Many thanks to Doritt Carroll, Tara Campbell, and Indran Amirthanayagam for sharing their wonderful work with us today and thanks to everyone who shared their work at the Open Mic!
Please join us on October 14th when our featured poets will be Doritt Carroll, Tara Campbell and Indran Amirthanayagam, upstairs at the Gaithersburg Library, 2-4 pm. The reading is hosted by Lucinda Marshall and will be followed by an Open Mic.
Doritt Carroll is (unfortunately) a lawyer and (fortunately) the mother of two daughters. A native of Washington, DC, she received her undergraduate and law degrees from Georgetown University. Her collection, In Caves, was published in 2010 by Brickhouse Books. Her book, GLTTL STP, was published in 2013 by Brickhouse Books, and the title poem was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her chapbook, Sorry You Are Not An Instant Winner, was published by Kattywompus in 2017. Her poems have appeared in Coal City Review, Poet Lore, Gargoyle, Nimrod, Slipstream, Rattle, Plainsongs, Poetry Depth Quarterly, Maryland Poetry Review, Explorations, Negative Capability, Poet’s Canvas, Illuminations, The Baltimore Review, Journal of Formal Poetry, Harlequin Creature, Lummox, Commonthought Magazine, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Folio, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and she has served as a Shakespeare Theatre poet-in-residence. She currently runs the Zed’s poetry reading and open mic series.
Tara Campbell is a fiction editor at Barrelhouse and an MFA candidate at American University. Prior publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Masters Review, District Lit, Quail Bell Magazine, Jellyfish Review, Strange Horizons, and Heavy Feather Review. Her debut novel, TreeVolution, was published in 2016, and her collection of poetry and fiction, Circe’s Bicycle, was released in spring 2018.
Indran Amirthanayagam is a poet, journalist , musician, culture critic and diplomat. He writes in English, Spanish, French, Haitian Creole and Portuguese, and has published thirteen poetry collections thus far, including The Elephants of Reckoning (Hanging Loose Press, NY, 1993), which won the 1994 Paterson Prize in the United States, The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems (Hanging Loose Press, NY, 2008) and Uncivil War(Tsar/now Mawenzi House, Toronto, 2013). His French poems are included in Aller-Retour au Bord de La Mer (Legs Editions, Port au Prince, December 2014) and Il n’est que l’ile lointaine (Legs Editions, Port Au Prince, 2017). His latest in Spanish is Ventana Azul (El Tapiz del Unicornio, Mexico City, 2016). And in Creole he has published Pwezi a Kat Men(Delince Editions, Miami, 2017)– a dialog in poetry written with Alex Laguerre. Amirthanayagam’s articles, essays and op-eds have been published in the New York Times, the Hindu, Reforma, El Norte, The Indian Express, The Deccan Chronicle, The Daily News (Sri Lanka), the Island (Sri Lanka), among other newspapers. His theater criticism appeared in the Westsider and the Chelsea-Clinton News in New York City ( 1986- 1992). His first album, Rankont Dout, was released in January 2018.
Wow!! Thank you Hiram Larew, Nancy Naomi Carlson, and Steven Leyva for sharing your wonderful poetry with us at our first fall reading. And thanks also to Marianne Szlyk for bringing her students and workshop participants from Montgomery County Community College in Rockville to join us. (Sneak peak–Marianne will be one of our featured readers in the spring!). The reading was attended by 40 people and we had a record number of readers at the Open Mic.
Please join us on September 9th for our first fall reading with featured poets Steven Leyva, Nancy Naomi Carlson, and Hiram Larew, upstairs at the Gaithersburg Library, 2-4 pm. The reading is hosted by Lucinda Marshall and will be followed by an Open Mic.
Steven Leyva was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in Houston, Texas. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 2 Bridges Review, Fledgling Rag, The Light Ekphrastic, Nashville Review, Vinyl, and Prairie Schooner. He is a Cave Canem fellow and author of the chapbook Low Parish. Steven holds a MFA from the University of Baltimore, where he is an assistant professor in the Klein Family School of Communications Design.
Nancy Naomi Carlson, poet, translator, editor, and essayist, has authored nine titles (6 translated). She received a grant from the NEA to translate a poetry collection of Abdourahman A. Waberi, which was a “Best Translated Book Award” finalist, and her translation of Char’s Hammer with No Master was a finalist for the 2017 CLMP Firecracker Poetry Award. Her work has appeared in such journals as the American Poetry Review, The Georgia Review, and Poetry.
Hiram Larew’s work has appeared most recently in Little Patuxent Review, FORTH, vox poetica, Poetry Super Highway, Poets & Artists, Every Day Poems, Lunaris Review (Nigeria), Amsterdam Quarterly, and The Wild Word. Author of three collections, he’s been nominated for four national Pushcart prizes, is a member of the Shakespeare Folger Library’s poetry board, and organizes several events in Prince George’s County, MD and beyond including Poetry X Hunger and The Poetry Poster Project. He is a global hunger specialist, and lives in Upper Marlboro, MD.
The DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading and Open Mic has 3 fabulous readings scheduled this fall. All readings are hosted by Lucinda Marshall and take place upstairs at the Gaithersburg Library, 2-4 pm.
November: No reading because the library is closed for Veteran’s Day.
Look for an updated book list in a few weeks and more information about the featured poets starting in August!
In June, 2017, I hosted our first poetry reading over at the now defunct Chesapeake Framing Crown location, followed by a second reading there in September. In January, 2018, the reading, under the name of DiVerse Gaithersburg (thank you Serena Agusto-Cox for the fabulous idea), moved over to the Gaithersburg Library and has been held monthly since then. The eight readings have included 28 featured poets, as well as everyone who has read at the open mic.
When I started the readings, I did so with the intention of making poetry more accessible in the Gaithersburg/NW Montgomery County area, as well as creating a community for poets. Both of those goals have been met in many ways and I’d like to share some of the highlights here:
- Attendees of the readings have told me that they have been inspired to read and/or write more poetry.
- Because of the reading, I was invited to moderate a poetry panel at the Gaithersburg Book Festival and hope to continue to be involved in poetry-related activities at GBF in future years.
- Several area cultural event organizers have asked for recommendations of poets to speak at their events and I’ve been delighted to suggest poets from our community.
- The Gaithersburg Poetry Workshop has been meeting monthly since November, providing an opportunity for local poets to get and offer feedback on work in progress.
- A brainstorming session at one of the readings led to the creation of a poetry in the community action list.
- Poets have met and connected over common interests at the reading, further creating a strong, supportive community for area poets.
- In conjunction with the readings, there is a booklist on the website with books by our featured poets. The Gaithersburg Barnes and Noble has used this list to add local poets to their collection. Shortly after they did this earlier this spring, we noticed that more than half of the books on their poetry display were by authors who were DiVerse Gaithersburg featured poets! The list will be updated later this summer to include poets who will be reading in the fall.
- Poet and blogger Serena Agusto-Cox has reviewed books by a number of the DiVerse poets on her blog, Savvy Verse & Wit.
We will resume readings in September, and I’ll have the full fall schedule posted in the next few weeks. DiVerse Gaithersburg has gotten off to a great start in its first year, and I am really looking forward to hosting our upcoming readings and watching our poetry community continue to blossom!
With grateful thanks to everyone who has helped to make this program a success,
–Lucinda Marshall, founder and host
Thanks to all who came out for our last reading of the spring, we so enjoyed hearing Kim Roberts, Eve Burton, and Clarence Williams share their poetry. I am getting ready to post a longer piece about this, but as I mentioned at the reading, many good things have happened in the last year as a result of this reading series including the opportunity for poets to network and connect professionally.
Last night I attended one of Eve Burton’s poetry workshops at the Quince Orchard Library and was thrilled when one of the poems that she used as an example for the exercise we were doing was a poem that Kim Roberts read at the reading! If you’re looking for a poetry workshop in the Gaithersburg area, check it out, the next one is July 12th at the Quince Orchard Library, 7 pm. The assignment for the workshop is to write a list poem, so give it a try and bring a poem to share! Eve also leads workshops for teens and children, you can find the information on the QO Library site.