The National Park Service and the Friends of the Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters are pleased to announce the 2021 Summer Poetry Festival, beginning on Sunday, June 27. This year’s series has the theme “Poetry as a Voice for Activism.” It will take place live online and connect poetry lovers across the country with remarkable poet-activists who will read and discuss their work.
All these online programs will take place on Sundays starting at 3:00 local time. They are all free and open to the public. Register here (for one or more events) to receive the event link.
Sunday, June 27, 3:00 P.M.
The Longfellow Student Poetry Contest is an annual competition of original poetry, with categories for high school, middle school, and elementary school students.
Sunday, July 11, 3:00 P.M.
Porsha Olayiwola & Alondra Bobadilla
Porsha Olayiwola is a writer, performer, educator and curator who uses afro-futurism and surrealism to examine historical and current issues in the Black, woman, and queer diasporas. She is an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and the author of i shimmer sometimes, too, forthcoming with Button Poetry. She is the current poet laureate for the city of Boston.
Alondra Bobadilla’s poetry demonstrates how creative expression can be a powerful tool for youth to examine feelings around issues, find their voice, and speak up about the changes they want to see for their future. She was named Boston’s first-ever Youth Poet Laureate in January 2020.
Sunday, July 18, 3:00 P.M.
Sunday, July 25, 3:00 P.M.
Tyehimba Jess is the author of two books of poetry, leadbelly and Olio. Olio won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry. He received a citation for Outstanding Contribution to Publishing from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Jess’s fiction and poetry have appeared in many journals and anthologies. Jess is a professor of English at the College of Staten Island.
Sunday, August 8, 3:00 P.M.
Danielle Legros Georges & Jean Dany Joachim
Danielle Legros Georges is a writer, translator, academic, and author of several books of poetry including The Dear Remote Nearness of You, winner of the New England Poetry Club’s Sheila Margaret Motten book prize. She was appointed the second Poet Laureate of the city of Boston, serving in the role from 2015 to 2019. Her most recent work is a book of translations from the French, Island Heart: The Poems of Ida Faubert, published by Subpress Collective in 2021.
Jean Dany Joachim is a poet, fiction-writer, and playwright. He has four published collections of poetry, Chen Plenn (2007), Crossroads / Chimenkwaze (2013), Avec des Mots (2014), and Quartier (2016). He created the Many Voices Project, inspiring conversations about race and equality. He is an adjunct professor at Bunker Hill Community College, and he serves on the Board of the New England Poetry Club.
Sunday, August 29, 3:00 P.M.
Golden Rose Award: Rhina P. Espaillat
This year’s annual Golden Rose Award will be presented to Rhina P. Espaillat. Espaillat has published twelve full-length books, four chapbooks, and a monograph on translation. Espaillat is noted for her English translations of Saint John of the Cross, as well as her book of Spanish translations of Robert Frost, Algo hay que no es amigo de los muros/Something There Is that Doesn’t Love a Wall, and her bilingual collection of Richard Wilbur translations, Oscura fruta/Dark Berries.
Her work, which comprises poetry, essays, and short stories in both English and her native Spanish, and translations from and into both languages, appears in numerous journals, anthologies, and websites. She has received many national and international awards. A founding member of the Melopoeia trio, Espaillat performs with poet Alfred Nicol and guitarist John Tavano, as well as with the quintet known as The Diminished Prophets.
Again, please register here for any events, and you will receive a link to tune in. Thank you for supporting events at Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters!