At our April DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading, I asked those in attendance to do a little brainstorming about places in the community where they would like to see/hear poetry. I handed out index cards and provided a little box where they could put the cards after the reading.
As I was cleaning up, I absentmindedly put the lid on the box, threw it in my bag, and headed home. I didn’t think about it again until later when I cleared out the bag and there was this lovely box to open, which turned out to be a gift of wonderful ideas!
I will also be posting this list on the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Facebook page. Please feel free to add more ideas in the comments or suggest ways in which we can make these ideas reality!
- Have a poetry contest.
- Have a poetry contest for kids.
- Display poetry in art galleries.
- Have readings at charity events.
- Televise poetry readings on local access stations and/or broadcast on local radio stations.
- Put featured poems/poets on flyers advertising the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading and put them on community bulletin boards (Starbucks, grocery stores, etc.).
- Write poems on sidewalks.
- Put poetry on bus stops, benches, and the sides of buses.
- Hold poetry slams.
- Have cooperative writing events where poets get together and write.
- Have a poetry bulletin board at the Gaithersburg Book Festival where people can post poems.
- Connect with the English department at Montgomery County Community College.
- Hold a kids-oriented poetry event/reading.
- Hang poems/quotes from poets from lampposts.
- Haiku signs in flower beds (an idea that has been done in DC).
- A zine.
- Put poems on the sides of buildings.
- Poetry workshops at assisted living/senior centers.
- Have poets visit schools.
The first two DiVerse Gaithersburg readings were a resounding success and we have a wonderful lineup for the rest of the spring! Please join us on 2nd Sunday afternoons, 2-4 pm, at the Gaithersburg Library to hear these wonderful poets:
Mother’s Day! And what better way to celebrate than with an afternoon of poetry:
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.
The inaugural DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading and Open Mic 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 at 2 pm on February 11th at the Gaithersburg Library when our featured poets will be Alan King, Sarah Browning, and J. Howard.
Emerging Voices, Volume 3, the anthology of teen writing club members published by the Maryland Writers’ Association is now in print and includes work by three of the members of the Gaithersburg Teen Writing Club which I co-mentor. I’m so very proud of all of them for not only submitting their work for publication, but also for participating in a rigorous editing process to polish and finalize their work! Many thanks to the editors of the anthology, Jeneva Stone, Mark Willen, and Christina Lyons for all their hard work in getting this latest anthology published.
The book is available for purchase on Amazon, for a very affordable price that covers the publication costs. Neither MWA or any of the authors or editors make any money from the sale of the books.
After the wonderful success of the readings that I hosted at The Gallery at Chesapeake Framing in June and September, I am thrilled to announce that starting in January, 2018, I will be hosting the monthly DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading and Open Mic, which will be held at the Gaithersburg Library on the second Sunday of every month, from 2-4 pm. In addition to featured poets, there will be an Open Mic and a Q&A. My goal in doing this is to make poetry an ongoing, integral part of the literary scene in Gaithersburg.
I am indebted to Serena Agusto-Cox (one of the poets at the June reading) for coming up with the phenomenal name for the reading and also to librarian Laura Sarantis for helping to get everything up and running with the Library.
And I am very excited about the poets who will be reading this winter:
- Luther Jett, Sunil Freeman, and Kim Roberts on January 14th.
- Sarah Browning, Alan King, and Joanna Howard on February 11th.
- Michele Wolf, Teri Cross Davis, and Jennifer Wallace on March 11th.
To learn more and get updates on the reading series, please check out the website or Facebook page. In addition, there is a Gaithersburg poets workshop that is getting off the ground, please email me for info if you would like to join.
Many thanks to Ron Harton for including two of my poems, Sedona Rain Day and High Desert Benediction on his wonderful Nature Writing site. The poems are illustrated with a photo I took in Sedona on a cold, foggy day in Sedona, AZ several years ago on the trip that inspired these poems. Most people who have visited there know the beauty of the landscape under pristine, blue skies. But even having grown up in Arizona, this was the first time that I was able to experience its spectacular gray persona.
Thank you so much to Ann Bracken, Cherryl T. Cooley, Vivek Narayanan, Matthew Ratz, and Sarah Ann Winn for sharing their wonderful poetry at the 2nd Gaithersburg Poetry Reading! And thanks too to The Gallery at Chesapeake Framing for providing us with a great venue. I am working on getting more readings scheduled, stay tuned!
Cherryl T. Cooley
Sarah Ann Winn
Please join poets Ann Bracken, Cherryl T. Cooley, Vivek Narayanan, Matthew Ratz, Sarah Ann Winn, and myself for a Poetry Reading and Open Mic at Chesapeake Framing and Art Gallery in Downtown Crown in Gaithersburg, MD–September, 3-5 pm.
I am super excited to be part of the lineup for the next Inner Loop reading at the Colony Club in Washington, DC on August 15th along with Meg Eden Kuyatt, Timothy DeLizza, and Anthony Dobranski reading fiction, Andrew Tran, Toni Tileva, and Michelle Junot reading non-fiction, and Rosa Pyo, Nicole Tong and yours truly reading poetry.
The reading is from 7:30-10 pm and the Colony Club is located at 3118 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010, come join us!
Many thanks to Serena Agusto-Cox for her followup article about sharing her poetry at the first Gaithersburg Poetry Reading in June. It’s a gutsy piece and I’m sure a lot of poets (and anyone who presents their work to an audience) can relate to what she says.
And very belatedly, many thanks to Culture Spot and The Town Courier for their wonderful feature pieces about our inaugural reading. Thanks as well to Beltway Poetry, The Writer’s Center, the Washington Post, and other publications that kindly listed the reading on their community calendars.