‘Poets for Life: Poets Respond to AIDS’ Slated for April 9

NORTHAMPTON — On Saturday, April 9 at 3 p.m., Patrick Donnelly, 2015-17 poet laureate of Northampton, will host “Poets for Life: Poets Respond to AIDS,” a benefit reading in support of A Positive Place (formerly AIDS Care/Hampshire County), a nonprofit organization providing a wide array of services for people with HIV in Hampshire and surrounding counties.

The event will be held at the Paradise Room, Conference Center, Smith College, 51 College Lane, Northampton. The Northampton Council for the Arts and the Poetry Center at Smith College are co-sponsors of the benefit. Tickets for the event are $20 and may be purchased online at poetsforlife.brownpapertickets.com, or by phone at (800) 838-3006, ext. 1, or at the door at the event. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit A Positive Place.

Those unable to attend the event can designate a tax-deductible donation through poetsforlife.brownpapertickets.com to make it possible for one of A Positive Place’s clients to attend.

“In the 35 years since AIDS began, there has been not only a medical and social-service response to preventing and treating the disease, but there has also been a response from artists of all kinds, mourning the losses and celebrating the victories,” Donnelly said. “Specifically, American poets have created an entire literature of AIDS, leaving for the future an important record of this time.”

Poets for Life will feature readings by award-winning poets Eduardo C. Corral, Patrick Donnelly, Michael Klein, and Joan Larkin, who will read not only from their own poetry about the epidemic, but from the work of other notable poets, living and dead. Singer-songwriter Laura Wetzler will also perform.

Since 1991, A Positive Place has been providing comprehensive, confidential case management and health-related support services, filling life-saving needs for people living with HIV/AIDS in the county. Anyone living with HIV or AIDS is eligible for services regardless of level of need, health status, or ability to pay. Services are free to people living with HIV.