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.

Sneak Peak: Spring 2018 Calendar

IMG_4495

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.

March 11th Poets: Maritza Rivera, Jennifer Wallace, Michele Wolf

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

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_Wolfjpeg_colorMichele 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 RiveraMaritza 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.

Another Great Reading!

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.

Pictures From The January Reading

Our inaugural reading in January was an enormous success!  35 people came to hear Luther Jett and Sunil Freeman (Kim Roberts was unfortunately not able to join us due to illness).  Their wonderful readings were followed by 12 people who read at the Open Mic.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to making the afternoon a success, especially the library staff and the folks who volunteered to help with set up, including members of the Gaithersburg Teen Writing Club.  Thanks also to everyone who helped to promote the reading in so many ways and to Serena Agusto-Cox for broadcasting the reading on Facebook.

February 11th Poets: Sarah Browning, Alan King, and J. Howard

Please join us on February 11th when our featured poets will be Sarah Browning, Alan King, and J. Howard, followed by an open mic and Q&A.  The reading will be hosted by local poet Lucinda Marshall.
Sarah BrowningSarah Browning is the author of Killing Summer (Sibling Rivalry, 2017) and Whiskey in the Garden of Eden (The Word Works, 2007). She is co-founder and Executive Director of Split This Rock and an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. She is the recipient of artist fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Adirondack Center for Writing, and the Creative Communities Initiative. She has been guest editor or co-edited special issues of Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Delaware Poetry Review, and POETRYmagazine. Since 2006, Browning has co-hosted the Sunday Kind of Love poetry series at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC. She previously worked supporting socially engaged women artists with WomenArts and developing creative writing workshops with low-income women and youth with Amherst Writers & Artists. She has been an organizer in public housing communities and a grassroots political organizer on a host of social and political issues.

Alan KingAlan King is the author of two books of poems: Point Blank (Silver Birch Press, 2016) and Drift (Willow Books, 2012). A Caribbean American, whose parents emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago to the US in the 1970s, he is a husband, father, and communications professional. He is a Cave Canem graduate fellow, and holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine. King is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and was also nominated three times for a Best of the Net selection. He lives with his family in Bowie, MD and blogs about art and social issues at alanwking.com.

Joanna HowardJ. Howard is a teacher, poet and coordinator of “A Splendid Wake.” “A Splendid Wake” is an organization of poets who work to preserve the history of poetry and poetry movements in the Washington DC Metro area, spanning the years 1900 to now. Her work has been published in Abundant Grace and MiPOesias, among other publications, and she was one of the finalists in the 2016 Moving Words Competition sponsored by Arlington Arts. Howard teaches creative writing and composition at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland.

The reading will be from 2-4 pm, upstairs at the Gaithersburg Library.