Jamaica Pond Poets: What We Do and Who We Are:
Jamaica Pond Poets (JPP), founded in 1995, meets every Saturday morning in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston to creatively comment on one another’s poems.
Members of JPP (See photo below.) have been published in literary magazines, had collections of their poems published, and won awards for their work (See About the Poets).
The group sponsors Chapter and Verse, a 25-year-old literary reading series that welcomes poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction in its programs. The series is directed by Dorothy Derifield, co-director Sandra Storey, and a committee of other JPP members, with support from all of the poets in carrying out the events. Chapter and Verse takes place monthly at the Loring-Greenough House on Friday evenings during fall through early spring.
At each reading, JPP purchases poetry books by readers and then donates them to the Boston Public Library. The books are kept in a special section at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library where they are available for check-out, thanks to the library’s cooperation and enthusiasm.
The group has provided assistance to the Friends of the Roslindale Library in setting up a reading series there, Rozzie Reads, that includes an open mic. Members of JPP are also active with other literary organizations such as the New England Poetry Club and School Street Sessions at the Omni Parker House.
JPP has joined with other organizations to produce programs over the years. At the 2016Massachusetts Poetry Festival, Jamaica Pond Poets read humorous poems followed by an open mike. Jamaica Pond Poets has read as a group at a Winter Solstice event at Jamaica Pond and at Forest Hills Cemetery’s Poetry in the Chapel Series. The group was selected to conduct a reading at both the 2012 and 2014 Massachusetts Poetry Festivals.
Jamaica Pond Poets is a Poetry Partner of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. Members also frequently read at various area events, and some give workshops.
As of April, 2020, active members include: Mary Birnbaum, Dorothy Derifield, Carolyn Gregory, Audrey Henderson, Holly Guran, Susanna Kittredge, Dorian Kotsiopoulos, Jim LaFond-Lewis, Jennifer Markell, David Miller, Alan Smith Soto, and Sandra Storey. For more information about Jamaica Pond Poets, contact us.
Photo by Jeffrey Chasin
The Jamaica Pond Poets include (top row, left to right) Jim LaFond-Lewis, Susanna Kittredge, Sandra Storey, Dorothy Derifield, and Holly Guran (bottom row, left to right) Dorian Kotsiopoulos, Gary Whited, Jennifer Markell, and Carolyn Gregory. Not pictured: Mary Birnbaum, Audrey Henderson, David Miller, and Alan Smith Soto.