Reviews of Books By DiVerse Gaithersburg Featured Poets On The Savvy Verse & Wit Website

Many thanks to Serena Agusto-Cox for reviewing several books by poets who have read at the DiVerse Gaithersburg readings on her most excellent website, Savvy Verse & Wit.  She recently reviewed Alan King’s Point Blank and Marlena Chertock’s On That One-Way Trip To Mars and Crumb-Sized and rumor has it she may be reviewing a few more in the near future!

Here is an excerpt from her review of Crumb-Sized:

Crumb-Sized: Poems by Marlena Chertock, who read at the Fourth DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading, is a short and powerful collection about body image, space, and pain, but it is also a collection of exploration. She explores the strength within herself to do more and cope with more, to “push” through the pain in physical therapy, and to stand tall among those in the forest who are “healthier.”

Obviously, not only should you read these poetry books, you should also go check out Serena’s site and read her reviews.  A gifted writer herself, Serena was one of the featured poets at the first reading at Chesapeake Framing last summer and can often be found sitting in the front row of our readings taking photos and shooting Facebook Live video.  Literary citizenship at its finest, we are so lucky to have Serena as part of our poetry community!

Mother’s Day Poetry Reading–May 13th with Laura Shovan, Paulette Beete, and Jay Hall Carpenter

Please join us on Mother’s Day, May 13th for another excellent afternoon of poetry with Laura Shovan, Paulette Beete, and Jay Hall Carpenter, upstairs at the Gaithersburg Library, 2-4 pm. The reading will be followed by an Open Mic. The reading will be hosted by Lucinda Marshall.

SAMSUNG CSCLaura Shovan is a former editor of Little Patuxent Review. Her chapbook, Mountain, Log, Salt and Stone, won the inaugural Harriss Poetry Prize. Laura edited Life in Me Like Grass on Fire: Love Poems and co-edited Voices Fly: An Anthology of Exercises and Poems from the Maryland State Arts Council Artists-in-Residence Program, for which she teaches. The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, her award-winning children’s novel-in-verse, is about students protesting the closing of their school.

Copyright 2015 Carrie Holbo PhotographyPaulette Beete’s poems, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in journals including Crab Orchard Review,Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Gargoyle, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly, among many others, and in the anthologies Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC and Saints of Hysteria (with Danna Ephland). She has also published two chapbooks of poetry: Blues for a Pretty Girl (Finishing Line Press) and Voice Lessons (Plan B Press). She has been a Winter Writing Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and several of her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and blogs at TheHomeBeete. Find her on Twitter @mouthflowers or as Paulette Beete Writer on Facebook.

Jay Hall CarpenterJay Hall Carpenter has been a professional artist for over 40 years, beginning as a sculptor for the Washington National Cathedral, and winning numerous national awards for his work. His first poetry collection, Dark and Light (2012), was followed by 101 Limericks Inappropriate For All Occasions (2107), and will be followed next year by a third, as yet untitled, collection. He has written poetry, plays, and children’s books throughout his career and now sculpts and writes in Silver Spring, MD.

Where Would You Like To See/Hear Poetry? Some Ideas (Updated)

Want to see more poetry in Gaithersburg?  Here are some of the terrific ideas that we came up with at our April reading for how to make that happen.  I’ll also post this list on our Facebook page where we can discuss it and you can add more ideas in the comments.

  1. Have a poetry contest.
  2. Have a poetry contest for kids.
  3. Display poetry in art galleries.
  4. Have readings at charity events.
  5. Televise poetry readings on local access stations and/or broadcast on local radio stations.
  6. Put featured poems/poets on flyers advertising the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading and put them on community bulletin boards (Starbucks, grocery stores, etc.).
  7. Write poems on sidewalks.
  8. Put poetry on bus stops, benches, and the sides of buses.
  9. Hold poetry slams.
  10. Have cooperative writing events where poets get together and write.
  11. Have a poetry bulletin board at the Gaithersburg Book Festival (GBF) where people can post poems.
  12. Connect with the English department at Montgomery County Community College.
  13. Hold a kids-oriented poetry event/reading.
  14. Hang poems/quotes from poets from lampposts.
  15. Haiku signs in flower beds (an idea that has been done in DC).
  16. A zine.
  17. Put poems on the sides of buildings.
  18. Poetry workshops at assisted living/senior centers.
  19. Have poets visit schools.
  20. Poetry walks.
  21. Have a poetry podcast.
  22. Put poems at/have poetry events at the train station and/or Lake Forest Mall.
  23. Appoint a city and/or GBF Poet Laureate.
  24. Ask the city to issue a National Poetry Month proclamation.
  25. Look for tie-ins with GBF.

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

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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.