Mass Poetry

Massachusetts Poetry Festival Director

Mass Poetry, a nonprofit poetry organization headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, seeks a strong project manager with a passion for poetry to join us as the Festival Director for the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. This contract role will run from approximately October 2020 - June 2021 and require approximately 8 hours per week, with flexible and additional availability as the festival approaches.

Mass Poetry envisions a world where poetry catalyzes connection and understanding. We harness the power of words to engage and empower diverse communities across our commonwealth. Our innovative programs spark dialogue, connection, and self-expression. We aim to build a vibrant, inclusive community that lifts all voices. 

From hosting the Massachusetts Poetry Festival to delivering poets into schools for residencies and workshops across the commonwealth, Mass Poetry reaches thousands of people, young and old, with our innovative poetry programs. In 2021, Mass Poetry will become an arts-partner-in-residence at the new Narrative Arts Center, founded by GrubStreet at 50 Liberty in Boston’s Seaport District. This pioneering initiative will transform 13,000-square feet of retail space into a bookstore, literary stage, workshop space, podcasting studio, and a literary hub for all voices.  

Mass Poetry is an equal opportunity employer committed to being a multicultural organization. We do not does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, height, weight, physical or mental ability, veteran status, military obligations, and marital status. Candidates with experience in diverse settings are encouraged to apply.

Primary Responsibilities

• Directs biennial festival in coordination with Mass Poetry staff

• Convenes partners on a regular basis to discuss collaboration opportunities

• Works with the Executive Director to establish a budget and fiscally plan the festival

• Strategizes on festival format and structure in order to ensure safety of all involved

• Oversees submission and evaluation of conference proposals

• Selects festival headliners and coordinates their participation

• Secures venues to host workshops, performances, and readings

• Works with the Community Engagement Coordinator to seek event sponsors, advertisers, and volunteers

• Assists Student Day of Poetry at MPF in concert with Education Director and Community Engagement Coordinator

• Ensures that festival speakers and panelists represent the rich diversity of poets in New England

• Obtains appropriate insurance to cover event liability

• Works with the Community Engagement Coordinator to ensure ADA compliance on all event venues and programming

• Oversees evaluation of festival and solicits feedback from attendees, presenters, and collaborators

• Reports regularly to Mass Poetry’s leadership regarding progress toward festival planning


The ideal candidate possesses:

• A bachelor’s degree

• A passion for poetry and contemporary literary culture and a track record of literary citizenship 

• 3+ years experience in arts administration or a related field

• Minimum of 3 years of experience directing or coordinating literary events, a plus if some of those events were virtual

• Experience managing staff, interns, and volunteers

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills

• Superior organizational skills and strong computer skills

• Experience editing and publishing writing

• A strong design sense and ability to manage public art projects involving poetry

• Enthusiastic belief in Mass Poetry’s mission and programs


How to Apply:

The application deadline is 10/15/20. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Interested parties can upload a resume, cover letter, and professional writing sample of up to 3 pages to our online application form. Applicants are encouraged to apply early.



This contract role will pay a stipend of $15,000. Funds will be paid via a partnership between Mass Poetry and Salem State University.


About the Massachusetts Poetry Festival:

The Massachusetts Poetry Festival is one of the nation's largest biennial poetry festivals, showcasing nearly 100 poetry readings and workshops, a small press and literary fair, panels, poetry slams, visual arts, and open-air performances. Panel topics range broadly from the state of poetry, poetry and gender, book publishing, and modernism in contemporary art. Nearly 300 local and nationally known poets engage with thousands of attendees each year. Learn more by visiting:


About Salem State University:

Located just 15 miles north of Boston, we're one of the largest state universities in Massachusetts, and an important partner in the economic, cultural and intellectual vitality of the greater Boston region. Salem State is committed to our liberal arts heritage, academic freedom, equity and access, affordability, inclusivity, social justice, student-centeredness, and a sense of community that gives it a small-college feel in a university setting. Salem State offers 32 undergraduate degree programs in the liberal arts, human services and business, along with graduate programs that provide degrees in 24 fields and a continuing education division that offers both credit and non-credit programs. It was the first university in the state university system to have a creative writing concentration, and it has been a hub of creative writing for decades, including sponsoring the Salem Poetry Seminar. Learn more at

Contact Information

Kaylin Wu, Community Engagement Coordinator
15 Channel Center St.
Suite 103
Contact e-mail: