Thank you to our wonderful featured readers in April–Kateema Lee, Marlena Chertock, and Joseph Ross, and to Mayor Jud Ashman for telling us about the upcoming Gaithersburg Book Festival!
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.
- Have a poetry contest.
- Have a poetry contest for kids.
- Display poetry in art galleries.
- Have readings at charity events.
- Televise poetry readings on local access stations and/or broadcast on local radio stations.
- Put featured poems/poets on flyers advertising the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading and put them on community bulletin boards (Starbucks, grocery stores, etc.).
- Write poems on sidewalks.
- Put poetry on bus stops, benches, and the sides of buses.
- Hold poetry slams.
- Have cooperative writing events where poets get together and write.
- Have a poetry bulletin board at the Gaithersburg Book Festival (GBF) where people can post poems.
- Connect with the English department at Montgomery County Community College.
- Hold a kids-oriented poetry event/reading.
- Hang poems/quotes from poets from lampposts.
- Haiku signs in flower beds (an idea that has been done in DC).
- A zine.
- Put poems on the sides of buildings.
- Poetry workshops at assisted living/senior centers.
- Have poets visit schools.
- Poetry walks.
- Have a poetry podcast.
- Put poems at/have poetry events at the train station and/or Lake Forest Mall.
- Appoint a city and/or GBF Poet Laureate.
- Ask the city to issue a National Poetry Month proclamation.
- Look for tie-ins with GBF.
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.
Marlena 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.
Joseph 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.
Kateema 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.
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!
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:
Mother’s Day! And what better way to celebrate than with an afternoon of poetry:
- 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.
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 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 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 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.
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.