The official definition of MAD, as in the MAD POETS SOCIETY, is NOT that we are poets who are necessarily ticked off. We are ‘mad’ in the classic sense:  a little crazy, but not someone you’d move away from on the bus

~Eileen M. D’Angelo, Director, Mad Poets Society

 Again, and again, and again, the Mad Poet Society answers the question:  “Can poetry matter?”  with a resounding, definitive, exclamatory “YES.”

    ~Kathleen Volk Miller, Co-editor, Painted Bride Quarterly

I am mad in love with the Mad Poets. My association, as poet, teacher and audience, has been long and joyous. From their terrific reading series to their cool t-shirts, which never fail to get a woman to put her hand on my chest and say ‘Wow, where did you get this shirt?’, the Mad Poets treat Poetry with dignity, verve and affection. I’m sure the Mad Poets logo is on a billboard on the way to Nirvana.

~Leonard Gontarek

The Mad Poets have done a beautiful thing: they have created a culture of poetry for our region, a microclimate of writing, reading, and performance, a home-made ecosystem of sensitivity, craft, and fellowship in exploring the universe through language. If this is what it means to be mad, please, God, let us all be Mad Poets.

~Jon Timpane, Philadelphia Inquirer, Author of Poetry for Dummies

There would always have been poetry — plenty of poetry — in the Philadelphia area; there are so many good, dedicated poets.  However, I’m not sure how much we would know about it — about the community of writers and their work — if it were not for the Mad Poets. Wordsworth is on the right track: “Poets in their youth begin in gladness,” it is the payoff, though, when they find the madness. I’m glad for my twenty year association with The Mad Poets.

~Louis McKee

I can think of no other poetry organization that has managed to muster the energy, enthusiasm, and consistency that the Mad Poets Society has demonstrated over the past two decades.  From regular reading series at multiple venues all over the Delaware Valley to their annual Mad Poets Review, the Mad Poets are an inspiration and a delight.

~WD Ehrhart

Mad Poets has been a staple of the metropolitan Philadelphia area’s literary scene for twenty years, and hopefully remain so for another twenty years.

~Joe Farley, Cynic Press

The Mad Poets are a vital source of energy for poetry in Philadelphia. Eileen D’Angelo and the Mad Poets are everywhere, turning up the volume and fueling poetry unceasingly.  Without them, the region would be sadder and way too quiet.

~Barb Daniels

The Mad Poet’s Society provides a sense of community for writers. An opportunity to explore poetry through public readings, and to discover what shines in the world we inhabit.

~Bill Wunder, former Bucks County Poet Laureate

God bless the Mad Poets!  From the moment I walked into one of their readings a dozen years ago I grew the courage to take my voice into the world.

~Kelley Jean White, former Poetry Editor of Schuylkill Valley Journal

Mad Poets has supported young poets for many years with their Delaware County Young Poet’s Competition. As a Poet-in-Residence working in several Delaware County schools for almost ten years, I know firsthand the deep pride and validation that these awards bring to emerging writers. Years later, a student will remember this recognition and say it is the first time they truly believed they could be a poet. Kudos to Eileen D’Angelo, Mary Ellen Goldfarb, and Margie Stern for their sustained efforts to provide a vehicle for children’s original and profound voices to be heard!

~Joanne Sutton-Smith, Director, Swarthmore Writers Room


The Mad Poets have raised awareness of poetry and gotten young poets involved over the last 25 years in suburban Philadelphia!  The gathering of poets at the annual Mad Poets Festival—over fifty of them each year– can you imagine the fireworks in one spot– is an invaluable event for local poets to renew and network!  It’s just a hell of a lot of fun to go to a Mad Poets reading, if “Mad” means “dynamic, inspirational, comradely!”

~Ray Greenblatt

Reading MPR every year reminds me, as Thomas Merton once pointed out, that “for the poet there is precisely no magic. There is only life in all its unpredictability and all its freedom.” So here’s to the life of the Mad Poet!

~Don LaBranche

Mad Poets Society is one of the best things about living and writing poems in and around Philadelphia. It doesn’t take anyone who writes or cares about good writing to learn that this group is responsible for hundreds of readings in dozens of venues around the area, and it only takes attendance at one such event to realize these folks know how to pull in fun and lively audiences… The region would be considerably poorer without Mad Poets.

~Alison Hicks, Philadelphia Wordshop

I don’t know what I’d do without the Mad Poets Critique Circle!  Where else can you have a great time on a Wednesday night with a bunch of other writers, passionately debating the placement of a comma?  Someone always suggests the exact right finishing touches for my poems-in-progress — a synonym, a change in line sequence, different spacing, an alternate line break — SOMEthing that *clicks,* that “works.”  This is a constructive, positive community of writers who help each other to grow.

~Amy E. Laub


Do you have a testimonial about the Mad Poets that you’d like to share?
Email it to us at info@madpoetssociety.com. 
Be sure to put TESTIMONIAL in the subject line!