Collaborative Poetry Event with Peabody Historical Society

April 17, 2012

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: [email protected]

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


ALICIA CHURCHILL teaches writing at Bunker Hill Community College and creative process and research methods at Endicott College. She has only recently started writing poetry, after becoming involved in “Speak Up” open mike at the Walnut Street Cafe in West Lynn. She is currently working to complete an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction at Emerson.

CRYSTAL CONDAKES is a poet and Early American History buff. She’s a graduate of Simmons College and the Creative Writing Program at Boston University. She lives in Manchester, MA.

DANIELLE JONES-PRUETT is a member of the Salem Writers’ Group. Her creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in Abject Press, Cider Press Review, First Inkling, Southern Women’s Review, and others.

JOE McGURN is a graduate of UMass Boston with degrees in English and Politics. He studied creative writing at Salem State University. He is a member of the Salem Writers’ Group.

COLLEEN MICHAELS is the Director of the Writing Center at Montserrat College of Art where she hosts The Improbable Places Poetry Tour. Her poetry has appeared in The Paterson Literary Review, Blue Collar Review, The Mom Egg, Paper Nautilus, and Literary Mama. She was a 2010 finalist for the Split this Rock poetry competition and is the recipient of an honorable mention in the 2011 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize.

DAWN PAUL is a poet and fiction writer.  She is the author of two novels, The Country of Loneliness (Marick Press) and Still River (Corvid Press).  She has collaborated with artists and choreographers to create text/art/dance pieces and teaches writing at Montserrat College of Art.

JANUARY GILL O’NEIL is the author of Underlife (CavanKerry Press, December 2009), and a forthcoming collection, Misery Islands (CavanKerry Press, fall 2014). She is the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and an assistant professor of English at Salem State University. She lives with her two children in Beverly, Massachusetts.

CINDY VEACH is a poet whose work has appeared in many journals including Chelsea, Prairie Schooner, Chicago Review, Carolina Quarterly, Poet Lore, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, WomenArts Quarterly Journal, Weave Magazine and The Mom Egg.  She is a member of the Salem Writers’ Group and lives in Manchester, Massachusetts.


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