Mastheads Fireside is a program that connects our diverse community with innovative creative writing instruction and local literary history. It is named after the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers, including Holmes and Longfellow, whose poems and stories were enjoyed by families sitting around the fire (as the story goes). The mission of Fireside is inspired by those poets: to send literature and creative writing out into the community, as a daily practice, and to highlight and build upon the renown and inventiveness of our literary history and culture.
What makes Mastheads Fireside unique is its link to local, literary physical spaces and its grounding in local literary history. 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 renowned local literary culture, and making creative writing feel concrete and familiar. We can show students: this author was sitting in this house looking at this mountain and here’s the poem she wrote about it.
Elementary School Residency
This spring, we've partnered with Morningside Community School in Pittsfield to bring our first every poetry workshop to third-grade students. For our elementary school program, we create a workshop that makes creative writing feel significant, empowering, and fun.