Boston is a city filled with literary history – there’s even a Literary District where you can see locations where authors lived in the past or which were featured in their writings – but it's not all in the past.
Artistic history is still being made here, now with the release of Boston’s first-ever city poem anthology.
Called “City of Notions: An Anthology of Contemporary Boston Poems,” the collection contains work from nearly 60 poets, including some for whom this is their first published work as well as U.S. poets laureate familiar with seeing their words in print.
The name “City of Notions” was chosen as a reference to one of Boston’s former nicknames from the early 19th century. Similar to why some call it “the Hub,” Boston earned the label “City of Notions” because of its reputation as a source of innovation and ideas, according to the Associated Press.
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Contributors include Margaret Atwood, Nick Flynn, Robert Pinsky, Mary Oliver, Boston’s own Poet Laureate Danielle Legros Georges and many more.
Georges will help celebrate the anthology’s release on Thursday night with a public reading at the Boston Public Library’s Central Branch in Copley Square. The reading will be held in the library’s courtyard, beginning at 6 p.m.
Georges, who was appointed as the city’s poet laureate in 2014, helped edit the anthology as well. To her, the role of poet laureate means she is an advocate for poetry, language and the arts in Boston, she said when she was first appointed, and she is “tasked with raising the status of poetry in the everyday consciousness of Bostonians.”
The anthology serves as a collection to salute those aspects of everyday life in Boston, according to the event organizers, from the T to Storrow Drive to the Boston Marathon.
“A mayor’s greatest privilege and greatest resource is listening to people all across our city, as they share their thoughts, their hurts, their hopes and their dreams,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. “‘City of Notions’ reflects and enriches that conversation as only art can.”
“City of Notions” public reading, Thursday, July 27, 6 p.m. McKim Courtyard, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Boston