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Welcome to the schedule for BBF 2016! Please note that with the exception of the following sessions (Life without Envy, The Art of Perspective, Writing with Risk, Sound Advice, and Lore), absolutely every session at the BBF is free, and no tickets or preregistration are required. Thanks, and enjoy your day!

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Poetry [clear filter]
Saturday, October 15


Poetry: The Poem Is You
Poet and critic Stephen Burt’s The Poem Is You: Sixty Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them is an extraordinary accomplishment. According to Publishers Weekly, Burt’s “formidable breadth of knowledge about the practice of poetry, from Virgil up to 2015, allows him to make nimble connections among the authors and establish an ars poetica for current American lyric poetry.” Join the inimitable Stephen Burt in a discussion of contemporary poetry with poet and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Erica Funkhouser.

avatar for Erica Funkhouser

Erica Funkhouser

Erica Funkhouser is the author of several collections of poetry, including Earthly, Pursuit, Sure Shot and Other Poems, and Natural Affinities. She was a recipient of a 2007 Guggenheim Foundation grant for poetry, and her work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker... Read More →

avatar for Stephen Burt

Stephen Burt

Stephen Burt is an influential poet and critic whose work seeks to identify new and emerging movements in the form. A professor of English at Harvard University, his critical works demonstrate a passion for the classical and the contemporary, including The Art of the Sonnet, with... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 11:00am - 12:00pm
Emmanuel Parish Hall 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA


Poems on the Spot
Come get a poem of your very own! Noted Boston poets Allison Adair and Howard dePass Jr. take up residence at the Civic Table outside the Boston Public Library, where they'll be writing custom poems for festivalgoers. Give them a subject or chat with them for a few minutes to discover a topic. Armed with manual typewriters and their vivid literary imaginations, they will create a poem just for you to keep for free.

avatar for Allison Adair

Allison Adair

Allison Adair’s recent poems appear or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Best New Poets 2015, Boston Review, Mid-American Review, Mississippi Review, Missouri Review (Poem of the Week), Shenandoah, and Southwest Review, among other journals. Winner of the Fall 2015 Orlando... Read More →
avatar for Howard dePass Jr.

Howard dePass Jr.

Howard dePass Jr. is a spoken word poet and part of the art collective Caretakers of Humanity. Originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, he came to Boston for college and graduated from Boston University in the spring of 2014. Writing spoken word poetry for roughly four years now... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 12:00pm - 3:00pm
BPL Civic Table 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA


Page and Stage: Spoken Word

A presentation of Boston area young slam and performance poets showcases their page and stage skills. And, in honor of the four hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare's death, veteran performance poets Regie Gibson and Marlon Carey will present an epic poetic smackdown between two of Shakespeare's most sinister characters. The audience will judge by applause!

avatar for Marlon Carey

Marlon Carey

Marlon Carey is a poet (published chapbooks: Giraffe Theory, Prolegomenon, and Lazarus) who has been a member of both the Boston Poetry Slam and Boston Lizard Lounge Poetry Slam Teams. He is also a proud member of the Providence-based poetry troupe Brother’s Keeper. Carey is also... Read More →
avatar for Regie Gibson

Regie Gibson

Regie Gibson is an author, lecturer, and literarymusician who has lectured and performed widely in the U.S., Cuba, and Europe. As a representative of the U.S., Gibson competed for and received the Absolute Poetry Award in Monfalcone, Italy. He and his work appear in love jones, a... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 3:30pm - 4:30pm
BPL New & Novel 700 Boylston Street, Boston


Poems and Pints
Wind down your day at the BBF by kicking back with a frosty beverage or two and a poem or several. Join fellow poetry fans at Copley Square Hotel’s cozy and convivial XHALE Lounge to hear new work by four terrific poets: Liam Day, whose first collection, Afforded Permanence, was nominated for a Massachusetts Book Award; Jeffrey Harrison, whose most recent book is the Dorset Prize–winning Into Daylight; Jennifer Markell, whose debut collection Samsara was a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award; and Rose Styron, whose fourth volume of poetry, Fierce Day, is her first in more than a decade. This laid-back evening of poetry is sponsored by Mass Poetry and hosted by Sara Siegel, Mass Poetry’s program director.

avatar for Sara Siegel

Sara Siegel

Sara Siegel is a lifelong writer and crafter based in Somerville. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis and working at women's health organizations in New York City, she moved to Burlington, Vermont, to earn a master’s degree in public administration at UVM. While... Read More →

avatar for Liam Day

Liam Day

Liam Day has been a youth worker, teacher, coach, school administrator, public health professional, political campaign manager, and professional basketball player. His poems have appeared in Slow Trains, Apt, and Wilderness House Literary Review. His essays and op-eds have appeared... Read More →
avatar for Jeffrey Harrison

Jeffrey Harrison

Jeffrey Harrison is the author of five books of poetry, including The Singing Underneath, a National Poetry Series selection; Feeding the Fire, winner of the Sheila Motton Award from the New England Poetry Club; Incomplete Knowledge, runner-up for the Poets’ Prize in 2008; and... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer Markell

Jennifer Markell

Jennifer Markell’s first poetry collection, Samsara, was named a “Must Read Book of Poetry” by the Massachusetts Book Awards and a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Markell won the Barbara Bradley award in 2016 for her poem “Blue Johnnies” from the New England... Read More →
avatar for Rose Styron

Rose Styron

Rose Styron is a poet, journalist, and human rights activist whose poetry has been published in four volumes: Summer to Summer, Thieves’ Afternoon, By Vineyard Light, and, most recently, Fierce Day. At the forefront of the field of international human rights, she has served on the... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 5:30pm - 7:00pm
XHALE 47 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA