What Makes a Poem Great

March 7, 2015 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Salem Athenaeum
$10; $5 members; free for students with ID

What Makes a Poem Great:
Poets Share Their Favorite Poems

Have you ever puzzled over a poem?  Do you want to learn what poems have guided and inspired the poets of today?  Join host J.D. Scrimgeour and a collection of poets, including Jennifer Jean, Danielle Jones-Pruett, Kirun Kapur, Rich Murphy and Enzo Surin for a reading and discussion of their favorite contemporary poems.

A member of the Salem Athenaeum, J.D. Scrimgeour is the author of two collections of poetry, The Last Miles and Territories.  With the musician Philip Swanson he released the cd, Ogunquit & Other Works.  He has also published two collections of nonfiction.  He currently serves as Coordinator of Creative Writing at Salem State University.

Kirun Kapur is the winner of the Arts & Letters Rumi Prize in Poetry and the Antivenom Poetry Prize for her first book, Visiting Indira Gandhi’s Palmist. Her work has appeared in AGNI, Poetry International, FIELD and many other journals. She has taught creative writing at Boston University and has been awarded fellowships from The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Vermont Studio Center and MacDowell Colony. She is the founder and co-director of the Boston-area arts program The Tannery Series and serves as Poetry Editor at The Drum Literary Magazine. Kapur grew up in Hawaii and lives north of Boston. Find out more at www.kirunkapur.com

Rich Murphy has been associate professor at several colleges and universities for 27 years. Currently, he is adjunct professor at Massachusetts College of Art. His credits include books, Americana Prize Americana 2013 winner his third book by The Institute for American Studies and Popular Culture, Voyeur 2008 Gival Press Poetry Award, and The Apple in the Monkey Tree 2007 (Codhill Press); and chapbooks, Great Grandfather (Pudding House Press), Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Books), Rescue Lines (Right Hand Pointing), Phoems for Mobile Vices (BlazeVox) and Paideia (Aldrich Press). His critical essays have been published in The International Journal of the Humanities, Fringe, Journal of Ecocriticism, Reconfigurations: A Journal for Poetics Poetry / Literature and Culture, New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, among others.  He lives in Marblehead.

Jennifer Jean’s most recent poetry collection is The Fool (Big Table, 2013); other collections include: The Archivist, Fishwife, and In the War. Her work has appeared in: Drunken Boat, Denver Quarterly, Tidal Basin Review, Caketrain, Poetica, Talking/Writing, The Mom Egg Review, and more. She is Co-director of the Morning Garden Artist Retreats, and Poetry Editor for The Compassion Project; as well, she teaches Free2Write poetry workshops for Amirah, an advocacy group for sex-trafficking survivors. For more info, visit: www.fishwifetales.com

Danielle Jones-Pruett holds an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and is program coordinator for the Writers House at Merrimack College. Her poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2014, Beloit Poetry Journal, Southern Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of a 2014 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award.

Enzo Silon Surin is a Haitian-born poet, publisher and an assistant professor of English at Bunker Hill Community College. He is the author of Higher Ground (2006) and his work is forthcoming and has appeared in a number of publications, such as The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, sx salon, Ozone Park Journal, The Mom Egg Review, Tidal Basin Review and The Caribbean Writer. Enzo holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University and is Founder and Publisher at Central Square Press.

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