poetry Contest winners.

In May 2020, I had the pleasure of serving as Final Judge for the contest and congratulating the winners via video. Click the headline above or the image at right to see the video.

Poems to remind us of our strength
during quarantine

I was delighted to write the introduction to this uplifting piece in which Monitor writers and editors reflected on poems that have inspired and comforted them over the years.

From The Christian Science Monitor
Art by Karen Norris/Staff
Used with permission

Profile of Dan Chiasson

Professor Dan Chiasson, a rising star in the world of poetry, has forged a path that allows him to teach and write—pursuing both creative and critical enterprises.

From Wellesley magazine. The piece won Gold in the 2015 Article of the Year competition, CASE District 1.

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