I was so looking forward to reading at DiVerse Gaithersburg next week, but because of the Omicron Covid surge, I’ve asked to re-schedule. There is still a plan for a reading at an outdoor location and kudos to Kristin Kowalski Ferragut for rolling with the organizing punches to make her first reading as host a happening event. Here is a link to the details for the January reading and when my reading is rescheduled, I’ll post the details then.
Tag Archive for DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading and Open Mic
NOTE: This will be re-scheduled at a later date.
I am thrilled to be reading at the January 8th DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading along with the great Teri Ellen Cross Davis, hosted by Kristin Kowalski Ferragut. This will be the first in-person DiVerse reading since the series shut down because of the pandemic and Kristin’s first time as host and my first time not hosting, quite the number of turning points to celebrate! The reading will be from 1:30-3:00 pm at the Quince Orchard Library (15831 Quince Orchard Rd./Gaithersburg 20878) and will be followed by an Open Mic. Please note the switch from Sunday to Saturday and the time change from the old schedule. Feel free to bring a poem that you have written to share (one page maximum).
After four wonderful years of hosting poetry readings in Gaithersburg, I’ve decided it is time to step down in order to pursue other interests. I’m delighted that my good friend, the phenomenal poet Kristin Kowalski Ferragut will be taking over the reins of the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading. Read on for more details, cross-posted from the DiVerse website:
Dear Poets and Community Friends,
I’ll give you the punchline first—the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading is planning to re-start this winter on a new day and with a new host! Got your attention? Read on…
When the pandemic hit almost two years ago, never in my worst imaginings did I think that the DiVerse Gaithersburg poetry reading would be on pause for this long. As I write this, the Montgomery County libraries are still not open on Sundays and the meeting room at the Quince Orchard Library has not re-opened for use either. It is unclear whether the libraries will start operating on Sundays again, so with the help of Eve Burton, the librarian that we work with at Quince Orchard Library, we are moving the reading to 2nd Saturday afternoons beginning in January, exact time to be determined and information about any restrictions nearer to the date. I am grateful to Eve for all her work to make it possible for us to meet at the library.
And now for the really big news:
Like many people, I had plenty of time when things were shutdown to do some thinking about the work that I do and what I want moving forward. One of the things I realized is that after 50 plus years of organizing and community building of various kinds, I really want to be doing other things with my time. Which led me to start thinking about finding someone to take over hosting DiVerse. After some thought and talking it over with a few people (and thank you to those of you who helped me think it through!), I realized the choice was obvious and luckily the timing was right for her as well. I am thrilled to announce that my good friend and amazing poet Kristin Kowalski Ferragut will be taking over as the host of the DiVerse Gaithersburg poetry reading!
Over the next few months Kristin and I will be making that transition happen. She will be starting to look at programming for the spring and will start sharing that info when she is ready. We will be posting again on the website and facebook page, so keep an eye out for that.
I will remain as a resource person as needed until things are up and running and will no doubt be at many readings happily sitting in the audience.
Since I started organizing poetry readings in Gaithersburg, some 50 poets from a multitude of backgrounds have come to share their work with us, plus countless more at the open mics that followed, including some bravely reading for the first time. While always a work in progress, the diversity of our programming is something that I am proud of.
Since the reading began four years ago, DiVerse has become both a community and a community resource. Regular attendees have gotten to know each other, work on our craft together and become friends. And because we meet at the library, we often attract folks from the community who perhaps have never been to a reading before.
I know that Kristin shares my vision of how important these things are and will bring her own wonderful talent and ideas to continuing the readings. So please join me in welcoming her to this new role and for goodness sake, help her to get the chairs set up (if you’ve been to a DiVerse reading, you know what I mean)!
With gratitude to all of you for making the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading a success!
Back in the BP (Before Pandemic) days, circa late 2019, Eve Burton (the librarian who is our liaison at the Quince Orchard library for the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading) and I started talking about having a local poets poetry collection at QO that would feature, to begin with, poets who had read at DiVerse. We both thought it would be a great accompaniment to the readings as well as the poetry workshops that Eve facilitates. Eve talked with her manager and got the necessary okays to get the ball rolling and we put out a call to the poets and books rolled in. The books were sent to be catalogued and then everything shut down. And stayed that way for more than a year with our books inaccessible.
Finally with the re-opening of the library, they have come back and are now shelved and we’ve put out a second call to those who missed the first opportunity to contribute their titles. The books will be housed at QO but can be checked out online from Montgomery County Public Libraries. Here is a picture of the first books on the shelves (except those that were already checked out when the picture was taken!). More coming soon. What an amazing resource for anyone who wants to read more work by local poets!
Please join us this fall when the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading continues in its new location! All of our readings will be at the Quince Orchard Library, 2-4 pm, with an open mic following our featured poets.
We are excited to be dedicating both our October and December readings to poets who also pursue other creative work. In addition to sharing their poetry, the poets will also be discussing their other artistic endeavors and how they work with multiple creative forms of expression.
Many thanks to librarian Eve Burton for welcoming us to Quince Orchard and for helping me to work out all the details! And once again, I will be hosting the readings, hope to see you there.
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!
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.
Please also check out the DiVerse Booklist which has now been updated to include books by our fall authors.
November: No reading because the library is closed for Veteran’s Day.
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)
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!
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.