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Welcome to the schedule of poetry events happening in Massachusetts! This schedule contains events happening all over the state, as entered by our Poetry Partners and others. It is not limited to Mass Poetry events. To submit an event, click here. If you’d like to be authorized to add events directly to the calendar, email programassistant@masspoetry.org.

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Western MA [clear filter]
Monday, January 20
 

9:00pm

The Dirty Gerund Poetry Series featuring Adam Stone
Open mic followed by feature from Adam Stone.

21+, free admission, donations accepted.

Readers/Speakers

Monday January 20, 2020 9:00pm - 10:00pm
Ralph's Rock Diner 148 Grove St., Worcester
 
Monday, January 27
 

8:30pm

Dirty Gerund Poetry Show ft. Lynne Schmidt
Featured Poet: Lynn(e) Schmidt is the author of the poetry chapbooks, Gravity (Nightingale & Sparrow Press), On Becoming a Role Model ( Thirty West Publishing House, Spring 2020), and Dead Dog Poems (Bottlecap Press, Summer 2020). She is a mental health professional in Maine writing memoir, poetry, and young adult fiction. Her work has received the Maine Nonfiction Award, Editor's Choice Award, Honorable Mention for the Charles Bukowski Poetry Award, and was a 2018 and 2019 PNWA finalist for memoir and poetry respectively. When given the choice, Lynne prefers the company of her three dogs and one cat to humans. 

Bonus Ruckus: The return of the Holy Hot Sauce Sonnet Challenge! We'll bring an absurd hot sauce for you to shoot! Also some sonnets. Survive the dumbness and we'll reward you and stuff! 

The super talented Hal Gaucher is providing the visual arts!

Joy Pond is holding it DOWN on snacks! 

Music by Jacob Leevai and (hopefully) friends! 

21 plus
$2 to $5 suggested donation

Readers/Speakers

Monday January 27, 2020 8:30pm - 11:30pm
Ralph's Rock Diner 148 Grove St., Worcester
 
Thursday, February 6
 

4:30pm

Experience and Experiment: Prose Writing Series
Gwendolyn Edward is hearing impaired, queer, and a member of the Cherokee Nation. Her writing has earned nominations for both the Pushcart and Best American Essays, and her prose and poetry have appeared in AssayCrab Orchard ReviewBrevityFourth RiverBooth, and others. She retains a MA from the University of North Texas, an MFA from Bennington College, and is currently finishing her PhD at the University of Missouri, where she lives with her partner. When she’s not weightlifting, playing video games, or reading all the books she’s amassed, she writes speculative fiction, nontraditional nonfiction, and bends genre. 
The Prose Writing Series is presented by the Department of English.

Readers/Speakers

8:00pm

CAConrad + Dawn Lundy Martin
The University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA for Poets and Writers presents a reading by CAConrad and Dawn Lundy Martin on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. in the Old Chapel. The reading will be followed by a book signing and refreshments. 

CAConrad is a 2019 Creative Capital Fellow and the author of 9 books of poetry and essays: their While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books, 2017) received the 2018 Lambda Award. A recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, they also received the Believer Magazine Book Award and the Gil Ott Book Award. Their work has been translated into Spanish, Greek, Polish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Danish, French, and German. They teach regularly at Columbia University and at the Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam. Influenced by Eileen Myles, Audre Lorde, Alice Notley, and Emily Dickinson, Conrad writes poems in which stark images of sex, violence, and defiance build a bridge between fable and confession. They are a visiting faculty member for Spring 2020 at UMass Amherst.
 
Dawn Lundy Martin is a poet, essayist, and conceptual video artist. She is the author of four books of poems: Good Stock Strange Blood; Life in a Box is a Pretty Life; which won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry; DISCIPLINE; A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering; and three limited edition chapbooks. Most recently, she co-edited with Erica Hunt an anthology, Letters to the Future: BLACK WOMEN / Radical WRITING. Her nonfiction can be found in The New Yorker, Harper’s, n+1, and elsewhere. Martin is a Professor of English in the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh and Director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics. She is the recipient of the 2019 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.
 
Celebrating its fifty-sixth year, the nationally renowned Visiting Writers Series at UMass Amherst presents emerging and established writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. The Series is sponsored by the MFA for Poets and Writers and the Juniper Initiative, and made possible by support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the University of Massachusetts Arts Council, the English Department, and others. 

All events are free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible. Find us on Facebook here.

Readers/Speakers


Thursday February 6, 2020 8:00pm - 9:30pm
The Old Chapel, University of Massachusetts Amherst 144 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01002

8:00pm

Visiting Writers Series: CA Conrad and Dawn Lundy Martin
CAConrad received a 2019 Creative Capital grant to complete their nationwide (Soma)tic poetry ritual titled, "Resurrect Extinct Vibration." They also received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, as well as The Believer Magazine Book Award and The Gil Ott Book Award. The author of 9 books of poetry and essays, While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books) won the 2018 Lambda Book Award. They teach regularly at Columbia University in New York City, and Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam. Spring 2020 they will be teaching at UMass, Amherst. Please view their books and the documentary The Book of Conrad from Delinquent Films online at http://bit.ly/88CAConrad
Dawn Lundy Martin is a poet, essayist, and conceptual video artist. She is the author of four books of poems: Good Stock Strange Blood; Life in a Box is a Pretty Life; which won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry; DISCIPLINE; A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering; and three limited edition chapbooks. Most recently, she co-edited with Erica Hunt an anthology, Letters to the Future: BLACK WOMEN / Radical WRITING. Her nonfiction can be found in The New Yorker, Harper’s, n+1, and elsewhere. Martin is a Professor of English in the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh and Director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics. She is the recipient of the 2019 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.

Readers/Speakers

 
Saturday, February 8
 

7:00pm

Poetic Recovery
Are you a socially conscious hip-hop artist or poet who is looking to inspire, be inspired and collaborate with other like-minded individuals like yourself? Join us for this monthly Poetic Recovery workshop every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month to share our own work within a supportive community. We will discuss artistic consciousness, different aspects of the cultural work, and the possibilities that potentially await you.
Bring something to write with, something to write on and you.
Suggested donation is $10.00.
--
The workshop host, Maurice Taylor, is an East Coast director of hip-hop congress and has been organizing open mics, poetry slams and hip-hop workshops for over 20 years. Maurice “Soulfighter” Taylor set out in 2006 to create Poetic Recovery as a platform to give voice to artists in recovery. It is a collection of cultural and educational activities that facilitate the nurturing of artists towards higher consciousness. These activities allow artists to reflect and perform for audiences from communities effected by traumatic experiences. These shared energies will help facilitate a cultural healing process between artists and community to recover of our cultural identity appropriated and exploited by the music industry that has resulted in cultural genocide.

Readers/Speakers

Saturday February 8, 2020 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Make-It Springfield 168 Worthington Street Springfield, MA 01103
 
Tuesday, February 18
 

7:30pm

Kathleen Graber @ the Poetry Center
Taking its title from Heraclitus’s famous fragment—“You cannot step into the same river twice”—KATHLEEN GRABER’s new collection interweaves philosophy, personal narrative, and the flotsam of contemporary life to explore ideas linked to impermanence, change, language, and community. Poet Linda Gregerson has described Graber as “one of the finest poets working in America today; no one can surpass her for musicianship or moral penetration,” and Tracy K. Smith has praised Graber’s lyric philosophy as “supreme consolation” in this troubled era. In addition to The River Twice (Princeton University Press, 2019), Graber is also the author of The Eternal City (2010), chosen for the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets and a finalist for the National Book Award, and Correspondence (2006), winner of the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She teaches creative writing and literature at Virginia Commonwealth University.



All of our main schedule readings are free and open to the public and begin at 7:30 p.m. Books can be purchased onsite and signings follow the readings. More detail can be found on our home page.






Readers/Speakers

 
Thursday, February 20
 

7:00pm

Rescue Press Poetry Reading @ Amherst Books
Rescue Press authors, Tessa Micaela, Caren Beilin, Hanna Brooks-Motl, & Melissa Dickey, will read from recent work.   Micaela writes poems & letters, often to inanimate objects.   They are the author of there are boxes and there is wantingCrude Matter, & Where Bells Begin .   Beilin is the author of SpainBlackfishing the IUD, & The University of Pennsylvania.   Brooks-Motl is the author of the poetry collections The New YearsM, & Earth.   Dickey is the author of two books of poems, Dragons & The Lily Will.   Her poetry, nonfiction, & reviews have appeared recently in Bennington Review, the Spectacle, the Laurel Review, & Kenyon Review Online, among other publications


Thursday February 20, 2020 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Amherst Books 8 Main Street, Amherst, MA
 
Tuesday, February 25
 

7:00pm

Martha Ackman
Join us on Tuesday, February 25 at 7:00pm for a book talk and signing with Martha Ackmann, author of These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson.

About the BookAn engaging, intimate portrait of Emily Dickinson, one of America’s greatest and most-mythologized poets, that sheds new light on her groundbreaking poetry.
On August 3, 1845, young Emily Dickinson declared, “All things are ready” and with this resolute statement, her life as a poet began. Despite spending her days almost entirely “at home” (the occupation listed on her death certificate), Dickinson’s interior world was extraordinary. She loved passionately, was hesitant about publication, embraced seclusion, and created 1,789 poems that she tucked into a dresser drawer.
In These Fevered Days, Martha Ackmann unravels the mysteries of Dickinson’s life through ten decisive episodes that distill her evolution as a poet. Ackmann follows Dickinson through her religious crisis while a student at Mount Holyoke, which prefigured her lifelong ambivalence toward organized religion and her deep, private spirituality. We see the poet through her exhilarating frenzy of composition, through which we come to understand her fiercely self-critical eye and her relationship with sister-in-law and first reader, Susan Dickinson. Contrary to her reputation as a recluse, Dickinson makes the startling decision to ask a famous editor for advice, writes anguished letters to an unidentified “Master,” and keeps up a lifelong friendship with writer Helen Hunt Jackson. At the peak of her literary productivity, she is seized with despair in confronting possible blindness.
Utilizing thousands of archival letters and poems as well as never-before-seen photos, These Fevered Days constructs a remarkable map of Emily Dickinson’s inner life. Together, these ten days provide new insights into her wildly original poetry and render a concise and vivid portrait of American literature’s most enigmatic figure.

About the AuthorMartha Ackmann, author of These Fevered Days, Curveball, and The Mercury 13, writes about women who have changed America. The recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, Ackmann taught a popular seminar on Dickinson at Mount Holyoke College and lives in western Massachusetts.

This event is free & open to the public.

Readers/Speakers

Tuesday February 25, 2020 7:00pm - 8:30pm
The Odyssey Bookshop 9 College St. South Hadley, MA 01075
 
Thursday, February 27
 

8:00pm

Shayla Lawson @ Amherst Books
Shayla Lawson will read as part of the UMass Visiting Writers Series.   Lawson is the poet in residence at Amherst College.   She is author of the poetry collection, I Think I’m Ready to See Frank Ocean & the forthcoming collection of essays, This Is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, & Being Dope.

Readers/Speakers

Thursday February 27, 2020 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Amherst Books 8 Main Street, Amherst, MA

8:00pm

Visiting Writers Series: Shayla Lawson
Shayla Lawson is the author of A Speed Education in Human Being, the chapbook PANTONE and I Think I’m Ready to see Frank Ocean—and the forthcoming essay collection THIS IS MAJOR (Harper Perennial, 2020). She is also co-curator of The Tenderness Project with Ross Gay. A MacDowell and Yaddo Artist Colony Fellow, Shayla Lawson is a member of The Affrilachian Poets & currently serves as Writer-in-Residence at Amherst College.

Readers/Speakers

 
Thursday, March 5
 

5:00pm

Amherst Arts Night Plus Open Mic and Features
Monthly Amherst Arts Night Plus at the Emily Dickinson Museum celebrates contemporary art and poetry in our historic setting. From 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., view the pop-up, contemporary art exhibition in the Homestead by our monthly featured artist. Poets, writers, and performers of any kind are welcome to share work at our open mic, which begins at 6:00 p.m. Stay after the open mic for the featured reader of the month. Open mic sign-ups are between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. This program is free and open to the public.

Featured Poet: Karen Skolfield

Karen Skolfield’s book Battle Dress (W. W. Norton, 2019) won the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Her book Frost in the Low Areas (Zone 3 Press) won the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry and the First Book Award from Zone 3 Press and is a Massachusetts “Must Read” selection. She is the poet laureate for Northampton, Massachusetts, for 2019-2021.

Skolfield is the winner of the 2016 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in poetry from The Missouri Review, the 2015 Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the 2015 Arts & Humanities Award from New England Public Radio. She’s received fellowships and awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Split This Rock, Ucross Foundation, Hedgebrook, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center. Skolfield is a U.S. Army veteran and teaches writing to engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts.

Readers/Speakers
avatar for Karen Skolfield

Karen Skolfield

Karen Skolfield’s book Frost in the Low Areas (Zone 3 Press) won the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry. She is the winner of the 2016 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in poetry from The Missouri Review; new poems appear in 32 Poems, Ploughshares, Sixth Finch, and elsewhere... Read More →


Thursday March 5, 2020 5:00pm - 8:00pm
The Emily Dickinson Museum 280 Main Street, Amherst, MA 01002
 
Tuesday, March 10
 

7:30pm

Jericho Brown @ the Poetry Center
In his third and most recent collection, The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press, 2019), JERICHO BROWN focuses his attention on the black queer body, bringing both terror and beauty to the fore in his formally inventive poems. Maya Phillips writes, “In Brown’s poems, the body at risk — the infected body, the abused body, the black body, the body in eros — is most vulnerable to the cruelty of the world.” The Tradition (a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award) is preceded by The New Testament (Copper Canyon Press, 2014) and Please (New Issues Press, 2008). Brown’s poems have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry. He is a recipient of a Whiting Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown is an associate professor and director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University.
 Co-Sponsored by the Smith College Lecture Committee, the Department of Africana Studies, the Department of English Language and Literature, and the Program for the Study of Women and Gender.
All of our main schedule readings are free and open to the public and begin at 7:30 p.m. Books can be purchased onsite and signings follow the readings.




Readers/Speakers

Tuesday March 10, 2020 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Weinstein Auditorium, Smith College
 
Wednesday, March 11
 

8:00pm

Fatimah Asghar and Franny Choi: Poetry and Conversation
The poets Fatimah Asghar and Franny Choi will read from their work and talk about poetry on Wednesday, March 11th, at 8 p.m. at Amherst Books (8 Main Street). The event, sponsored by the Amherst College Creative Writing Center, is free and open to the public and will be followed by refreshments. 

Asghar is poet, filmmaker, educator and performer, as well as the creator of the Emmy-nominated Web series Brown Girls. She is the author of the poetry collection If They Come For Us and the co-editor of Halal If You Hear Me, an anthology celebrating Muslim writers who are also women, queer, gender nonconforming and/or trans. Choi is the author of two poetry collections, Soft Science, which Monica Youn called “raw and radiant” and Floating, Brilliant, Gone. She edits for Hyphen Magazine and co-hosts the podcast VS alongside fellow Dark Noise Collective member Danez Smith.

Readers/Speakers

Wednesday March 11, 2020 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Amherst Books 8 Main Street, Amherst, MA
 
Saturday, March 14
 

7:00pm

Poetic Recovery
Are you a socially conscious hip-hop artist or poet who is looking to inspire, be inspired and collaborate with other like-minded individuals like yourself? Join us for this monthly Poetic Recovery workshop every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month to share our own work within a supportive community. We will discuss artistic consciousness, different aspects of the cultural work, and the possibilities that potentially await you.
Bring something to write with, something to write on and you.
Suggested donation is $10.00.
--
The workshop host, Maurice Taylor, is an East Coast director of hip-hop congress and has been organizing open mics, poetry slams and hip-hop workshops for over 20 years. Maurice “Soulfighter” Taylor set out in 2006 to create Poetic Recovery as a platform to give voice to artists in recovery. It is a collection of cultural and educational activities that facilitate the nurturing of artists towards higher consciousness. These activities allow artists to reflect and perform for audiences from communities effected by traumatic experiences. These shared energies will help facilitate a cultural healing process between artists and community to recover of our cultural identity appropriated and exploited by the music industry that has resulted in cultural genocide.

Readers/Speakers

Saturday March 14, 2020 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Make-It Springfield 168 Worthington Street Springfield, MA 01103
 
Saturday, March 21
 

10:00am

Community Poetry Experience! Round 3
Calling All Poets … and everyone interested in poetry and the spoken word … EXPRESS YOURSELF!

Welcome to the Westfield Community Poetry Experience, a series of monthly open mic poetry events and experiences leading up to the celebration of National Poetry Month in April. 

These events are FREE and open to all. This event is the third open mic event in this series and is also part of our Art In Unusual Places series launched in December 2019.

One theme of this event is welcoming the Vernal Equinox ... springtime and all the signs of renewal it brings!

Write, read or just stop by and listen! Watch for writing prompts for each session on Facebook, inspired and motivated by art work by local and regional artists to stimulate written works and discussion. 

Write. Read. Share. Listen. You’re invited …

Saturday March 21, 2020 10:00am - 12:00pm
Olver Transit Pavillion 10 Arnold St, Westfield, MA 01085
 
Thursday, March 26
 

5:00pm

Author Talks: Cameron Awkward-Rich
Cameron Awkward-Rich is an assistant professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the author of two poetry collections – Sympathetic Little Monster (2016), which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and Dispatch (2019), winner of the 2019 Lexi Rudnitsky Editor's Choice Award. A Cave Canem fellow, his poetry has been published in Poetry, American Poetry Review, the Academy of American Poet's Poem A Day series, and elsewhere, and his critical writing can be found in Signs, Science Fiction Studies, American Quarterly, Transgender Studies Quarterly. 

Directions:http://www.library.umass.edu/locations/

Readers/Speakers

 
Saturday, April 4
 

1:00pm

Everything Begins Somewhere Book Launch & Reading
Y'all: Amanda Lou Doster's chapbook, Everything Begins Somewhere, is FINALLY almost done for real this time! Come celebrate! 

Reading/Book-Selling/Book-Signing/Snack-Eating, exact schedule TBD later. 

The poetry isn't super kid-friendly, but Amanda's kiddo is coming & other kids are welcome & not expected to sit quietly listening to poetry. More details later!

Readers/Speakers

Saturday April 4, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Federal Street Books 8 Federal St. Greenfield
 
Saturday, April 11
 

7:00pm

Poetic Recovery
Are you a socially conscious hip-hop artist or poet who is looking to inspire, be inspired and collaborate with other like-minded individuals like yourself? Join us for this monthly Poetic Recovery workshop every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month to share our own work within a supportive community. We will discuss artistic consciousness, different aspects of the cultural work, and the possibilities that potentially await you.
Bring something to write with, something to write on and you.
Suggested donation is $10.00.
--
The workshop host, Maurice Taylor, is an East Coast director of hip-hop congress and has been organizing open mics, poetry slams and hip-hop workshops for over 20 years. Maurice “Soulfighter” Taylor set out in 2006 to create Poetic Recovery as a platform to give voice to artists in recovery. It is a collection of cultural and educational activities that facilitate the nurturing of artists towards higher consciousness. These activities allow artists to reflect and perform for audiences from communities effected by traumatic experiences. These shared energies will help facilitate a cultural healing process between artists and community to recover of our cultural identity appropriated and exploited by the music industry that has resulted in cultural genocide.

Readers/Speakers

Saturday April 11, 2020 7:00pm - 11:00pm
Make-It Springfield 168 Worthington Street Springfield, MA 01103
 
Wednesday, April 15
 

8:00pm

Visiting Writers Series: Mary Ruefle
Mary Ruefle is the author of many books, including Dunce (Wave Books, 2019), My Private Property (Wave Books, 2016), Trances of the Blast (Wave Books, 2013), Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures (Wave Books, 2012), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, and Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2010), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has also published a comic book, Go Home and Go to Bed! (Pilot Books/Orange Table Comics, 2007), and is an erasure artist, whose treatments of nineteenth century texts have been exhibited in museums and galleries and published in A Little White Shadow (Wave Books, 2006). Ruefle is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Robert Creeley Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Whiting Award. Her most recent book, Dunce (Wave Books, 2019), was long listed for the National Book Award in poetry. She lives in Bennington, Vermont.

Readers/Speakers

 
Thursday, April 16
 

7:00pm

Queer + Trans Poetry and Prose Reading and Open Mic
Read and listen to queer and trans writing - your own or others! Come early to sign up for the open mic and bring a friend.
Hosted by creative writing faculty Samuel Ace and Andrea Lawlor. Co-sponsored by the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum and the MHC Department of English.

 
Saturday, April 18
 

10:00am

Community Poetry Experience!
Calling All Poets … and everyone interested in poetry and the spoken word … EXPRESS YOURSELF!

Welcome to the Westfield Community Poetry Experience! This is the final event in the series of monthly open mic poetry events and experiences culminating in a celebration of National Poetry Month.

We celebrate National Poetry Month at this event with light refreshments, open mic poetry readings and recognition of some of the poetry written and read during the Community Poetry Experience series run from January through April.

This event is FREE and open to all, marking the series finale!

Write, read or just stop by and listen! Watch for writing prompts for each session on Facebook, inspired and motivated by art work by local and regional artists to stimulate written works and discussion. 

Write. Read. Share. Listen. You’re invited … 


Saturday April 18, 2020 10:00am - 12:00pm
Blue Umbrella Books 2 Main St, Westfield, MA 01085
 
Saturday, May 9
 

1:00pm

Florence Poetry Carnival
The Florence Poetry Carnival is a community art event that takes place in the middle of town. This is the second year the carnival is part of ArtWeekMass. This public art project presents poetry as an inclusive and accessible expressive art through playful interactivity and by programming poetry as a multi and interdisciplinary art form. In the afternoon, strolling performers, poetry on demand and custom poetry carnival games are part of lawn activities. The day will close with a shared reading by local poets laureate: Springfield's Magdalena Gomez, Hadley's Wanda Cook and Maria Jose Gimenez, Easthampton's 2019 poet laureate. Please come join us! Stay up to date : https://www.facebook.com/florencepoetrycarnival



 


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