His poetry chapbook, is a professor at Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts where he teaches creative writing, literature, and composition courses, as well as coordinating the MCC Visiting Writers Series and open readings for students, faculty, and community members for the Creative Writing Program. He also coordinated the Writing Across the Curriculum Program at Middlesex Community College for many years; coordinated an Early Academic Intervention Program, the Writing Center, and creative writing activities at Massasoit Community College for nearly a decade; and taught literature classes in two Massachusetts prisons.The Rest of the Way, was released by Finishing Line Press in August 2022.
Wednesday, November 02, 2022
Monday, September 05, 2022
Friday, August 19, 2022
Michael Ansara, Poet
Founder of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, Michael Ansara’s first book of poems, “What Remains”, was published by Kelsay Books in 2022. Michael spent many years as an activist and an organizer starting with the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, going on to be a regional organizer for SDS. He spent 10 years organizing opposition to the war in Vietnam. For 15 years, Michael worked as a community organizer including directing Mass Fair Share. He has worked on political campaigns, coordinated voter registration efforts, and trained many organizers. He owned and ran two successful businesses. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Redress Movement and the organizing team for Together We Elect. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and his essays have appeared in Vox, Arrowsmith, Solstice and Cognoscenti. He is currently working on a memoir. He lives in Carlisle, MA, with his wife Barbara Arnold and dotes on his three children and six grandchildren.
Saturday, June 18, 2022
Friday, May 06, 2022
The Wild Goose by Kevin Gallagher
The Wild Goose was a hand-made magazine of verse written and edited by John Boyle O’Reilly aboard the Hougoumont, the last ship to transport British convicts to Australia. O’Reilly (1844-1890) was an Irish Fenian sentenced to life imprisonment for infiltrating the British army and attempted mutiny. O’Reilly escaped from Australia aboard a whaling ship and settled in Boston where he rose to become an editor of The Pilot, a noted poet, and abolitionist.
In a sense, these poems are a little magazine conceived of and drafted in 2018 and 2019 when Gallagher was a poet-in-residence at the Heinrich Boll Cottage, on Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland. In addition to a sequence on O’Reilly, the poems in this book engage the Irish landscape, and the history and myth that formed the identity of some of the Gallagher’s ancestors until British colonialism and associated famine took them to Massachusetts.
Kevin Gallagher’s new book begins with Irish myth and ends with his own myth, as he visits his father in a classically tinged underworld. Using a variety of poetic forms, Gallagher creates a blend of Irish-American family experience and Irish history that features both his father and a colorful nineteenth-century Irishman who ended up in America. This poetic blend of the poet’s imaginings, memories, and careful research is absorbing, entertaining, and enlightening. —Martha Collins, author of Because What Else Could I Do?
Kevin Gallagher shows us how his sense of an Irish identity is more than a hand-me-down, that it depends on an unflinching examination of the ways voices from the past—not all of them benevolent—shape who we are and how we see the world. Gallagher imagines an array of such voices, from figures in pre-Christian myths to historical figures who resisted British colonialism. The arc of the collection aims, however, toward the present, to the Irish-American experience as well as what the poet sees and hears in Ireland today. The culmination of The Wild Goose comes in a dream-vision in which the poet is granted access to the afterlife and meets his deceased father. Says that father to his grieving son: “Let me hear you talk. I’ll talk to you too.” Crystalline imagery and carefully crafted lyrics embody Gallagher’s difficult and demanding dialogue with the long and often painful story of the culture he comes from. —Fred Marchant, author of Said Not Said.
To over-underscore how Kevin Gallagher delves into Celtic mythology from the get-go with the wonderful love-poem “Birth of a Nation” and plumbs the raw contemporary ring of those legendary, gender-bendering heroes and heroines—Eithlinn and Cian, Deirdre and Diarmuid, Lir, Cairbre, Bres, all that—might be to miss the larger project, all-in, this collection’s vast and variegated canvas stretched beyond history and in your face. In The Wild Goose you will find and lose, often in the same breath, your compass points, become a bit, as the French say, déboussolé. All in a good way. Unmoored, not plot-lost. Gallagher’s poems read exquisitely and easily. With a preference for nifty, drop-stitch, loose-iambic couplets, villanelles that hypnose, The Wild Goose runs riot in lyric narrative gear, its best poems top-shelf distillations of story and meditation. And you won’t find many affirmations of a redemptive immigration policy that welcomes refugees finer than the sonnet sequence “The Journal of John Boyle O’Reilly.” —Aidan Rooney, author of Go There
Saturday, March 19, 2022
Before that, he’s worked as a farm laborer, entrepreneurial bait salesman, yard worker, golf pro shop assistant, factory assembler, clean room machine operator, holiday Santa, construction worker, hotel worker, office assistant, theater apprentice, busboy, waiter, bartender, wine steward, assistant maitre’d, website designer, lab experiment subject, and blackjack dealer.
He has published novels, over 70 short stories, collections, articles, jokes, and poetry, and has appeared on stage, television, and in Throg, an independent feature film:
Wednesday, February 02, 2022
“Áine Griffin’s A Foreign Home is an unfettered and undeterred accounting of life: life that hurts, life that hopes, life that fears, life that loves, life that scars. These poems reach into the earthy experiences of late night dances and early morning sunshine. They pulse with reality and spark with the divine. A.E. Housman once claimed that ‘poetry is not the thing said, but a way of saying it.’ Griffin’s work, here, is a mesmerizing, brilliant, and deeply affecting way of saying it.”— Luke Reynolds, Assistant Professor of Education at Endicott College and author of Fantastic Failures: People Who Changed the World by Falling Down First, Surviving Middle School: Navigating the Halls, Riding the Social Roller Coaster, and Unmasking the Real You, and many others