Many thanks to The Rising Phoenix Review for including my poem, “Playing Bang Bang With A Shiny Pistol That Wasn’t A Toy (He Was Only Three Years Old)” in their Disarm collection of poems. The poem is about a little boy named Tmorej Smith who killed himself with his grandmother’s pink handgun in Greenville, SC in 2013.
A themed issue addressing mass shootings in America. An issue that memorializes those who have lost their lives in mass shooting. An issue that attempts to put into words what it is like to be a survivor. An issue that depicts how people are advocating to change gun laws and gun culture in America. An issue that proclaims that we want a world where the lives of our friends and loved ones are not cut short by the finality of a bullet. We want our children to grow old and live to build beautiful things. Melt down guns and ammunition. Disarm the tools of violence.
It is an honor to be a part of this fine collection!
I am looking forward to hosting the continuing DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading and Open Mic at the Gaithersburg Library with fall readings on September 9th, October 14th, and December 9th. All readings take place upstairs at the Gaithersburg (MD) Library (18330 Montgomery Village Ave./Gaithersburg 20879), 2-4 pm. Featured poets will be followed by an open mic. Please join us!
Took awhile to get here, but I finally got my copies of Poems in the Aftermath, an anthology from Indolent Books of poems written between the 2016 election and the inauguration, including my poem “Patriotism Reconsidered. I’m honored to have my work included in this fine collection.
I am delighted to share that I will be a featured reader at the December 11th, 2018 Wilde Reading at the Columbia Art Center (6100 Foreland Garth/Columbia, MD 21045). The reading starts at 7 pm and I’ll be sharing the mic with Pamela Murray Winters. Come join us for a wonderful evening of poetry!
In June, 2017, I hosted a poetry reading over at the now defunct Chesapeake Framing Crown location, followed by a second reading there in September. In January, 2018, the reading, under the name of DiVerse Gaithersburg (thank you Serena Agusto-Cox for the fabulous idea), moved over to the Gaithersburg Library and has been held monthly since then. The eight readings have included 28 featured poets, as well as everyone who has read at the open mic.
When I started the readings, I did so with the intention of making poetry more accessible in the Gaithersburg/NW Montgomery County area, as well as creating a community for poets. Both of those goals have been met in many ways and I’d like to share some of the highlights here:
- Attendees of the readings have told me that they have been inspired to read and/or write more poetry.
- Because of the reading, I was invited to moderate a poetry panel at the Gaithersburg Book Festival and hope to continue to be involved in poetry-related activities at GBF in future years.
- Several area cultural event organizers have asked for recommendations of poets to speak at their events and I’ve been delighted to suggest poets from our community.
- The Gaithersburg Poetry Workshop has been meeting monthly since November, providing an opportunity for local poets to get and offer feedback on work in progress.
- A brainstorming session at one of the readings led to the creation of a poetry in the community action list.
- Poets have met and connected over common interests at the reading, further creating a strong, supportive community for area poets.
- In conjunction with the readings, there is a booklist on the website with books by our featured poets. The Gaithersburg Barnes and Noble has used this list to add local poets to their collection. Shortly after they did this earlier this spring, we noticed that more than half of the books on their poetry display were by authors who were DiVerse Gaithersburg featured poets! The list will be updated later this summer to include poets who will be reading in the fall.
- Poet and blogger Serena Agusto-Cox has reviewed books by a number of the DiVerse poets on her blog, Savvy Verse & Wit.
We will resume readings in September, and I’ll have the full fall schedule posted in the next few weeks. DiVerse Gaithersburg has gotten off to a great start in its first year, and I am really looking forward to hosting our upcoming readings and watching our poetry community continue to blossom!
Many thanks to everyone who has helped to make this program a success!
(cross-posted from the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading and Open Mic website with minor edits)
I’m very pleased to have two new poems published in Tuck Magazine. Both poems, Patriotic Amnesia, and Dying In The Land Of The Free, address the deeply flawed narrative of American patriotism and its celebration of militarism.
The Gaithersburg Book Festival takes place on May 19th and I am delighted to have the opportunity to be introducing a poetry panel which features poets Kateema Lee, Kurt Olsson, V.P. Loggins, and Erica Wright. The panel begins at 10:15 at the Rachel Carson Pavilion.
At 12:15, members of the Gaithersburg Teen Writing Club (which I co-mentor) will be introducing authors Winifred Conkling and Jessica Spotswood at the Ogden Nash Pavilion.
Also at 10:15, Kim Roberts, one of the featured poets at the upcoming June DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry and Open Mic will also be talking about her new book at the H.L. Mencken Pavilion.
This is the third year that I have been a part of GBF and the fourth year that our teens have introduced authors. It is a wonderful opportunity to be a part of our very literature-centric community and a lot of fun. So check out the full schedule and come out and join us for a great day of books, authors, readers, and more!
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.