Fireside, a collaboration between The Mastheads and the Pittsfield Public Schools, provides poetry programming at the elementary through high school level that connects students to the literary heritage of their city.

Named after the “Fireside Poets,” a group that includes writers with ties to Pittsfield including Oliver Wendell Holmes and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the program shares in the spirit of poetry as something to gather around, and to draw together families, communities, and schoolrooms.

Our ten-week workshops make creative writing feel significant, empowering, and fun.

We use local writers, authors' houses, and the five Mastheads studios as inspiration for writing classes and workshops, helping students to see themselves as part of a vibrant local literary culture, and making creative writing feel concrete and familiar. We currently partner with Morningside Community School, Allendale Elementary School, and Pittsfield High School, with each course culminating in the production of Student Anthology and a Student Poetry Reading for family, friends, and community members.

Check out some of our students' work below!


On the outside it’s plain and it’s dark.

It’s a creative house

or it’s not a house.

It smells like it was just painted.

All the plants wilted

and it’s a really big house.

I write inside of it and draw.

On the inside it’s pink of all things or colors.

There is a hallway.

There are holes in it so I don’t think it’s newly built.

There is a little pond and frogs.

It’s a small place.

There is a bird, a small one,

and there are more birds, too,

and a cactus.

When I get tired I go to bed.

When people come over I have rules:

Rule 1 Stay quiet.

Rule 2 Don’t kill.

Rule 3 Don’t even come in.

- Tru McNamara, 3rd Grade


It is in an oven

in the kitchen

in my house.

i cook my legs

and body into bacon.

There is

no rules.

- Dominic Lannon, 3rd Grade



The universe is poetry.

Poetry is the universe.

Is poetry the universe?

Poetry is a chocolate universe.

Poetry is a universe puppy.

- Niamonnie Artis Fountain, 3rd Grade