Boston: Mayor Janey announces celebration of National Poetry Month

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BOSTON - Thursday, April 1, 2021 - Mayor Kim Janey today announced the City of Boston's celebrations to commemorate National Poetry Month throughout the month of April. During the 30-day celebration of the many forms of poetry, Boston will also be highlighting the importance of the arts sector in fostering the city's economic, civic, and cultural recovery.

"Art allows us to express ourselves creatively, see new perspectives, and unite communities," said Mayor Janey. "As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the arts are an important part of healing. I look forward to celebrating this entire month with all Bostonians."

The City of Boston is leading several events and initiatives as part of National Poetry Month, including the annual Mayor's Poetry Program reading happening virtually on April 21, where several Boston-based will join Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola in reading original poems that were selected to be displayed in Boston City Hall this year. Porsha Olayiwola is also leading the HOME Poetry Series on the first weekend of each month, which consists of a free virtual workshop and open mic, and it will culminate in the inaugural Roxbury Poetry Festival on June 5, 2021. All in-person events for the festival will be conducted in accordance with COVID-19 public health guidance. Boston Youth Poet Laureate Alondra Bobadilla will also be hosting a virtual poetry workshop for teens in partnership with the Boston Public Library on April 3.

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"Audre Lorde states Poetry is not a luxury. I agree. Poetry is a necessity," said Porsha Olayiwola, Poet Laureate for the City of Boston. "It is essential in fostering conversations, in articulating the world we wish to see, in elevating voices that have gone unheard. I am looking forward to sharing my own work with the people of Boston and to seeing the creativity and vast ideas community members bring to the forefront."

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture will also be highlighting a local poet every day on social media. Porsha Olayiwola has also curated a list of 30 writing prompts that individuals can use to inspire their own poems throughout the month.

"Poetry and narrative play an important role in our city's history and help us express and process the current moment," said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Chief of Arts and Culture. "We encourage everyone to connect with Boston's strong poetry community this month and to explore your own creativity by trying some writing of your own."

More information about the events and programs happening during National Poetry Month can be found at boston.gov/poetry.

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ABOUT THE OFFICE OF ARTS AND CULTURE

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture is a City agency that enhances the quality of life, the economy, and the design of the City through the arts. The role of the arts in all aspects of life in Boston is reinforced through equitable access to arts and culture in every community, its public institutions, and public places. Key areas of work include support to the cultural sector through grants and programs, support of cultural facilities and artist workspace, as well as the care and commissioning of art in public places.

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