María Luisa Arroyo & Mary Pinard

Please join us Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 7:00 pm, when poets María Luisa Arroyo and Mary Pinard will continue the twelfth season of the Collected Poets Series! Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA. ($2-5 suggested donation)

María Luisa Arroyo

Born in Manatí, Puerto Rico and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, María Luisa Arroyo was educated at Colby (BA), Tufts (MA) and Harvard (ABD) in German, her third language. She earned her MFA from the Solstice MFA program at Pine Manor College. In recognition of her numerous poetry community workshops and readings – many in partnership with the Springfield Public Library – Arroyo was named Poet Laureate (2014-2016) of Springfield and 2016 NEPR Arts & Humanities Award recipient. In 2019, she was named 1 of 20 Inaugural Fellows to teach a session at the 15th Annual Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing in Tempe, Arizona. Her poems appear in many journals such as The Common, CALYX, PALABRA, and CHEST: An American Journal for Chest Physicians. Destierro Means More than Exile is her latest chapbook. Her other collections include her chapbook Flight (Thousand Hands Press, 2016) and her full-length collection, Gathering Words: Recogiendo palabras (Bilingual Review/Press, 2008). Currently, she is Assistant Professor of Writing & FYS at Bay Path University in Longmeadow and lives in Springfield, her hometown. www.marialuisaarroyo.com

Mary Pinard

Mary Pinard teaches in the Arts & Humanities Division at Babson College.  Her poems have appeared in a variety of literary journals, and she has published critical essays on poets, including Lorine Niedecker and Alice Oswald.  Portal, her collection of poems, was published by Salmon Press.  Her work as a poet has also been featured in collaborative performances and exhibits with Boston-area musicians, painters, and sculptors.  She was born and raised in Seattle.  For more information, please visit www.marypinard.com.

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COMELIBROS: THE GIRL WHO EATS BOOKS / María Luisa Arroyo

for Kathi Aguero

Kids in school & on my street nicknamed
me “the Brain”. Where their backpacks
slacked, mine swelled with books
from two libraries, some stamped “obsolete”,
mine to keep. Mami called me “comelibros”,
the girl who ate books. Abuela feared me,
whispered “loca”, my appetite for books
matched her son’s, an urban hermit in Puerto Rico.
He crammed towers of books into his head.
Words gushed out his mouth – non-stop.
I live in my head to protect my body.

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LATE IN THE SEASON, WIDOW GARDENING / Mary Pinard

First, though, to determine what must go—
fading dianthus, silvering thistle, and the end of a bee
balm bloom, the ragged crown’s last glow.

Pruning, next, a taking that knows
pressure, where the blade should kiss, cleave,
to undo what was, make way for the slow, low

new growth. How does it always know
about opening there, where nothing is, despite grief
fuller than all those fragments by Sappho?

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Fuller than all those fragments by Sappho
about opening there, where nothing is, despite grief,
new growth. How does it always know

to undo what was, make way for the slow, low
pressure, where the blade should kiss, cleave?
Pruning, next, a taking that knows

balm, bloom, the ragged crown’s last glow—
a fading dianthus, silvering thistle, and the end of a bee.
First, though, to determine what must go.
.

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