Professor Fred Marchant says he always has the same thought leading up to the publication of his poems: “The real meaning in a poem is when it leaves you and goes out to others—that is the completion of the poem.”
Marchant’s work has been published in his own books of poetry and on subway cars as part of the “Poetry on the T” initiative. The latest place to feature one of his poems is Common Threads, the annual publication of the Mass Poetry organization.
Common Threads showcases 7-10 poems by Massachusetts poets, chosen by a guest editor who is also a local poet. The publication includes a guide to reading and discussing the poems and videos of the poets themselves.
Each year, Mass Poetry uses Common Threads to facilitate over 350 poetry discussion groups throughout the state at libraries, senior centers, and book clubs. They choose diverse, accessible poems to broaden the audience for poetry.
"The choice of which Fred Marchant poem was the most challenging,” said Alice Kociemba, guest editor of the 2015 edition. “I chose his poem, ‘A Salt Stronger,’ because it is an exquisite poem about the power of poetry to both bear witness to the horrors of war and to be a force of healing for its survivors."
Marchant is renowned in both the national and Boston poetry communities. He taught English at Suffolk for 31 years and is also the author of four books of poetry and founder/director of Suffolk’s Poetry Project. Kociemba, a poet and the director of the Calliope Poetry Series at the West Falmouth library, was thrilled to include Marchant in this edition of Common Threads. “Marchant is an esteemed teacher and mentor to many poets,” she said.
Marchant and Kociemba will host one of the Mass Poetry Common Threads discussion groups at the Suffolk University Poetry Center on Thursday, Jan. 29 at 5:30 p.m. You can learn more about the 2015 edition of Common Threads or sign up to participate on the Mass Poetry website.