April 8th Poets: Marlena Chertock, Joseph Ross, and Kateema Lee With Special Guest Mayor Jud Ashman

Please join us on April 8th for another excellent afternoon of poetry with Marlena Chertock, Joseph Ross, and Kateema Lee, with special guest Mayor Jud Ashman, upstairs at the Gaithersburg Library, 2-4 pm. The reading will be followed by an Open Mic.

MarlenaChertock_11102017_3977Marlena Chertock has two books of poetry, Crumb-sized (Unnamed Press, 2017) and On that one-way trip to Mars (Bottlecap Press, 2016). She lives in Washington, D.C. and serves as the poetry editor of District Lit. Marlena is a graduate of the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House and uses her skeletal dysplasia and chronic pain as a bridge to scientific poetry. Her poems and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Breath & Shadow, The Deaf Poets Society, The Fem, Paper Darts, Wordgathering, and more.

JRIPSJoseph Ross is the author of three books of poetry: Ache (2017), Gospel of Dust (2013) and Meeting Bone Man (2012). His poems appear in many places including, The Los Angeles Times, Poet Lore, Tidal Basin Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly and Drumvoices Revue. He has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations and won the 2012 Pratt Library / Little Patuxent Review Poetry Prize. He recently served as the 23rd Poet-in-Residence for the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society in Howard County, Maryland. He teaches English and Creative Writing at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C.

Lee_photo2Kateema Lee is a Washington, D.C. native. Her recent work has been published in print and online journals such as Pirene’s Fountain, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, African American Review, Gargoyle, and others. Her chapbook, Almost Invisible, was published in August 2017. Kateema’s next collection of poems, Musings of a Netflix Binge Viewer, is forthcoming (June 2018). She is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow, a Callaloo fellow, and a participant of The Home School.

Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman will also be joining us to talk about the upcoming Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 19th.

Another Terrific Reading!

We had another wonderful reading on Sunday, with great thanks to Maritza Rivera, Jennifer Wallace, and Michele Wolf!  Maritza explained Blackjack Poetry, a form of poetry that she invented and led us in a group poetry writing exercise which was great fun.  We also discovered that in addition to being great poets, they all had something else in common–mango poems.  Who knew!  Great to see so many returning people in the audience and at the open mic, community building in progress!

Sneak Peak: Spring 2018 Calendar


I’m thrilled to report that we now have a complete spring schedule!  Please join us on 2nd Sunday afternoons, 2-4 pm, at the Gaithersburg Library to hear these wonderful poets:

March 11th: 

April 8th:

May 13th:

Mother’s Day!  And what better way to celebrate than with an afternoon of poetry:

June 10th:

  • Kim Roberts
  • Camisha Jones
  • Eve Burton
  • Clarence Williams

Each reading will have an Open Mic and Q&A following our featured poets . Readings are hosted by Lucinda Marshall.

Please note:  There will be no readings in July and August.

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.