Guide For Readers

Complete Guide for Participants in “2021 Boston Poetry Marathon – Onlinfe”

Thank you ALL for participating in this year’s “2021 Boston Poetry Marathon – Online.” Please go to https://bostonpoetrymarathon.wordpress.com/schedule/ for the latest updates to the schedule. 

Organizing an event like this is not a simple task. We have come up with a system to make it as easy as possible for you to participate. Please read through this guide before your reading. 

If You Have ANY Issues During the Event That Affects Your Ability to Participate

We have monitors checking our email during each hour of the event.

Please email thebostonpoetrymarathon@gmail.com right away if you have any problems.

In the email, let us know your name, your issue, and a phone number where we can reach you to help you. The monitor of the hour will get back to you as soon as possible. Monitors will either be one of the four organizers or a select few volunteers.


Your Internet Connection and Sound Quality 

  • Make sure you have a strong internet connection and can be heard clearly with whatever microphone you’re using
  • Make sure your mouth is visible on the camera and your face is well lit so that people can see you well while you read

Steps to Take If You Have Connection Issues

  • Trouble logging into the meeting
    • Remain calm. Take a breath. This is fixable!
    • Log out of your Zoom account online (zoom.us)
    • Log out of your Zoom account desktop app
    • Restart your computer
    • Launch the Zoom app (do NOT log on through the zoom.us wesbite)
    • Enter the Meeting ID from for your designated hour (see the email from thebostonpoetrymarathon@gmail.com for the Meeting ID and password)
    • This should work. If it doesn’t email thebostonpoetrymarathon@gmail.com. Tell us you name, phone number, and what your issue is.
  • Dealing with connection and sound issues 
    • If you have connection or major sound quality issues: 
      • Log off
      • Go to a location with a better connection
      • Log back in
      • Make sure your mouth is close to whatever microphone you’re using
    • We will try to fit you back into your hour before it ends 
      • That is, if you’re scheduled for 3:15 and you lose your connection/have sound quality issues, once you’ve successfully regained your connection, we will try to have you read at the end of the 3 o’clock hour
  • If your connection cannot be regained before the end of your scheduled hour, email thebostonpoetrymarathon@gmail.com, let us know your name, the issue you’re having, your original time slot, and a phone number for the Monitor of the hour to reach you at so they can try to help you with you issue.

Timing Your Reading

  • You have 5 minutes for your reading
    • The five minutes starts as soon as you begin speaking, so any intros to poems or anything like that is part of the 5 minute reading
  • Do your best to monitor your own time, but also…
  • Make sure you have the Chat open on Zoom
    • MC will post “1 min” in the chat when you have one minute left
    • MC will post “30 sec” in the chat when you have 30 seconds left
    • MC will interrupt you when your time is up and move along to the next reader
      • We love you and wish we could give you infinite time but with close to 150 poets in the line up, we have to keep to the set times
  • The MC will remind you of all this before the start of the hour

General Zoom Information

  • Please do not share the Zoom information sent to you in your email with anyone else – we are doing our best to avoid gate crashers (aka trolls). Help us by making sure not to share this info with anyone else. Thanks in advance!
  • Please arrive to the Zoom Meeting ten minutes before your designated hour is scheduled to start. (So, for example, if you’re scheduled for any time during the 4pm hour, please go to the Zoom meeting by 3:50pm.)
  • Make sure your Zoom Name is the same as the name on the schedule
  • If you are calling in instead of appearing by video, please email thebostonpoetrymarathon@gmail.com and let us know the phone number you are calling in from

Where to Watch

The Boston Poetry Marathon will be broadcast live to our accounts at

“Admission” is free, but we suggest a donation of $10+ to our fundraiser: https://www.gofundme.com/f/boston-poetry-marathon-2020-fundraiser-for-blm

Thank you all so much for participating in this year’s Boston Poetry Marathon!!!!