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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
J. 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 inaugural DiVerse Poetry Reading and Open Mic will kick off on January 14th with Kim Roberts, Sunil Freeman, and Luther Jett as our featured readers. There will also be an open mic and a Q&A focusing on poetry in the community after. The reading will be hosted by local poet Lucinda Marshall.
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 will be published by the University of Virginia Press in Spring of 2018. Roberts is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities DC, and the DC Commission on the Arts, and 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 the National March for Science as part of the Wick Poetry Center’s Science Stanzas Project. She is the founding editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly.
Sunil Freeman is author of one full-length poetry book, That Would Explain the Violinist (Gut Punch Press, 1993) and a chapbook, Surreal Freedom Blues (Argonne Hotel Press, 1999). He has received an individual artist grant in poetry from the Maryland State Arts Council. His work has appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Gargoyle, The Delaware Poetry Review, The Delmarva Review, Kiss The Sky: Fiction & Poetry Starring Jimi Hendrix, and Full Moon on K Street: Poems about Washington, DC.
W. Luther Jett is a native of Montgomery County, Maryland. He began writing shortly after learning how to hold a crayon and started transcribing his ideas onto paper shortly thereafter. His poetry has been published in numerous journals, including The GW Review, Beltway, Innisfree, Potomac Review, Little Patuxent Review , and Main Street Rag.His poems have also appeared in several anthologies, including “My Cruel Invention” (Meerkat Press) and “Proud to Be” (Southeast Missouri State University Press). His poetry performance piece, Flying to America, debuted at the 2009 Capital Fringe Festival in Washington D.C. He was a winner in the 2011 Moving Words Poetry competition in Arlington, VA. He was a featured reader during the Summer 2009 Joaquin Miller Cabin Series. During 2016 Luther was a featured reader at Ah! Coffee (Annapolis MD), Zed Cafe (Silver Spring MD),The Writers’ Center (Bethesda MD), the Kensington Bookshop series, and the Georgetown (DC) Neighborhood Library series. His chapbook, “Not Quite: Poems Written in search of My Father” was released by Finishing Line press in the fall of 2015.