In hindsight, it seems prophetic that the Beverly-based poet January Gill O’Neil named her most recent collection “Rewilding.” Published in 2018, the book found a receptive audience during the pandemic, when folks were searching for meaning and hearing an awful lot about vacated land returning to its original state.
“That book endures,” says O’Neil. “There’s a certain sense of coming back stronger into broken places.”
O’Neil, who served as the Massachusetts Poetry Festival’s executive director for seven years beginning in 2012, will take part in the festival’s opening night kickoff on Friday in Salem. This will be Mass Poetry’s first in-person gathering since 2018.
With more than 90 events planned in and around Salem over a three-day weekend, the Witch City will fall under a spell of another kind — the enchantment of our shared language. In addition to O’Neil, Friday’s headline reading in the atrium of the Peabody Essex Museum will feature the poet Andrea Cohen, director of the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge; a reading by the winner of Mass Poetry’s First Poem contest; and a performance by the Boston Typewriter Orchestra.
Click here for more information.