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.

September 9th Reading With Steven Leyva, Nancy Naomi Carlson, and Hiram Larew

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_LeyvaSteven 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 fellow and 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 CarlsonNancy 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’sHiram Larew 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.

Sneak Peak: Fall Readings

The DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading and Open Mic has 3 fabulous readings scheduled this fall.  All readings are hosted by Lucinda Marshall and take place upstairs at the Gaithersburg Library, 2-4 pm.

September 9th:

October 14th:

November:  No reading because the library is closed for Veteran’s Day.

December 9th:

 

Look for an updated book list in a few weeks and more information about the featured poets starting in August!

June 10th Reading With Kim Roberts, Camisha Jones, Clarence Williams, and Eve Burton

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 RobertsKim 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 WilliamsClarence 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.

Eve BurtonIn 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 Jones - Photo by Brandon Woods
Photo by Brandon Woods

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.