Mass Poetry

AmeriCorps VISTA Community Engagement Coordinator

Mass Poetry—a Boston-based nonprofit that promotes poetry and offers poetry programming across Massachusetts—seeks a strong project manager with a background in event management. This stipended service position will run from August 2, 2020 to August 2, 2021.

Mass Poetry believes that words matter. We support poets and poetry in Massachusetts, help to broaden the audience of poetry readers, bring poetry to readers of all ages, and transform people's lives through inspiring verse. From hosting the Massachusetts Poetry Festival each year to delivering poets into underserved schools for residencies and workshops, Mass Poetry reaches thousands of people, young and old, with our innovative poetry programs, while aiming to reach historically underserved populations.

In Spring 2021, Mass Poetry will bring back the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, one of the nation's largest poetry festivals. Since its inception, the Massachusetts Poetry Festival has hosted some of the nation's most beloved poets from Rita Dove to Ocean Vuong and Phillip Levine for a weekend of readings, performances, and events. Our AmeriCorps VISTA Community Engagement Coordinator will play a key role in planning and coordinating the festival from recruiting volunteers to seeking event sponsorships to and securing venues.

In the coming year, Mass Poetry will soon become an arts-partner-in-residence at the new Center for Creative Writing, founded by GrubStreet, at 50 Liberty in Boston's Seaport District. Additionally, Mass Poetry is proud to be a founding member of the Poetry Coalition—a national network of nearly three-dozen poetry organizations—spearheaded by the American Academy of Poets.

Mass Poetry is an equal opportunity employer committed to being a multicultural organization. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The festival coordinator will report to Mass Poetry's Education Director. They will collaborate closely with the Festival Director.

Roles & Responsibilities:

  • Recruit, train, schedule, and manage volunteers fo the Massachusetts Poetry Festival
  • Manage online festival calendar and other festival-related content for the web
  • Help secure festival venues and coordinate their rental with partners
  • Support the Student Day of Poetry at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and help recruit underserved schools to attend
  • Seek festival sponsors and grant funders to underwrite the event
  • Coordinate regular meetings of the festival committee
  • Support creation of bi-weekly newsletters, content for website, and social media
  • Support creation of festival marketing materials, ad placement, and event program
  • Input festival attendees, speakers, sponsors, and partners into Mass Poetry's database
  • Research effective strategies and tools to move the festival online, if the festival cannot be held in-person due to COVID-19
  • Create a legacy binder and develop systems to ensure the festival is run sustainably
  • Work closely with the Festival Director as needed on initiatives related to the festival

The ideal Community Engagement Coordinator will be:

  • Passionate and knowledgeable about poetry while recognizing its central place in our culture
  • A capable project manager able to meet deadlines effectively and collaborate well with community partners
  • Able to communicate verbally and in writing in a clear and concise manner
  • Experienced working with a team to plan and execute events
  • Excel at recruiting, training, and managing volunteers
  • Experienced and/or comfortable with database entry and management
  • Willing to work on projects independently and/or with supervision
  • A creative problem-solver, who is detail-oriented and able to contribute to several projects simultaneously
  • Excited to obtain real-world experience as a key member of a results-driven team
  • Able to participate in open communication to build community and foster team goals to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives
  • Someone who understands the problems facing students in underserved communities and believes in the mission of Mass Poetry

Skills & Experience:

  • Possession of a Bachelor's or Associate's degree
  • Experience writing and reading poetry
  • Experience organizing and planning large-scale events
  • Volunteer management experience
  • Experience creating original written and graphic content for newsletters, blogs and/or social media
  • Proficiency with Microsoft programs and shared online platforms such as Google Drive and Dropbox
  • Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite a plus, including InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop
  • Proficiency with Twitter, Instagram, and FaceBook
  • Familiarity with Mail Chimp, Squarespace, and donor database programs

Benefits of AmeriCorps Service:

Application Instructions:

  1. First, apply online to Mass Poetry through this form: Please attach a resume, cover letter, and 1-page writing sample. Applications will be reviewed by Mass Poetry prior to June 30, 2020 deadline on a rolling basis or until the position is filled. 

    If you are unable to attach these materials to the form, please submit the form without them and then send your supporting materials to with the subject line "AmeriCorps VISTA Community Engagement Coordinator."
  2. Secondly apply online to the "Mass Poetry Community Engagement Coordinator" position posted ont the VISTA portal: As of 5/14/20, the role is not posted yet but will be soon. Complete application must be on file with the AmeriCorps VISTA portal by June 30, 2020. All applicants must register with VISTA and apply to serve with Mass Poetry in order to be considered for the role. 

About AmeriCorps VISTA: AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members bring passion and perserverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help eradicate poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve as a catalyst for change, living and working alongside community members to meet our nation's most pressing challenges and advance local solutions. Learn more by visiting:

Contact Information

Erica Charis-Molling, Education Director
15 Channel Center St
Ste 103
Contact e-mail: