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Poetic Lack of License

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Upcoming HoCoPoLitSo Events

  • Blackbird Poetry Festival April 25, 2019 Howard Community College, Columbia, MD 21044, USA Mississippi’s Poet Laureate Beth Ann Fennelly headlines the eleventh annual Blackbird Poetry Festival for HoCoPoLitSo. The festival, set for April 25, 2019, on the campus of Howard Community College, is a day devoted to verse, with workshops, book sales, readings, and patrols by the Poetry Police. The Sunbird poetry reading, featuring Ms. Fennelly, as well…
  • Film/Author Presentation of Girl Rising With Aminatta Forna June 30, 2019 at 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm Join in saluting the founding of the Columbia Film Society and HoCoPoLitSo with an afternoon that celebrates the education of girls, the beauty of story, and the power of collective action. This joint anniversary event features a talk by one of the writers of Girl Rising and a showing of the documentary film that inspired…

Upcoming Regional Literary Events

  • CityLit Festival - Baltimore April 27, 2019 at 9:00 am – 5:30 pm 11 W. Mt. Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21201 Each April, CityLit Project presents its signature event: CityLit Festival. The day-long celebration of literature includes concurrent programming throughout our partner's venue so that there is something literally for everyone.
  • Wilde Readings May 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Columbia Art Center, 6100 Foreland Garth, Columbia, MD 21045, USA Monthly reading with featured writers and open mic. Free.
  • Books In Bloom June 2, 2019 at 11:00 am – 4:00 pm Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044, USA Downtown Columbia's book festival.
The latest installment in our occasional series of blog posts from members of the HoCoPoLitSo board.

When it comes to HoCoPoLitSo, I follow the money via the checkbook, the budget, and the ticket sales. I also do the tax returns. In short, I’m the Treasurer.

I’m also an unofficial driver for HoCoPoLitSo.  Since we like to provide the personal touch, the board members and the staff share the task of picking up or dropping off our authors at the airport or the DC Metro. It surprises me that so many of our authors, including our own Lucille Clifton who lived in Columbia, don’t drive at all.

I admit that if I lived in DC, I would seriously consider abandoning my car, but I wonder sometimes if there is something innately poetic about not owning a car or holding a drivers license.  Whatever their reason for not driving, the benefit of the poetic lack of license is that it gives us another opportunity to interact with our visiting authors.

While some save their energy for the audience and just wish to ride quietly (as did Martin Espada), others prove quite talkative. On our way to the Wheaton Metro, Naomi Ayala remarked about how green Columbia was so I explained Columbia’s Open Space concept. In turn she told me about her favorite Ethiopian restaurant in Adams Morgan.

Linda Pasten carried on a charming conversation with me despite the nail-biting circumstances of running very late as I drove her along winding back roads from Montgomery County to Columbia one rainy Friday. She surreptitiously glanced at her watch and humored me gently as I chattered away, trying to distract her from my perhaps ill-founded decision not to use the beltway.

Playing chauffeur is well worth the experience and, as Treasurer, I have to add, the cost of the gas. So I guess I’ll keep my car and the job.

By Kathy Larson
Treasurer, HoCoPoLitSo Board


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