Richard Michelson: Poet Laureate
Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul 
a Northampton "April is Poetry Month" Celebration
April 16 to April 30th 

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul:


Northampton is the home of many of the best eateries in the nation. And Northampton is the birthplace of some of the best poetry being written today.


Is it any wonder? Great Food and Great Poetry have always gone together. Chefs can work from the same basic ingredients, but how they mix them together makes all the difference. Poets have words at their disposal, but each assembles them in his or her own way.


As Northampton's current Northampton Poet Laureate, I want to celebrate what makes our city special; and just the fact that we have a Poet Laureate shows how seriously we take our arts (though dressing in drag as Emily Dickinson to host last year's Transperformance-Food Groups was far from my own most dignified engagement).


During the last two weeks of April, which is national Poetry Month, most all Northampton area Restaurants/Caf�s/Bakeries/Ice Cream Shops/Bars will feature a poem about food written by a local Northampton area poet. These will be printed on their menu or chalk board, or copied and stacked on their counters, or placed in their windows.  No one will be able to eat out in Northampton without encountering poetry!


I like to thank the Restaurants for wholeheartedly supporting this crazy idea-almost all got back to me with an enthusiastic "yes" well before I figured out exactly what we were planning. And all offered generous free meals/desserts/drinks to their "house poet."


Participating poets include Richard Wilbur, a national treasure and previous US Poet Laureate, as well as 4 previous Northampton Poets Laureate, and 35 additional poets.


Remember to Eat Local and Read Local --- A list of participating Restaurants and Poets is below.  


I'd be happy to speak with you all about this and other Poet Laureate Projects if you are interested. Many of the poets will also be available for interviews.


My email is or


Thanks, Rich  Michelson


A good meal like a good poem can give us sustenance, or transport us to another place, or remind us of our childhoods. Let's bring Poetry back to the common table. 

List of Participating Restaurants



Bueno y Sano

Bistro Les Gras

Coolidge Caf�

Eastside Grill




Herrills Ice Cream


Hungry Ghost

India House


Joe's Caf�

Kathy's Diner

La Fiorentina

La Veracruzana


Local Burger

Mama Iguana



Northampton Coffee




 Paul & Elizabeth's

 Pizzeria Paradiso



Sam's Pizzeria

Sierra Bar and Grill



Tart Bakery


The Foundry

The Green Bean

The Roost

Toasted Owl

Viva Fresh Pasta

Wiggins Tavern



List of  Participating Poets: 


Janet Aalfs

Doug Anderson

Annie Boutelle

Sarah Browning

Wyn Cooper

Trish Crapo

Abbott Cutler

Corinne Demas

Lori Derochier

Patrick Donnelly

Roz Driscoll

Carol Edelstein

Martin Espada

Howie Fairstein

Jack Gilbert

D.M. Gordon

Deborah Gorlin

Wil Hastings

James Heflin

John Hennessey

David Kherdian

Brad leithouser

Patricia Lee Lewis

Ellen Lefleche

Margaret Lloyd

Henry Lyman

Gary Metras

Lesl�a Newman

Lisa Olstein

Brooks Robards

Mikael Ryan

Pat Schneider

Jonathan Stevens

Susan Stinson

Wally Swist

Gail Thomas

Ellen Watson

Richard Wilbur

Annie Woodhull

Baron Wormser

Jane Yolen