March 11th Poets: Maritza Rivera, Jennifer Wallace, Michele Wolf

Please join us on March 11th for another excellent afternoon of poetry with Jennifer Wallace, Michele Wolf, and Maritza Rivera, upstairs at the Gaithersburg Library, 2-4 pm. The reading will be followed by an Open Mic.

Jennifer Wallace

Jennifer Wallace teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. She is a poetry editor at The Cortland Review. Her poems, essays and photographs have appeared in artists books, exhibition catalogs, galleries, museums, anthologies and literary journals. Her fourth book, The Want Fire, was published by Passager Books in 2015. A new collection, ALMOST ENTIRELY was published by Paraclete Press in 2017.

Michele_Wolfjpeg_colorMichele Wolf is the author of Immersion (Hilary Tham Capital Collection, The Word Works), Conversations During Sleep (Anhinga Prize for Poetry, Anhinga Press) and The Keeper of Light (Painted Bride Quarterly Poetry Chapbook Series). Her poems have also appeared in Poetry, The Southern Review, North American Review, The Hudson Review and many other literary journals and anthologies, as well as on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily and Poets.org. She is a contributing editor for Poet Lore and teaches at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda. Her website is http://michelewolf.com.

Maritza RiveraMaritza Rivera is a Puerto Rican poet and US Army veteran who has been writing poetry for over 40 years. She is the publisher of Casa Mariposa Press, the host of the annual Mariposa Poetry Retreat in Waynesboro, PA and hosts the annual Mariposa Poetry Reunion Reading at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda.  She is the author of About You, A Mother’s War, A Baker’s Dozen, Twenty-One Blackjack Poems and the Blackjack Poetry Playing Cards.  Her work appears in literary magazines, anthologies and online publications.

Another Great Reading!

Many thanks to Sarah Browning, Alan King, and Joanna Howard for sharing their wonderful poetry with us. We had a great turnout (proving that a little rain does not deter poetry lovers!) and the opportunity to hear from some great poets who braved the Open Mic as well. Many thanks also to Sarah for telling us about Split This Rock and to Joanna for sharing information about A Splendid Wake. Thanks to everyone who helped with set up and making sure that everything ran smoothly.   Here are a few pictures and also the link to the Facebook Live video that Serena Agusto-Cox posted.

Pictures From The January Reading

Our inaugural reading in January was an enormous success!  35 people came to hear Luther Jett and Sunil Freeman (Kim Roberts was unfortunately not able to join us due to illness).  Their wonderful readings were followed by 12 people who read at the Open Mic.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to making the afternoon a success, especially the library staff and the folks who volunteered to help with set up, including members of the Gaithersburg Teen Writing Club.  Thanks also to everyone who helped to promote the reading in so many ways and to Serena Agusto-Cox for broadcasting the reading on Facebook.

February 11th Poets: Sarah Browning, Alan King, and J. Howard

Please join us on February 11th when our featured poets will be Sarah Browning, Alan King, and J. Howard, followed by an open mic and Q&A.  The reading will be hosted by local poet Lucinda Marshall.
Sarah BrowningSarah Browning is the author of Killing Summer (Sibling Rivalry, 2017) and Whiskey in the Garden of Eden (The Word Works, 2007). She is co-founder and Executive Director of Split This Rock and an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. She is the recipient of artist fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Adirondack Center for Writing, and the Creative Communities Initiative. She has been guest editor or co-edited special issues of Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Delaware Poetry Review, and POETRYmagazine. Since 2006, Browning has co-hosted the Sunday Kind of Love poetry series at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC. She previously worked supporting socially engaged women artists with WomenArts and developing creative writing workshops with low-income women and youth with Amherst Writers & Artists. She has been an organizer in public housing communities and a grassroots political organizer on a host of social and political issues.

Alan KingAlan King is the author of two books of poems: Point Blank (Silver Birch Press, 2016) and Drift (Willow Books, 2012). A Caribbean American, whose parents emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago to the US in the 1970s, he is a husband, father, and communications professional. He is a Cave Canem graduate fellow, and holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine. King is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and was also nominated three times for a Best of the Net selection. He lives with his family in Bowie, MD and blogs about art and social issues at alanwking.com.

Joanna HowardJ. Howard is a teacher, poet and coordinator of “A Splendid Wake.” “A Splendid Wake” is an organization of poets who work to preserve the history of poetry and poetry movements in the Washington DC Metro area, spanning the years 1900 to now. Her work has been published in Abundant Grace and MiPOesias, among other publications, and she was one of the finalists in the 2016 Moving Words Competition sponsored by Arlington Arts. Howard teaches creative writing and composition at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland.

The reading will be from 2-4 pm, upstairs at the Gaithersburg Library.

Where To Buy Books By DiVerse Poets

Looking for some wonderful poetry to get you through the long winter evenings, or to give as a special gift?  Check out our new book page where you will find links to books by many of the poets who have read or will be reading in Gaithersburg!

Not to put too fine a point on it, but not only will this give you a chance to read more of their wonderful work, but very few poets can survive or even support their writing with what they make from their poetry, and buying their books goes a long way in helping them to continue with their work.

Sneak Peak: 2018 Calendar

Poets have been chosen for the first 4 DiVerse readings!  Please join us on 2nd Sunday afternoons, 2-4 pm, at the Gaithersburg Library to hear these wonderful poets:

January 14th:

February 11th:

March 11th: 

April 8th:

Sneak Peak:  Other poets who will be joining us later in the year include Laura Shovan, Camisha Jones, Nancy Naomi Carlson and more.

Each reading will be followed by an Open Mic and Q&A and are hosted by Lucinda Marshall.  Full biographical information will be posted about the February and March poets soon.  See the link above for the January poets.

January 14th Poets: Kim Roberts, Sunil Freeman, and Luther Jett

The inaugural DiVerse Poetry Reading and Open Mic will kick off on January 14th with Kim Roberts, Sunil Freeman, and Luther Jett as our featured readers.  There will also be an open mic and a Q&A focusing on poetry in the community after.  The reading will be hosted by local poet Lucinda Marshall.

Kim RobertsKim Roberts is the author of five books of poems, most recently The Scientific Method (WordTech Editions, 2017). Her book of walking tours, A Literary Guide to Washington, DC: Walking in the Footsteps of American Authors from Francis Scott Key to Zora Neale Hurston will be published by the University of Virginia Press in Spring of 2018. Roberts is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities DC, and the DC Commission on the Arts, and has been a writer-in-residence at 17 art colonies and retreats. Individual poems of hers have been published in Barrow Street, New Letters, Ohio Review, Southwest Review, Verse Daily, Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day project; and the title poem from her latest book was featured at the National March for Science as part of the Wick Poetry Center’s Science Stanzas Project. She is the founding editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly.

Sunil FreemanSunil Freeman is author of one full-length poetry book, That Would Explain the Violinist (Gut Punch Press, 1993) and a chapbook, Surreal Freedom Blues (Argonne Hotel Press, 1999). He has received an individual artist grant in poetry from the Maryland State Arts Council. His work has appeared in several journals and anthologies, including GargoyleThe Delaware Poetry ReviewThe Delmarva ReviewKiss The Sky: Fiction & Poetry Starring Jimi Hendrix, and Full Moon on K Street: Poems about Washington, DC.

Luther Jett 2W. Luther Jett is a native of Montgomery County, Maryland. He began writing shortly after learning how to hold a crayon and started transcribing his ideas onto paper shortly thereafter. His poetry has been published in numerous journals, including The GW Review, Beltway, Innisfree, Potomac Review, Little Patuxent Review , and Main Street Rag.  His poems have also appeared in several anthologies, including “My Cruel Invention” (Meerkat Press) and “Proud to Be” (Southeast Missouri State University Press). His poetry performance piece, Flying to America, debuted at the 2009 Capital Fringe Festival in Washington D.C. He was a winner in the 2011 Moving Words Poetry competition in Arlington, VA. He was a featured reader during the Summer 2009 Joaquin Miller Cabin Series. During 2016 Luther was a featured reader at Ah! Coffee (Annapolis MD), Zed Cafe (Silver Spring MD),  The Writers’ Center (Bethesda MD), the Kensington Bookshop series, and the Georgetown (DC) Neighborhood Library series. His chapbook, “Not Quite: Poems Written in search of My Father” was released by Finishing Line press in the fall of 2015.

The reading will be from 2-4 pm, upstairs at the Gaithersburg Library.