Improbable Places Poetry Tour Gets Cooking in the Kitchen

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The Improbable Places Poetry Tour
Thursday, March 27, 7  pm
Eurostoves, The Culinary Centre
45 Enon Street, Beverly, MA

This month, as snow continues to melt outside, poets and writers will stoke the fires of creativity at the latest stop on the Improbable Places Poetry tour. On Thursday, March 27 at 7 p.m. at 45 Enon Street, Eurostoves, a Beverly-based supplier of cookware and kitchen appliances, will open its culinary center – usually home to knife-wielding chefs – to poets brandishing pens. Writers and spectators alike are invited to join in the fun, which will include a cooking demonstration and a cash bar.

Montserrat College of Art’s Writing Center Director and poetry tour organizer Colleen Michaels says poets are invited to share poems on a culinary theme. “Poems about best meals, kitchen tools, and grandmothers are all welcome,” she says. “We’re looking for poems that snap like a pea in spring, stir like a wooden spoon, and aren’t afraid to raid the refrigerator.”

This stop is the second on this year’s poetry tour; last stop found poets gathering at Mowers Barber Shop in Beverly where voices blended with snipping scissors and buzzing electric razors. The evening included poems about the sensuality of wet hair, the joy of a fresh crew cut and the history of the haircut.

Send your submissions to colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu.

The submission deadline is Thursday, March 20 and we are hungry for work!

I don’t write poetry, but I sure am interested in this tour. Can I still attend the event? Sure! The event is free, open to the public, and you might even pick up some mad chopping skills.

Wait! I’ve still got questions!
Just talk to Colleen Michaels, Montserrat’s Writing Studio Director
at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu or 978-921-4242 x1277.

See you in the kitchen!

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Improbable Places Poetry Tour – Mower’s Barber Shop

Check out the video from the latest Improbable Places Poetry Tour stop at Mower’s Barber Shop at 269 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA this past December.

Poets got their groom on with the barber shop theme where the poems were all about hair and beauty parlor culture. A first haircut, a close shave, a hair bender, a golden lock. Flattop, bouffant, mullet, faux hawk and victory rolls. The poems raised the hair on the nape of the audiences necks and bubbled up like a good lather.

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour is Montserrat College of Art’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses, and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme is selected. Learn more here! 

Thank you to Mower’s Master Barber, Jay Mower for collaborating with the wonderful Colleen Michaels, Montserrat’s Writing Studio Director.

Video by alumnus Jack Moffitt ’12.

Learn more here!

 


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Improbable Places Poetry Tour Goes to the Barber

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Thursday, Dec. 12, 7 – 9 pm
Mower’s Barber Shop
269 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour is Montserrat College of Art’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme is selected. This month’s venue is a handsome barber shop, Mower’s on 269 Cabot Street in Beverly, MA.

A Barber Shop, huh? That’s right, folks. A first haircut, a close shave, a hair bender, a golden lock. Flattop, bouffant, mullet, faux hawk or victory rolls – this month’s theme is all about hair and barber shop/beauty parlor culture. All styles of original poetry are welcome. We’re looking for poems that raise the hair on the nape of our neck or bubble up like a good lather.

I don’t write poetry, but I sure am interested in this tour. Can I still attend the event? Sure! The event is free, open to the public, and you might even get a signature haircut by Master Barber, Jay Mower. You’ll find old-school service layered with well-styled poems at this event. Get your groom on!

Wait! I’ve still got questions! Just talk to Colleen Michaels, Montserrat’s Writing Studio Director. She’s at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu or 978-921-4242 x1277.


www.montserrat.edu

Improbable Places Poetry Tour at Winfrey’s Chocolates

Check out the video from the latest Improbable Places Poetry Tour stop at Winfrey’s Fudge and Chocolates in Beverly, MA this past October where there was a chocolaty spin on the poetry!

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour is Montserrat College of Art’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses, and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme is selected.

Video by alumnus Jack Moffitt ’12.

Next Stop:

Mower’s Barbershop

Thursday, December 12, from 7-9 PM

269 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA

Submissions due to colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu by Monday, December 9.

Click here to learn more!

Montserrat’s Improbable Places Poetry Tour – Winfrey’s Chocolates

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Montserrat’s most recent Improbable Places Poetry Tour stop on Oct. 22 was at Winfrey’s Fudge and Chocolates at 115 Cabot Street in Beverly, MA.

Things may have gone better for Agustus Gloop and Veruca Salt if Willy Wonka had employed poets. This month’s tour stop celebrated the chewy center of a poem, the cream and butter of language, a sweet tooth and a taffy pull. Poems were hand dipped, dusted in sugar and left you satisfied. 

The Tour is Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme is selected. Click here to learn more!

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Photos by Montserrat student Dino Traite ’16


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Improbable Places Poetry Tour at Chianti Jazz Lounge


Check out the video from one of the last Improbable Places Poetry Tour stops at Chianti Jazz Lounge in Beverly, MA this past June where they got jazzy during Beverly’s Arts Fest!

Participants stepped behind the velvet ropes for a night of speakeasy and cocktails, all named for poets and musicians. This tour’s stop celebrated the intersection between language and music. It’s jazz with its infinite fits and starts, the longing in music, the birth of the blues, stadium rock and slow dancing.

Video by alumnus Jack Moffitt ’12.

Next Stop:

Winfrey’s Fudge and Chocolates

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 7–9 pm

115 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA

Submissions due to colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu by Thursday, Oct. 17.

Click here to learn more!

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour is Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses, and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme is selected.

 

Improbable Places Poetry Tour with a Chocolaty Twist

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Tuesday, Oct. 22, 7 – 9 pm
Winfrey’s Fudge and Chocolates
115 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour is Montserrat College of Art’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme is selected. This month’s venue is a Chocolate Factory: Winfrey’s Fudge and Chocolates on 115 Cabot Street in Beverly.

A Chocolate Factory, huh? That’s right, folks. Things may have gone better for Agustus Gloop and Veruca Salt if Willy Wonka had employed poets. This month’s tour stop celebrates the chewy center of a poem, the cream and butter of language, a sweet tooth, and a taffy pull. Poems will be hand dipped, dusted in sugar and they will leave you satisfied.

Hey, I happen to have a poem of this flavor. How do I participate? Send your submissions to colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu. The submission deadline is Thursday, Oct. 17, so you’ll need to work faster than Lucille Ball in a chocolate factory.

I don’t write poetry, but I sure am interested in this tour. Can I still attend the event? Sure! Think of it as our heart-shaped sampler box of poetry just for you. The event is free, open to the public, and you will even get to see the chocolate makers in action.

Questions? Just talk to Colleen Michaels, Montserrat’s Writing Studio Director at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu or 978.921.4242 x1277. And no, there is no chocolate waterfall…..yet.


www.montserrat.edu

Faculty News: Three of Colleen Michaels Poems Published

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Montserrat College of Art’s Writing Studio Director Colleen Michaels has three poems featured in issue three of The Museum of Americana: A Literary Review!

Click here to read Michaels’ poems!

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Colleen Michaels‘ poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals and anthologies including The Paterson Literary Review, Blue Collar Review, The Mom Egg, Roar, Ilanot Review, Barrelhouse, Here Come the Brides: Reflections on Love and Lesbian Marriage, and Modern Grimmoire: Contemporary Fairy Tales, Fables and Folklore. She directs the Writing Studio at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA, where she hosts the Improbable Places Poetry Tour, which brings poetry to unlikely places like tattoo parlors, laundromats, and swimming pools.


www.montserrat.edu

Improbable Places Poetry Tour - Magma Metal

Check out the video from one of the last stops at Magma Custom Metal Design & Fabrications in Beverly, MA this past May! Video by alumnus Jack Moffitt ’12.

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour is Montserrat College of Art’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses, and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme is selected.

www.montserrat.edu

Faculty News: Colleen Michaels’ Poem is “Poem of the Moment” on Mass Poetry’s website

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Congratulations to Montserrat College of Art’s Writing Studio Director Colleen Michaels for her poem “It is Elizabeth Bishop’s Fish” being featured as Poem of the Moment on the Mass Poetry website!

“It is Elizabeth Bishop’s Fish” by Colleen Michaels

It is Elizabeth Bishop’s Fish
who instructs me to gut
the image of long-line fishing
I had wanted so badly to drop
into a poem about my mother
- not a tremendous poem at all -
but I wanted to pull taut this
line between mother and child
tie us on “one long elegant line,”
I wrote. That was the victory…

To read full poem on the Mass Poetry website visit: masspoetry.org

Michaels’ poems and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies including The Paterson Literary Review, Blue Collar Review, The Mom Egg and Here Come the Brides: Reflections on Love and Lesbian Marriage. She directs the Writing Studio at Montserrat College of Art, where she hosts the Improbable Places Poetry Tour. She has performed at venues such as the Bowery Poetry Club and the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, but she usually can be found bringing poetry to unlikely places like tattoo parlors, laundromats and swimming pools. The Tour is Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses, and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme will be selected.

This month’s venue is a Jazz Club in the middle of Beverly’s Arts Festival, Saturday, June 15, 2 – 4 pm, at Chianti Jazz Lounge, 285 Cabot Street, Beverly.

>>Click here to learn more!

Send submissions to colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu by Monday, June 10.


www.montserrat.edu

Improbable Places Poetry Tour Gets Jazzy at Chianti During Arts Fest

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The Improbable Places Poetry Tour is Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses, and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme is selected.

This month’s venue is a Jazz Club in the middle of Beverly’s Arts Festival, Saturday, June 15, 2 – 4 pm, at Chianti Jazz Lounge on 285 Cabot Street.

Step behind the white tents and the velvet rope and you will find a speakeasy. Poets will speak, and the drinks, all named for poets and musicians, will go down easy. This month’s tour stop celebrates the intersection between language and music. It’s jazz with its infinite fits and starts, the longing in music, the birth of the blues, stadium rock, and slow dancing.

Hey, I play the Theremin, and I’ve got a poem about Flavor Flav. How do I participate? Well, we’ve got that performance covered, but we are still looking for poems about music.

Send submissions to colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu by Monday, June 10.

I don’t write poetry, but I sure am interested in this tour. Can I still attend the event? Sure! Spend your morning enjoying the fabulous Artsfest on Cabot Street, and then step into the cool, dark of Chianti’s at 2:00. Slip on a beret, tuck a gardenia behind your ear, order the Elizabeth Bishop sidecar, and snap or clap as you see fit. The event is free, but the band may steal your soul.

Wait! I’ve still got questions! Just talk to Colleen Michaels, Montserrat’s Writing Studio Director. She’s at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu or 978-969-2301.


www.montserrat.edu

Improbable Places Poetry Tour Update

Check out the video from one of the last stops at Waters & Brown in Beverly this past February! Video by alumnus Jack Moffitt ’12.

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour is Montserrat College of Art’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses, and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme is selected.

This month’s venue is a Jazz Club in the middle of Beverly’s Arts Festival, Saturday, June 15, 2 – 4 pm, at Chianti Jazz Lounge, 285 Cabot Street, Beverly.

>>Click here to learn more!

Send submissions to colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu by Monday, June 10.


www.montserrat.edu

Improbable Places Poetry Tour Talks Fabrication

photo-763339Next Stop on the IPPT:

Magma Custom Metal Design & Fabrications
Tuesday, May 7, 7 – 9 pm

59 Park Street, #1, Beverly, MA

The next poetry reading is a Pen/Sword, Bullet/Type Tour Stop. Come see the strength of type and the artistry of metal. For this reading the IPPT has partnered with the fine folks at TwoHugos and the Type Liberation Project to rescue letterpress type from the hands of bullet makers. There will be broadsides on view, poets at bandsaws and an alphabet flame cut from steel.

Hey, I weld words.  How do I participate? Well, first you should check out www.twohugos.com/TLP and consider participating in the Type Liberation Project.

The tour is are also accepting poem submissions on the theme of “Fabrication” via email at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu and in Montserrat’s Writing Studio, located at 238 Cabot Street. We’d love to read your work! Looking for inspiration? Check out magmametalworks.blogspot.com

Deadline = Tuesday, April 30

I don’t write poetry, but I sure am interested in this tour. Can I still attend the event? Absolutely! Come listen and cheer on the readers.  Did we mention there might be fire spinners? You won’t want to miss this one!

The IPPT is Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme will be selected.

Questions? Contact Colleen Michaels, Montserrat’s Writing Studio Director at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu or 978.969.2301 or on Facebook.


www.montserrat.edu

Improbable Places Poetry Tour at Cityside

Montserrat College of Art’s Improbable Places Poetry Tour served up some tasty poems about the service industry in November, 2012 at CITYSIDE DINER in Beverly with special guest, Buffalo, NY poet, Sara Ries.

The tour is Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme will be selected.

 


www.montserrat.edu

Colleen Michaels Poetry Tour Featured in The Boston Globe

-2Montserrat’s Improbable Places Poetry Tour‘s most recent stop at Beverly’s Water & Brown paint store (on Elliot Street) was featured in The Boston Globe this week in an article titled Beverly’s traveling poetry tour performance another success by Terri Ogan.

The night was a huge success and brought a full house with around 70 people who came to listen to 29 poems, by 29 poets.”The audience included people who were attending their first poetry reading, and others who were writing their fourth book.” Montserrat’s Writing Studio Director and founder of the tour, Colleen Michaels received an ‘all-time-high’ of 50 poem submissions for this stop on the tour that focused on color!

Read the full article here: boston.com/yourtown

“The tour’s next stop is still undetermined, but Michaels has her eyes set on a metalsmithing shop or a beauty parlor. ‘I like the way it brings people together in the community,’ Michaels said. ‘That’s the goal for me.’
Also, one of Michaels’ poems, For the Buyer of Breakfasts in Salem, has been turned into a recipe on Eat This Poem‘s site: eatthispoem.com”


www.montserrat.edu

Next Improbable Places Poetry Tour Talks Color


Next Stop on the Improbable Places Poetry Tour
Waters & Brown on 13 Elliott Street, Beverly, MA
Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, 7 – 9 pm

The next stop in the IPPT is a paint store and color is the theme!  It will be an evening of contrast, value, saturation and tone.  In some poems the color could be as subtle as ceiling paint; in others it may be stand out like an accent wall of Benjamin Moore’s “Wasabi AF-430.”

Is gold really the hardest hue to hold?
How much depends on the wheelbarrow being red?

We are currently accepting submissions via email at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu and in the Writing Studio, located at 238 Cabot Street, Montserrat College of Art.  We’d love to read your work! Looking for inspiration? Stop into Waters & Brown for a paint chip title. Surely colors with names such as “Minimum,” “Bella Donna” or “Velvet Plum” have something to say in a persona poem.

Deadline: Monday, Feb. 4, 2013

Even if you don’t write poetry, but are interested in this tour, come listen and cheer on the readers and get a few ideas for your next home improvement project. It’s amazing what poetry can do to a room.

The IPPT is Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community.

Questions? Contact Colleen Michaels, Montserrat’s Writing Studio Director at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu or 978.969.2301 or on Facebook.



www.montserrat.edu

Improbable Places Poetry Tour: Auto Body Shop

Video filmed and edited by Montserrat alumnus Jack Moffitt ’12.

On Oct. 1, 2012, poets, Beverly locals, the Montserrat community and many more headed to Wayne’s World of Automotive Services on Park Street in Beverly to take part in the Improbable Places Poetry Tour‘s most recent pit-stop! 20 poets shared their engine, tune-up and spark-plug inspired readings with a packed house. The night was the kick-off for the new school year’s Poetry Tour, which is now in its third season. The garage even had a car up on the lift where set the stage for the night!

The tour would not be made possible without our Montserrat College of Art’s incredibly talented and driven Writing Studio Director Colleen Michaels, who is responsible for making each and every tour stop bigger and better than the one before!

It was a very gritty event,” said poet Januray O’Neil, writer for the Poet Mom blog. “You could hear the commuter rail passing a few yards away. Lots of atmospheric noise on a quite street for some reason. The Improbable events do a great job of bringing together local businesses with people from all parts of the surrounding community. And, for readers, the location generates the theme, which makes the reading incredibly special and unique.”

Poems about cars–all makes and models, all sorts of things you can do inside and outside of them–were spoken and shared. We live in a car culture, after all, and that’s something the reading celebrated. Who doesn’t have a story about a car?

The tour is Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme is selected.


www.montserrat.edu

Improbable Places Poetry Tour at Cityside

Hungry for some poetry this November?

Montserrat College of Art’s Improbable Places Poetry Tour will be serving up some tasty poems about the service industry: back of the house, front of the house, line cooks, the hostess station and your friendly wait staff! And food, glorious, food: Adam and Eve on a raft, mom’s meatloaf or that bottomless cup of coffee.

Thursday, Nov. 15, 7 – 9 pm
CITYSIDE DINER

275 Cabot St. Beverly
Dinner is at 6 pm
Free and open to the public!

Special guest, Buffalo, NY poet, Sara Ries, will also be contributing to the tour this month!

Ries is an MFA graduate in poetry from Chatham University. Her work has appeared in The Buffalo News, Artvoice, The Trident, Empower, Tangent, Elm Leaves, Writer’s Compass and Broadside. Click here to read one of her poems inspired by the diner that her parent’s run in Buffalo.

Questions? Contact Montserrat’s Writing Studio Director, Colleen Michaels at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu or 978-969-2301and in the Writing Studio, located at 238 Cabot Street.

The tour is Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme will be selected.

This month there will be a Blue Plate Special at the Cityside Diner!

In photo: Ellie Topitzer ’13; Photograph by: Jade Brewer ’13


www.montserrat.edu

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour Talks Cars

Photo Cred: Januray O’Neil aka Poet Mom and Alumnus Jack Moffitt ’12

On Oct. 1st, poets, Beverly locals, the Montserrat community and many more headed to Wayne’s World of Automotive Services on Park Street in Beverly to take part in the Improbable Places Poetry Tour‘s most recent pit-stop! 20 poets shared their engine, tune-up and spark-plug inspired readings with a packed house. The night was the kick-off for the new school year’s Poetry Tour, which is now in its third season. The garage even had a car up on the lift where set the stage for the night!

The tour would not be made possible without our Montserrat’s incredibly talented and driven Writing Studio Director Colleen Michaels, who is responsible for making each and every tour stop bigger and better than the one before!

It was a very gritty event,” said poet Januray O’Neil, writer for the Poet Mom blog. “You could hear the commenter rail passing a few yards away. Lots of atmospheric noise on a quite street for some reason. The Improbable events do a great job of bringing together local businesses with people from all parts of the surrounding community. And, for readers, the location generates the theme, which makes the reading incredibly special and unique.”

Poems about cars–all makes and models, all sorts of things you can do inside and outside of them–were spoken and shared. We live in a car culture, after all, and that’s something the reading celebrated. Who doesn’t have a story about a car?

Thank you to everyone who came out and packed the garage to make the night such a success!

SAVE THE DATE for the next IPPT Stop:
Thu., Nov. 15, 7 – 9 pm
Cityside Diner on Cabot St.

The tour is Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme is selected.

Questions? Contact Colleen Michaels at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu or 978-969-2301


www.montserrat.edu

The Poetry Tour Strikes Again!

Image: Elizabeth Alexander, Upward Mobility, 16.3′ x 6.2′ x 5′, mixed media, 2009, elizabethalexanderstudio.com

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour’s Next Stop:

Wayne’s World of Automotive Services
126 Park Street, Beverly

Monday, Oct. 1, 7 – 9 pm

The tour is Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses, and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. At each tour stop a new venue and theme will be selected. This month’s venue is Wayne’s World of Automotive Services!

A garage, huh? That’s right, folks. The cars might be up on the lift, but the humming engine will come from the poets. A Pinto persona poem, an ode to an mechanic, hydraulic suspension or safety child locks – all makes and models welcome. Think of words as vehicles and poems as spark plugs.

Hey, I’ve got a poem about my El Camino? Can I read it? We are accepting submissions via email at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu and in the Writing Studio, located at 238 Cabot St, at Montserrat College of Art. The deadline is Thursday, Sept. 27. We’d love to read your work!

I don’t write poetry, but I sure am interested in this tour. Can I still attend the event? Absolutely! Come listen and cheer on the readers and get a poetry tune up at Wayne’s World!

Questions? Contact Colleen Michaels, Montserrat’s Writing Studio Director at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu or 978-969-2301


www.montserrat.edu

Interview with Colleen Michaels

Check out this great interview with our incredibly talented Director of the Writing Studio, Colleen Michaels, and Susan Rich from The Alchemist’s Kitchen’s Blog!

Where did the idea for the Improbable Places Poetry Tour come from?

The idea came from a selfish desire – I love my city, Beverly, Massachusetts, with its friendly community and great main street; I love the school where I work, Montserrat College of Art; and I love poetry. I wanted my three loves to spend more time together. I was walking from class one day, I passed the friendly bike shop, and asked if they might host a poetry reading. Sixty people showed up, some serious cyclists, to hear poems about bicycles. Do you remember that scene from The Fisher King where everyone is going about their business and suddenly begins ballroom dancing in the train station? For me, the readings feel like my whole neighborhood is dancing with me.

Visit thealchemistskitchen.blogspot.com to read the full article!

Colleen Michaels’ poems and essays have appeared in print and in online literary journals, including The Paterson Literary Review, Blue Collar Review, The Mom Egg, Bread and Circus Magazine, Literary Mama, and the anthology, Here Come the Brides!: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage. She was a 2010 finalist for the Split This Rock Poetry Competition and was the recipient of an honorable mention in the 2011 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize. She lives with her family in Beverly.

Click here to see a sample of her work!


www.montserrat.edu

Collaborative Poetry Event with Peabody Historical Society

Montserrat College of Art and the Peabody Historical Society have collaborated to host a three-part poetry that will conclude with readings from North Shore poets and lecture gala event Wednesday, April 25 at 7 pm at the Smith Barn on Brooksby Farm, 38 Felton Street in Peabody. The event, titled Artifact, Archive, Orchard: The Binding of Past and Present in Poetry, incorporates history, poetry and art to celebrate April’s National Poetry Month!

The night will include readings by workshop participants, a lecture by Collections Conservator for the Harvard College Library at Harvard University, Todd Pattison, and pie and cider.

This collaboration was made possible by Bill Power of the Peabody Historical Society and Montserrat’s Writing Studio Director Colleen Michaels. Michaels is also the creator of Montserrat’s Improbable Places Poetry Tour where she brings poetry to unlikely places like tattoo parlors, banks, laundromats, swimming pools and, most recently, a roller rink!

The event began in March with a poetry-writing workshop that was open to all levels of writers. The poets wrote poems using historical records, objects available from the Historical Society and the surrounding landscape of Brooksby Farm. The workshop was taught by published poets Dawn Paul, a faculty member at Montserrat, and January O’Neil, executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival who teaches writing at Salem State University.

After a week of independent writing, the poets had the opportunity to create hand-crafted books compiling their poems at Montserrat’s Bookmaking Studio, taught by book artist and Asst. Prof. Sarah Smith April 1. The books will be displayed at the final gala event Wednesday, April 25, alongside banners portraying texts, tools and landscapes used in the poetry workshops, created by printmaking artist and Asst. Prof. Len Thomas-Vickory.

For more information, contact: colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu

Click below to see the full list of North Shore poets!

Continue reading

Colleen Michaels Update

Writing Center Director Colleen Michaels already has a full plate this spring!

Colleen will be reading in the Distinguished Poet Series on Saturday, March 10, 1 pm at The Passaic County Community College’s Poetry Center in New Jersey. Colleen was selected to take part in this event after receiving Honorable Mention in the 2011 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards. Her winning poem, “Blueberry Donuts,” will be published in the spring issue of Paterson Literary Review.

Colleen will also be one of two featured readers at The Cornelia Street Café’s Poetry and Prose reading Saturday, March 10, 6 pm, in Manhattan, sponsored by the Italian-American Writers’ Association, where she joins Robert Savino.

Colleen is the creator of Montserrat’s Improbable Places Poetry Tour where she brings poetry to unlikely places like tattoo parlors, banks, laundromats and swimming pools. Each month the readings are held at a new unlikely location. The tour’s most recent stop was a roller rink! The Tour was featured in a video montage, part of this year’s Local Cultural Council Video Contest at the State House in February. The video celebrates all the incredible projects being funded all over the state. Click here to view the video (fast forward to 2:08-2:36)

Colleen’s poem ”An Arbor on Arbella Street” will also appear in the forthcoming anthology, Here Come the Brides! which will is available to purchase this month!  The poem was written for the wedding of her good friends Chris and Stephanie.

Upcoming Poetry Event:
Artifact, Archive, Orchard: The Binding of Past and Present in Poetry

Montserrat College of Art is collaborating with the Peabody Historical Society to incorporate history, writing poetry, book making and a reading and lecture. It will be a three-part event beginning with a poetry-writing workshop at Brooksby Farm at the end of March. Details to follow!


www.montserrat.edu

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour All-Skate!

Good writing is a type of skating.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Next stop on the The Improbable Places Poetry Tour is The Beverly Roller Palace!

Wednesday, Feb. 29, 7pm
130 Sohier Road, Beverly, MA

What’s this month’s prompt? Start with a wheel. Now you’re on a roll. Maybe you’ve got a poem about going in circles, or you’ve mastered the rondeau. I’m sure there are some strong poems about weak ankles and broken hearts. Whether your soundtrack is organ pipes, Xanadu, or the silent geometry of a circle, we want poems that move us.

If you don’t write poetry, but are interested in this tour, come, listen and cheer on the readers starting at 7pm. While you are welcome to take a seat, you are also invited to grab a pair of skates and circle the poets. The snack bar will be open, the rentals and skating are free, and poets are controlling the DJ booth and disco ball until 9pm!

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour is Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses, and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. Each month a new venue and theme will be selected.

Questions? Just ask Colleen at colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu or 978.921.4242 x 1254


www.montserrat.edu

Improbable Places Poetry Tour: Ink

The September month’s venue of the the Improbable Places Poetry Tour was the front window of Good Mojo’s tattoo parlor!

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour is Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses, and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. Each month a new venue and theme will be selected.

Video filmed and edited by Jack Moffitt ’12.

Click here for more info and past readings!
Good Mojo Tattoos Website


www.montserrat.edu

Submissions due for next stop on the Poetry Tour!

The next stop on Montserrat’s wildly successful poetry tour is People’s United Bank, formerly Danversbank, in the old Beverly National Bank

Deadline for entries is Friday, Nov.  11th Submit them in a private message to the Improbable Places Poetry Tour Facebook Page, email them to colleen.michaels@montserrat.edu, or drop them off at the Writing Center on the 2nd floor of the Montserrat library in the Hardie building

Think about the old changing into the new, payouts, spare change in your pocket – $$ is all around us, being exchanged in so many different ways!

The reading will take place Wednesday, Nov. 16th, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. 240 Cabot Street, Beverly

Improbable Places Poetry Tour: 17 Cox Gallery!

Thursday, May 5 at 7 pm
17 Cox Visual Art Center
17 Cox Court, Beverly, MA

What’s this tour all about? Well, It’s Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses, and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. Each month a new venue and theme will be selected. This month’s venue is 17 Cox Visual Art Center and the current exhibition, Good Work(s).

A poem about visual art, huh? That’s right, folks.  This month the theme is Ekphrastic Fantastic!  The Good Work(s) show at 17 Cox champions kindness as well as content and features the work of 8 artists known for their good work and good character.  What better way to champion these fine folk than to write a poem in response to their work?

What kind of prompt is that?  That’s Ekphrastic Fantastic! And here’s what you do:

Step 1:  Visit the Cox 17 website to view the Good Work(s) exhibition.  www.17cox.com

Step 2: Use the work of any of the 8 featured artists as inspiration for your poem.  Feel free to snoop around the artists’ websites.

Hey, I’ve got just the poem for this month’s tour. Can I read it? We are accepting submissions via email at cmichaels@montserrat.edu and in the Writing Center, located on the 2nd floor of Montserrat’s library. The deadline is Tuesday, May 3rd. We’d love to read your work!

I don’t write poetry, but I sure am interested in this tour. Can I still attend the event? Absolutely! Come and listen and cheer on the readers at 7:00.  Even Better – Make a whole night of it -Come to the Good work(s) reception at 5:30 and the Artist Talk at 6:30.

Wait! I’ve still got questions! Just talk to Colleen Michaels, Montserrat’s Writing Center Director. She’s at cmichaels@montserrat.edu or 978-921-4242 ext 1254.

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour: Thrift Shop

Thursday,  April 21 at 7 pm
Boot, Straps, and More Thrift Store
198 Rantoul Street, Downtown Beverly

What’s this tour all about? Well, it’s Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses, and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. Each month a new venue and theme will be selected. This month’s venue, Beverly Bootstraps Thrift Store, is chock-a-block full of bargains for a cause.

A thrift store, huh? That’s right, folks.  Sure, we could play with the word “Boot” or “Strap.” Easypeasy. But what makes this thrift store so special is how the Ordinary blends with the Extraordinary. Here’s your two-prompt theme:

Option 1: Write in praise of an ordinary household item, one that you might find in the store.  Stop in, browse a bit, and find what will become the subject of your submission. “In Praise of End Tables” or “Ode to My $2.00 Velvet Blazer.”

Option 2: Write about the extraordinary of Beverly, the generous spirit of a person or place. Wondering what’s so extraordinary?  Check out all of the amazing work done by Beverly Bootstraps right here in the neighborhood – www.beverlybootstraps.org

Hey, I’ve got just the poem for this month’s tour. Can I read it?  We are accepting submissions via email at cmichaels@montserrat.edu and in the Writing Center, located on the 2nd floor of Montserrat’s library. The deadline is Friday, April 15th. We’d love to read your work!

I don’t write poetry, but I sure am interested in this tour. Can I still attend the event? Absolutely! Come and listen and cheer on the readers.  Make a donation to the thrift store or shop for your newest treasure. Most importantly, come check out what the writers of your community are up to!

Wait! I’ve still got questions!
Just talk to Colleen Michaels, Montserrat’s Writing Center Director. She’s at cmichaels@montserrat.edu or 978-921-4242 x 1254.

Improbable Places Poetry Tour: Flower Shop

On the fourth stop of the Improbable Places Poetry Tour, members of the Montserrat and Beverly Community gathered to celebrate the power of poetry and community. Inspired by the poem “One Flower” by Jack Kerouac, poems didn’t have to be “flowery,” but had to “reference at least one flower.” We can’t wait for the next stop!

For more information about the tour, contact Colleen Michaels at cmichaels@montserrat.edu!

Third Stop on the Improbable Places Poetry Tour!

By Sean Teehan, Globe correspondent
February 11th, 2011
Boston.com

Shari Caplan stood in front of a crowd of about 60 people last night, reading an original piece at a poetry reading. She received a resounding ovation from the audience, some of whom came to hear poems, others who came to wash their socks.

Last night marked the third event of the “Improbable Places Poetry Tour,” a series that brings poetry readings to Beverly locations where people are libel to stumble upon the reading. It took place at the Salem Laundry Co. on Cabot Street…

Read more on Boston.com!

Ode to a Bicycle…

Beverly’s Centraal Cycle was packed with poetry enthusiasts Thurs., Oct. 28, as Montserrat’s first stop on the Improbable Places Poetry Tour. The series of poetry readings was launched this fall by Montserrat Writing Center Director Colleen Michaels. At the Centraal Cycle event, poets read from their bicycle-themed works, singing the praises of the common conveyance. It may look like nothing more than a contraption with wheels, chains, saddlebags and handle bars, but in the musings of poets, a bicycle transports its rider to worlds of new possibility, relationship and adventure. (Video produced by Montserrat student Brett Mason ’12 and directed by Montserrat Photography and Video Professor Ethan Berry.)

First Stop on the Poetry Tour!

More than 60 people attended the first Improbable Places Poetry Tour evening Thursday, Oct. 28, sponsored by Montserrat College of Art and held at Centraal Cycle on Cabot Street, Beverly. Poets shared their bicycle-themed poems with one another and were inspired by each other’s writings. The group is led by Montserrat College of Art Writing Center Director Colleen Michaels, shown here in the bicycle dress she created for the special evening.

The Improbable Places Poetry Tour Begins!

SAVE THE DATE:
Thursday, October 28th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Centraal Cycle
237 Cabot Street
Downtown Beverly

What’s this tour all about? Well, It’s Montserrat’s way of bringing together student writers, local poets, area businesses, and enthusiastic listeners to celebrate the power of poetry and community. Each month a new venue and theme will be selected. This month’s theme is, you guessed it, Bicycles.

Hey, I’ve got a poem about a bicycle. Can I read it? We are accepting submissions in the Writing Center. The deadline is Monday, October 25th. We’d love to read your work!

I don’t have a poem about a bicycle. Can I still attend the event? Absolutely! Come and listen and cheer on the readers, talk bikes with the good folks at Centraal Cycle, and check out what the writers at Montserrat are up to!

Okay, I’m curious. What’s next month’s theme? I knew you’d be hooked. See you on the 28th for more details.

Wait! I’ve still got questions. Just talk to Colleen Michaels, Montserrat’s Writing Center Director.
She’s at cmichaels@montserrat.edu or 978-921-4242 x 1254.