We are excited to be dedicating both our October and December readings to poets who also pursue other creative work. In addition to sharing their poetry, the poets will also be discussing their other artistic endeavors and how they work with multiple creative forms of expression.
More details and poet bios will be posted approximately a month before each reading.
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 fellowand 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.
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.
Please join us on June 10th for our final reading of the spring with featured poets Kim Roberts, Camisha Jones, Clarence Williams, and Eve Burton, upstairs at the Gaithersburg Library, 2-4 pm. The reading is hosted by Lucinda Marshall and will be followed by an Open Mic. Kim Roberts is the author of five books of poems, most recently The Scientific Method (WordTech Editions, 2017). Her book of walking tours, A Literary Guide to Washington, DC: Walking in the Footsteps of American Authors from Francis Scott Key to Zora Neale Hurston was recently published by the University of Virginia Press. Roberts is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities DC, and the DC Commission on the Arts, and most recently the recipient of a Rose Library Research Fellowship from Emory University, She has been a writer-in-residence at 17 art colonies and retreats. Individual poems of hers have been published in Barrow Street, New Letters, Ohio Review, Southwest Review, Verse Daily, Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day project; and the title poem from her latest book was featured at last year’s National March for Science as part of the Wick Poetry Center’s Science Stanzas Project. She is the founding editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly.
Clarence Williams is a U.S. veteran who began writing poetry during his 20 years of service in the US Navy. He also possesses a broad range of expertise having spent many years as a program manager of logistics, engineering, and IT development projects, as well as an instructor and course developer, and he also won the Government Computer News 2006 Gala Award for Technology Innovations in Government Information Technology.
He began attending the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading and Open Mic program in 2018, and it has inspired him to continue writing and sharing his work during open mic.
In 2001, Eve Burton started a Storytelling Club for young children at the Twinbrook Community Library. The next year she added a Poetry Club for young children, and she’s been engaged in Poetry Creation Activities ever since. She now leads a Poetry Club for young children as well as Adult and Teen Poetry Writing Groups at Quince Orchard Library and hosts a group of adult women who gather in her home to write poetry and eat dessert twice each month. Eve still tells stories, both on her own and with the Twinbrook Tellers of the Dogwood Dogs 4H Club, which she leads. Her poetry often reflects her fondness for a good tale. Recently Lucinda Marshall invited Eve to join the Diverse Poetry workshopping group and to read her poems at the June reading.
Camisha L. Jones is the author of the poetry chapbook Flare(Finishing Line Press, 2017) and a recipient of a 2017 Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship from The Loft Literary Center. Through both, she breaks silence around issues of invisible disability as someone living with hearing loss and chronic pain. Her poems can be found at Button Poetry, The Deaf Poets Society, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Typo, Rogue Agent, pluck!, Unfolding the Soul of Black Deaf Expressions, and The Quarry, Split This Rock’s social justice poetry database. She is also published in Let’s Get Real: What People of Color Can’t Say and Whites Won’t Ask about Racism, Class Lives: Stories from Across Our Economic Divide, and The Day Tajon Got Shot. A fellow of The Watering Hole, Camisha is Managing Director at Split This Rock, a national non-profit in DC that cultivates, teaches, and celebrates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change. Find her on Facebook as Poet Camisha Jones, on Twitter and Instagram as 1Camisha, and online at her blog.
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!
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.
Laura 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.
Paulette 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 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.