Poetry is coming to the South End branch in April, with an eight-week program taught by Barbara Helfgott Hyatt. The award-winning poet, professor and public lecturer will be at the South End library on eight Monday mornings, starting April 4, to teach poetry to both beginning and experienced poet colleagues aged 55 and over. Sponsored by the BPL and a National Leadership Grant from the US Department of Museums and Libraries, the AARP, and other organizations interested in supporting and benefitting America's seniors, the program is limited to 15 people, and free to all. The workshops run from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and will show participants how to review the elements of a poem, the many forms a poem can take, and the various ways of editing a poem. The students will read, write and share their poetry every week. According to the poet's web site, Helfgott Hyatt has published five poetry collections, including In Evidence: Poems of the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps, which was selected Booklist's Editor's Choice. Other collections, including The Tracks We Leave: Poems on Endangered Wildlife of North America and Rift were widely reviewed. Her poems and essays have appeared in dozens of magazines including the New Republic, the Nation, the Hudson Review, the Massachusetts Review, Agni, Ploughshares, the Women's Review of Books, and in over 30 anthologies. She is the recipient of two Massachusetts Artists Fellowships in Poetry, the New England Poetry Club's Gertrude Warren Prize, the Herman Melville Commemorative Poetry Prize, Fellowships at Yaddo, the Wurlitzer Foundation, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and many other prizes and grants, including a Brother John Fellowship for Excellence in the Arts, awarded by the Boston Foundation in 2009.
Helfgott Hyett has taught English at the Teachers as Scholars program at Harvard, MIT, Trinity College, and Boston University, where she won the Sproat Award for Excellence in Teaching English. As a poet-in the-schools, she has served over 200 communities and was artist-in-residence at the MFA and the Fuller Art Museums. She is currently the director of PoemWorks, the Workshop for Publishing Poets, in Brookline, MA, which was named “One of the Best Workshops in Boston” by the Boston Globe.