Library Friends sponsor ‘Glitter Road’ program for Black History Month 

January 19, 2024

Continuing the Poetry at the Library Series, noted poet January Gill O’Neil will read from her latest work, Glitter Road, on Sunday, February 4 from 3 to 4:15 p.m. in the Goodwin Forum at the Main Library. 

“My poems brought me to Oxford, Mississippi,” wrote O’Neil, who in 2019 moved with her two teenagers from Massachusetts for a writer in residence position at the University of Mississippi. “We took trips to the Delta and leaned into the history of the enslaved and the tragic story of Emmett Till, and explored the rivers and landscapes that shaped the South.” 

Glitter Road explores the legacy of Emmett Till, how his story is braided with hers, and how race binds people together. O’Neil’s work has garnered accolades.  

“In Glitter Road, the brilliant and beautiful collection of poems by January Gill O’Neil, we are taken from truth to tenderness, old love to new love, the Northeast to the Deep South and everywhere in between,” said author Kelli Russell Agodon. “The engaging lyric forms move seamlessly from Tina Turner to the legacy of Emmett Till to cartwheels, to a Hallmark card that hasn’t been invented yet, and into John Grisham’s bed.” 

Author Aimee Nezhukumatathil says, “In sure and talented hands like O’Neil’s, vibrant landscapes whirl, take root, and break bread with ghosts.” 

O’Neil, of Beverly, is an associate professor at Salem State University and the author of Rewilding, Misery Islands, and Underlife, all published by CavanKerry Press. Her poetry has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day series, American Poetry Review, Poetry, and Sierra magazine. From 2012 to 2018, she was executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, and she is the 2022-2024 board chair of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.  

The program is free, but registration is required. To sign up, visit