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Brookline Poetry Series

The Brookline Poetry Series meets once a month on Sunday afternoons, September through May, normally in Hunneman Hall at the Public Library of Brookline Main Branch (361 Washington St., Brookline, MA 02445). Usually, one or two established poets read, followed by an open mike. You may contact the organizers via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Please do not send written correspondence in care of the Library.

    Timing of performances:
  • 1:30 PM • Doors open
  • 1:45 PM • Open mike sign-up
  • 2 – 4 PM • Poetry readings

N.B. Usually the third Sunday of the month. On rare occasions, this may vary to accommodate holidays or special Library events, so be sure to check the Library Calendar or this page before attending. (Also, all meetings are held at the Main Library if possible, but on very rare occasions we have had to move to the Coolidge Corner Branch because of a scheduling conflict.)

Featured Readers

Feb 21, 2016 • Sarah Howe


Sarah Howe is a British poet, academic and editor. Her first book, Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus, 2015), has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Born in Hong Kong in 1983 to an English father and Chinese mother, she moved to England as a child. Her pamphlet, A Certain Chinese Encyclopedia (Tall-lighthouse, 2009) won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. Her poems have appeared widely in magazines including Poetry Review, PN Review, Poetry London, and Ploughshares, and also in anthologies such as Dear World & Everyone in It and Ten: The New Wave. She has appeared on BBC Radio 3 & 4 and performed her work at events across the UK, from the Ledbury Poetry Festival to the Royal Festival Hall. She is the founding editor of Prac Crit, an online journal of poetry and criticism. She is a Research Fellow at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where she also teaches Renaissance literature. She is currently a Fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute.

Recent Readers


January Gill O’Neil is the author of Misery Islands (fall 2014) and Underlife (2009), both published by CavanKerry Press. She is the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and an assistant professor of English at Salem State University. Recently, she was elected to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ (AWP) board of directors. With Ben Berman, she co-edits the literary magazine Solstice. Misery Islands was selected for a 2015 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence. It has also been selected by Mass Center for the Book as a Must-Read Book for 2015, and is a finalist for the2015 Massachusetts Book Award. January earned her BA from Old Dominion University and her MFA at New York University. She lives with her two children in Beverly, Massachusetts.


Ross Gay was born in 1974 in Youngstown, Ohio. He received a BA in English/Art from Lafayette College, an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, and a PhD in English from Temple University. He is the author of three collections of poetry: Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015), Bringing the Shovel Down (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), and Against Which (Cavankerry Press, 2006). Gay is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin’, and an editor of the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press His honors include fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He currently teaches at Indiana University and in Drew University’s Low-Residency MFA program in Poetry and Poetry in Translation.


The winner of a 2014 Lannan Literary Fellowship and three Pushcart prizes, Jill McDonough is the author of Habeas Corpus (Salt, 2008), Oh, James! (Seven Kitchens, 2012), Where You Live (Salt, 2012), and REAPER, forthcoming from Alice James Books. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center, the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and Stanford’s Stegner program, she taught incarcerated college students through Boston University’s Prison Education Program for thirteen years. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Slate, The Nation, The Threepenny Review, and Best American Poetry. She directs the MFA program at UMass-Boston and 24PearlStreet, the Fine Arts Work Center online.


Kirun Kapur grew up in Hawaii and has lived and worked in North America and South Asia. She has traveled in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has appeared in AGNI, Poetry International, FIELD, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Crab Orchard Review, Massachusetts Review, The Christian Science Monitor among others. She was awarded the 2012 Arts & Letters/Rumi Prize for Poetry. Her first book, Visiting Indira Gandhi’s Palmist, was awarded the 2013 Antivenom Poetry Award and was published in January 2015 by Elixir Press. In 2015, NBC News put her to their list of Asian- American Poets to Watch. She has taught creative writing at Boston University and through the Harvard Extension program, and has been granted fellowships from The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Vermont Studio Center and McDowell Colony. Kapur is the Poetry Editor for The Drum Literary Magazine that publishes short fiction, poetry, essays, novel excerpts, and interviews exclusively in audio form.


Alice Lyons grew up in an Irish-American family and made several visits to Ireland as a girl and later, as a college student. She has earned degrees from several colleges and universities. She says “The first poems I wrote of any significance to me were written after a college term spent in Dublin.” In l996 she received an artistic residency and from there she moved to Ireland permanently. Her poems have been published in Poetry Magazine, Tender, and Tygodnik Powszcheny (Kraków) among others. She has published two books, speck:poems 2002 – 2006 (Lapwing 2015), and Staircase Poems (The Dock, 2006). She has made poetry films and public artworks. One of her films, Developers, was in response to the impact of unprecedented economic boom and bust in rural Ireland. She has received the Patrick Kavanagh Award for Poetry, the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary, and grants in literature and film from the Arts Council of Ireland. Currently, she is a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

History of the Brookline Poetry Series

The Brookline Poetry Series was founded in the spring and summer of 2001 by our friend and fellow poet Diane Collins Ouellette. Diane died of cancer several months into the series, and, with her husband Berred's support, we continued. We are guided by her original mission: a quality venue for local poets, both published and yet-to-be published; a place for a multiplicity of poetic voices; a series particularly dedicated to featuring the work of Brookline poets.

In the years since, we have featured the best contemporary voices in American poetry, as well as many fine local poets.

We are dedicated to providing a forum for poets of all experience to listen and read their work. In 2005, the Boston Globe named us the Best in Boston for our open mike.

We welcome all Boston-area poets to our series.

Since March 2008, the series has been held at the Public Library of Brookline.

Ann Killough
Tam Lin Neville
Aimee Sands

Contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Please do not send written correspondence in care of the Library.