Please join us on January 13th when our featured poets will be Sistah Joy Alford, Tanya Olson, and Kristin Ferragut, upstairs at the Gaithersburg Library, 2-4 pm. The reading is hosted by Lucinda Marshall and will be followed by an Open Mic.
Joy “Sistah Joy” Matthews Alford is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Prince George’s County, Maryland. She is an author, arts advocate, as well as the producer and host of award-winning poetry-based cable television show, Sojourn with Words. Sistah Joy received the Poet Laureate Special Award (2002) for “her outstanding contributions to the art of poetry” in her native Washington, DC. She is an alum of the late Washington, DC Poet Laureate’s “Poets in Progress” series and also of the Mariposa Writers Retreat. In 1995 she founded the socially-conscious poetry ensemble, Collective Voices, which has performed nationally and internationally (London, England) and continues to perform in the U.S. primarily along the East coast. Sistah Joy is the author of three books, Lord I’m Dancin’ As Fast As I Can (2000); From Pain to Empowerment, The Fabric of My Being (2009); and This Garden Called Life (2011). Sistah Joy is also the Poet Laureate of Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Fort Washington, Maryland where she has served as president of that church’s Poetry Ministry for the past 15 years. Her poetry efforts particularly include literacy, social justice, individual empowerment and support for underserved youth groups and women’s support organizations. She is a Charter Board Member of C.A.A.P.A. (Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts, Inc.).
Tanya Olson lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and is a Lecturer in English at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Her first book, Boyishly, was published by YesYes Books in 2013 and was awarded a 2014 American Book Award. Her second book, Stay, is forthcoming from YesYes Books in March 2019. She has also won the Discovery/Boston Review prize and was named a Lambda Emerging Writers Fellow by the Lambda Literary Foundation. Her poem 54 Prince was included in Best American Poetry 2015.
Kristin Kowalski Ferragut is a regular contributor to open mics, at such venues as DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry and Words Out Loud. She participates in local poetry and prose writing workshops, in addition to reading, biking, hiking and teaching. Her work has appeared in Beltway Quarterly.