Massachusetts Poetry Festival!

Yay poetry!

“I have been inside of Poetry’s house and this is what I know:

of all the things I’ve done and been and thought I found

Language is what I’m here for,

the word, the sound.”

Those are a few lines from “Poetry’s House,” a poem by my friend Laura Didyk. In them lies the magic of poetry. Words. Sound. But so much more than that—life. Good poetry offers a distillation, a concentration, a crystallization of our lives. When you read good poetry, it leaves a mark somewhere inside you. From Marie Howe to Walt Whitman to Alix Olson to Billy Collins, the poets and poems I read (and re-read and re-read) offer sustenance to something deep inside me.

The second annual Massachusetts Poetry Festival is taking place this week, October 15–18. Organized by the Massachusetts Poetry Outreach Project, it aims to connect poets and poetry with larger audiences, bringing poetry back to the people. With events throughout the state, there will be 178 opportunities to listen, read, and celebrate the art of poetry. If you’re in Berkshire County, check out the kick-off panel discussion and reading at the Mount on Thursday.

Not in Massachusetts? Celebrate poetry this week anyway! Let me know who your favorite poets and poems are.