December 8th Reading With Linda Joy Burke, Fran Abrams, and Sami Miranda

Please join us on December 8th, 2-4 pm when our featured poets will be Sami Miranda, Linda Joy Burke, and Fran Abrams. In addition to sharing their poetry, the poets will also be discussing their other artistic, performance, and artistic endeavors and there will be time for Q&A.

The reading will be at the Quince Orchard Library (15831 Quince Orchard Rd./Gaithersburg 20878) and is hosted by Lucinda Marshall and will be followed by an Open Mic (time permitting because of the expanded discussion time).  Please feel free to bring a poem that you have written to share (one page maximum).

Linda Joy Burke. Photo by David HobbyLinda Joy Burke is a 2002 Distinguished Black Marylander Award recipient for Art from Towson University’s Office of Diversity, a 2004 Coca Cola Company/NFAA Distinguished Teacher in the Arts nominee, a 2004 Poetry for the People Baltimore Legacy Award recipient, a 2008 Fox 45 Champions of Courage nominee, and a 2013 Howard County Women’s Hall of Fame inductee. She is a contributing editor to Little Patuxent Review, and co-hosts the Wilde Reading Series based in Columbia, Maryland. Burke’s poetry, fiction, op-ed columns, reviews, profiles and feature stories have appeared in numerous publications including: The Little Patuxent Review, Obsidian II Black Literature in Review, Beltway Quarterly, Passager, and many others.  She blogs at Moods Minds and Multitudes, The Bird Talks Blog Too, and I Grew Up to Be the Neighborhood Nosey Lady, and is on Twitter @ljoybird, and Instagram as Birdpoet.

Fran_Abrams_HeadshotFran Abrams holds an undergraduate degree in art and architecture and a master’s degree in urban planning.  She worked in government and nonprofit agencies in Montgomery County for 41 years, writing legislation, guidelines and reports. In 2000, she began creating polymer clay wallhangings.  In 2010, she retired from her job to spend more time on her artwork.  Fran’s art has been shown in juried shows throughout the country and in numerous shows in the DC region. Her work has won many competitive awards. In early 2017, Fran decided to write poetry and began taking classes at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda.  She continues to write, take classes and attend poetry readings and open mics and has recently published several poems.

Sami MirandaSami Miranda is a poet, teacher and visual artist from the Bronx who has made Washington, D.C. his home. His poetry collection, “We Is” was published this year by Zozobra Press  and his chapbook, “Departure” was published by Central Square Press in 2017. He has performed his poetry at venues throughout the Washington, DC region, New York City,  and Charlotte, NC. He holds an MFA in poetry from the Bennington Writing Seminars.

November 10th Reading With Miles David Moore, Tanya Olson, and Katherine Gekker, With Special Guest Lydia Wei

Please join us on November 10th, 2-4 pm when our featured poets will be Miles David Moore, Tanya Olson, Katherine Gekker and special guest Lydia Wei. The reading will be at the Quince Orchard Library (15831 Quince Orchard Rd./Gaithersburg 20878) and is hosted by Lucinda Marshall and will be followed by an Open Mic .  Please feel free to bring a poem that you have written to share (one page maximum).

StayAuthorPhotoTanya Olson lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and is a Senior Lecturer in English at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Her first book, Boyishly, was awarded a 2014 American Book Award. She was a Discovery Poetry Contest winner from Boston Review and the 92nd St Y and is a Lambda Fellow of the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. Her most recent book, Stay, was published by YesYes Books in May 2019.

KG's Photo 3Katherine Gekker is the author of In Search of Warm Breathing Things (Glass Lyre Press, 2019). Her poems have been published in Delmarva Review, Little Patuxent ReviewBroadkill ReviewPoetry South, Apple Valley Review, among others, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Gekker’s poems, collectively called “…to Cast a Shadow Again,” have been set to music by composer Eric Ewazen. Composer Carson Cooman has set a seasonal cycle of her poems, “Chasing the Moon Down,” to music. She was born in the District of Columbia. When not writing, she practices piano.

Miles David MooreMiles David Moore is a Washington reporter for Crain Communications Inc. and film reviewer for the online arts magazineScene4. From 1994 to 2017, he was organizer and host of the IOTA poetry reading series in Arlington, Va. From 2002 to 2009, he was a member of the Board of Directors of The Word Works. His most recent poetry has appeared in Gargoyle, Bourgeon, and Arlington Literary Journal (ArLiJo).  His books of poetry are The Bears of Paris (Word Works, 1995); Buddha Isn’t Laughing(Argonne House Press, 1999); and Rollercoaster (Word Works, 2004).

We are delighted that Lydia Wei will also be joining us to share several of her poems at the November reading. Her poem, Bulletholes. was chosen by Maryland Poet Laureate Grace Cavallieri as the first place winner of the 2019 Gaithersburg Book Festivals High School Poetry Contest.  Lydia was also recently named as one of 15 winners in the UK Poetry Society’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year competition for her poem, the opiod diaries.  She lives in Gaithersburg and is a senior at Richard Montgomery High School.

October 13th Reading With Reuben Jackson, Rose Solari, and Jay Hall Carpenter

Please join us on October 13th, 2-4 pm when our featured poets will be Reuben Jackson, Rose Solari, and Jay Hall Carpenter. In addition to sharing their poetry, we will be changing things up  at this reading  and asking the poets to also discuss their other artistic, performance, and artistic endeavors and there will be time for Q&A.

The reading will be at the Quince Orchard Library (15831 Quince Orchard Rd./Gaithersburg 20878) and is hosted by Lucinda Marshall and will be followed by an Open Mic (time permitting because of the expanded discussion time).  Please feel free to bring a poem that you have written to share (one page maximum).

Reuben Jackson Reuben Jackson is an archivist with the University of the District of Columbia’s Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives. From 2013 until 2018, he was host of Friday Night Jazz on Vermont Public Radio. His poems have been published in over 40 anthologies, and in a volume entitled, Fingering the Keys, which will be reissued with new poems in October
by Alan Squire Press with the title Scattered Clouds. Jackson’s music reviews have appeared in The Washington Post, Jazz Times, Downbeat, Jazziz, the Jazz Journalists Association website, and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. He taught poetry for 11 years at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland and taught high school for two years in Burlington, Vermont. Jackson was also an archivist and creator with the Smithsonian Institution’s Duke Ellington Collection from 1989 until 2009.

SolariHeadShot Rose Solari is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, The Last Girl, Orpheus in the Park, and Difficult Weather; the novel, A Secret Woman; and the one-act multi-media play, Looking for Guenevere, in which she collaborated and performed with musicians, dancers, and visual artists. She has also performed her poetry with Word Dance Theater and Valerie Durham Dancers, two companies devoted to preserving and continuing the legacy of Isadora Duncan.  She has lectured and taught writing workshops at many institutions, including the University of Maryland, College Park; St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland; the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University; and Oxford University’s Centre for Creative Writing in Oxford, England. Rose’s awards include the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize, an EMMA award for excellence in journalism, and multiple grants.

Jay Hall Carpenter 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 (2017), 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.

September 8th Reading With Le Hinton, Jona Colson, and Kristin Kowalski Ferragut

Please join us on September 8th, 2-4 pm when our featured poets will be Le Hinton, Jona Colson, and Kristin Kowalski Ferragut. We will be in our new location at the Quince Orchard Library (15831 Quince Orchard Rd./Gaithersburg 20878).  There is plenty of free parking and as you walk into the library lobby, you will see the room where the poetry reading is located just to your left before you enter the library. The reading is hosted by Lucinda Marshall and will be followed by an Open Mic.  Please feel free to bring a poem that you have written to share (one page maximum).

LeHintonLe Hinton is the author of six poetry collections including, most recently, Sing Silence (Iris G. Press, 2018). His work has been widely published  and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Pittsburgh Poetry Review for “Interview with Cotton (Part 1/Dreams)” and the Best of the Net by the Summerset Review for “Uses of Cotton (Visibility).” His poem “Epidemic” was honored by The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, and his poem “No Doubt About It (I Gotta Get Another Hat)” was selected for inclusion in The Best American Poetry 2014. “Our Ballpark” can be found outside Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, incorporated into Derek Parker’s sculpture Common Thread.

Kristin FerragutKristin Kowalski Ferragut is a regular contributor to open mics, at such venues as DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry and Roots Studio. She has been the featured poet at Words Out Loud at Glen Echo and participates in local poetry and prose writing workshops, in addition to reading, hiking, teaching, and enjoying time with her children. Her work has appeared in Beltway Quarterly, Nightingale and Sparrow, and Bourgeon among others.

Jona Colson Jona Colson’s first poetry collection, Said Through Glass, won the Jean Feldman Poetry Prize from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Southern ReviewThe Massachusetts Review and elsewhere. His translations and interviews can be found in Prairie Schooner, Tupelo Quarterly, and The Writer’s Chronicle. He is an associate professor of ESL at Montgomery College in Maryland and lives in Washington, DC.

January 13th Reading With Sistah Joy Alford, Tanya Olson, and Kristin Ferragut

Please join us on January 13th when our featured poets will be Sistah Joy Alford, Tanya Olson, and Kristin Ferragut, upstairs at the Gaithersburg Library, 2-4 pm. The reading is hosted by Lucinda Marshall and will be followed by an Open Mic.
Sistah Joy - 2017 Joy “Sistah Joy” Matthews Alford is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Prince George’s County, Maryland. She is an author, arts advocate, as well as the producer and host of award-winning poetry-based cable television show, Sojourn with Words. Sistah Joy received the Poet Laureate Special Award (2002) for “her outstanding contributions to the art of poetry” in her native Washington, DC. She is an alum of the late Washington, DC Poet Laureate’s “Poets in Progress” series and also of the Mariposa Writers Retreat. In 1995 she founded the socially-conscious poetry ensemble, Collective Voices, which has performed nationally and internationally (London, England) and continues to perform in the U.S. primarily along the East coast. Sistah Joy is the author of three books, Lord I’m Dancin’ As Fast As I Can (2000); From Pain to Empowerment, The Fabric of My Being (2009); and This Garden Called Life (2011). Sistah Joy is also the Poet Laureate of Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Fort Washington, Maryland where she has served as president of that church’s Poetry Ministry for the past 15 years. Her poetry efforts particularly include literacy, social justice, individual empowerment and support for underserved youth groups and women’s support organizations. She is a Charter Board Member of C.A.A.P.A. (Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts, Inc.).

Tanya OlsonTanya Olson lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and is a Lecturer in English at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Her first book, Boyishly, was published by YesYes Books in 2013 and was awarded a 2014 American Book Award. Her second book, Stay, is forthcoming from YesYes Books in March 2019. She has also won the Discovery/Boston Review prize and was named a Lambda Emerging Writers Fellow by the Lambda Literary Foundation. Her poem 54 Prince was included in Best American Poetry 2015.

Kristin FerragutKristin Kowalski Ferragut is a regular contributor to open mics, at such venues as DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry and Words Out Loud. She participates in local poetry and prose writing workshops, in addition to reading, biking, hiking and teaching. Her work has appeared in Beltway Quarterly.

October 14th Reading With Doritt Carroll, Indran Amirthanayagam, and Tara Campbell

Please join us on October 14th when our featured poets will be Doritt Carroll, Tara Campbell and Indran Amirthanayagam, upstairs at the Gaithersburg Library, 2-4 pm. The reading is hosted by Lucinda Marshall and will be followed by an Open Mic.

Doritt CarrollDoritt Carroll is (unfortunately) a lawyer and (fortunately) the mother of two daughters.  A native of Washington, DC, she received her undergraduate and law degrees from Georgetown University.  Her collection, In Caves, was published in 2010 by Brickhouse Books.  Her book, GLTTL STP, was published in 2013 by Brickhouse Books, and the title poem was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her chapbook, Sorry You Are Not An Instant Winner, was published by Kattywompus in 2017. Her poems have appeared in Coal City Review, Poet Lore, Gargoyle, Nimrod, Slipstream, Rattle, Plainsongs, Poetry Depth Quarterly, Maryland Poetry Review, Explorations, Negative Capability, Poet’s Canvas, Illuminations, The Baltimore Review, Journal of Formal Poetry, Harlequin Creature, Lummox, Commonthought Magazine, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Folio, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and she has served as a Shakespeare Theatre poet-in-residence.  She currently runs the Zed’s poetry reading and open mic series.

Tara CampbellTara Campbell is a fiction editor at Barrelhouse and an MFA candidate at American University. Prior publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Masters Review, District Lit, Quail Bell Magazine, Jellyfish Review, Strange Horizons, and Heavy Feather Review. Her debut novel, TreeVolution, was published in 2016, and her collection of poetry and fiction, Circe’s Bicycle, was released in spring 2018.

IndranIndran Amirthanayagam is a poet, journalist , musician, culture critic and diplomat. He writes in English, Spanish, French, Haitian Creole and Portuguese, and has published thirteen poetry collections thus far, including The Elephants of Reckoning (Hanging Loose Press, NY, 1993), which won the 1994 Paterson Prize in the United States,  The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems (Hanging Loose Press, NY, 2008) and Uncivil War(Tsar/now Mawenzi House, Toronto, 2013). His French poems are included in Aller-Retour au Bord de La Mer (Legs Editions, Port au Prince, December 2014) and Il n’est que l’ile lointaine (Legs Editions, Port Au Prince, 2017).  His latest in Spanish is Ventana Azul (El Tapiz del Unicornio, Mexico City, 2016).  And in Creole he has published Pwezi a Kat Men(Delince Editions, Miami, 2017)– a dialog in poetry written with Alex Laguerre.  Amirthanayagam’s articles, essays and op-eds have been published in the New York Times, the Hindu, Reforma, El Norte, The Indian Express, The Deccan Chronicle, The Daily News (Sri Lanka), the Island (Sri Lanka), among other newspapers. His theater criticism appeared in the Westsider and the Chelsea-Clinton News in New York City ( 1986- 1992). His first album, Rankont Dout, was released in January 2018.

Fall Readings Get Off To A Fantastic Start

Wow!!  Thank you Hiram Larew, Nancy Naomi Carlson, and Steven Leyva for sharing your wonderful poetry with us at our first fall reading.  And thanks also to Marianne Szlyk for bringing her students and workshop participants from Montgomery County Community College in Rockville to join us.  (Sneak peak–Marianne will be one of our featured readers in the spring!).  The reading was attended by 40 people and we had a record number of readers at the Open Mic.