The Notebooks Collective is a virtual literary arts space founded by poets Rebecca Connors and Lisa Allen, out of the need to share poetry, learn from each other, and connect in the time of COVID-19. We launched with our first event in February 2021. Further plans include rolling out submit-athons, classes and writing nights, readings, an artist and writer in residence program, community conversations, and more. We will be working to illuminate new and emerging voices, create a community of learners, and celebrate with joy our time with each other.

Rebecca Connors

Rebecca Connors looking to her left

Rebecca Connors’ poems can be found in Glass, Rogue Agent, Lily Poetry Review, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, among others. She lives with her family in Boston, where she received her MFA at the Solstice Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College. Her poems have been nominated for the Orison Anthology and the Pushcart Prize.

Her chapbook manuscript, Split Map, won the Dare to Speak Chapbook Contest and was published by Minerva Rising Press in Spring 2019.

Along with her writing and studying, she works at the Community Music Center of Boston to promote its programs and mission. She has too many plants and a weakness for regency romances, horror stories, and disease ecology. Her favorite notebook is the Moleskine hardcover.

Lisa Allen

Lisa Allen, smiling at the camera.

Lisa Allen (she/her/hers) fell in love with poetry at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA, where she’d traveled from her home in Kansas to pursue an MFA in creative nonfiction—and then, during each night’s readings, closed her eyes and listened to the poetry of Meg Kearney, Dzvinia Orlowsky, Nicole Terez-Dutton, and Randall Horton (and countless other guests and fellow students). It was there that she began to understand that poetry is both singular and communal—and it was there that she realized that Lucille Clifton was right when she said, “Poetry is a matter of life, not just of language.”

Lisa’s work can be found or is forthcoming in Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now (Putnam, 2015), The Bacopa Literary Review (2018 and 2019, discussed here by Editor Kaye Linden), the anthology Feckless Cunt (World Split Open Press, 2018, read by Susan Rukeyser on the podcast Desert Lady Diaries), Midway Journal (2019), Lily Poetry Review (2019), 3Elements Review (2019), Dine: An Anthology (Books by Hippocampus, 2020), and December Magazine (2020). She volunteers at VIDA as a Creative Nonfiction reader. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Midway Journal in 2019.

She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the Solstice Low Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Pine Manor College, where she was a Michael Steinberg fellow in Creative Nonfiction. She works as a librarian and as a freelance editor and writer, teacher, and speaker. Lisa lives in a suburb of Kansas City, Kansas. Her (current) favorite notebook is the Midori A6 size, dot grid.