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 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.
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.