Home » About


Founded in 1974, HoCoPoLitSo is a community-based not-for-profit arts organization that produces readings and other literary events for the general public, including students, seniors, and ethnic audiences.

HoCoPoLitSo’s season is from early autumn through June and is anchored by four annual events:

  • The Lucille Clifton Poetry Series Reading  – October
  • The Annual Irish Evening – February
  • The Blackbird Poetry Festival – April
  • The Columbia Festival of the Arts event – June

The season fills in with a number of other events, including the Writer-in-Residence program.

Mission Statement

Howard County Poetry & Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo) is a nonprofit organization designed to enlarge the audience for contemporary poetry and literature and celebrate culturally diverse literary heritages. Founded in 1974 by National Book Award finalist Ellen Conroy Kennedy, HoCoPoLitSo accomplishes its mission by sponsoring readings with critically acclaimed writers; literary workshops; programs for students; and The Writing Life, a writer-to-writer interview show seen on YouTube, HCC-TV, and other local community college stations.

Goals for FY 2014

  • GOAL I:  To present high-caliber, innovative literary programs in Howard County.
  • GOAL II:  To celebrate diverse literary heritages and foster appreciation of literature in diverse populations.
  • GOAL III:  To enlarge the audience for and increase the appreciation of contemporary poetry and literature by specifically reaching out to the Howard County youth population.
  • GOAL IV:  To preserve and make broadly accessible literary programs.
  • GOAL V:  To extend the reach of HoCoPoLitSo by partnering with Howard County nonprofits, schools, and other groups and organizations.

Reputation and Honors

  • Known for the distinction of the poets and writers it presents.
  • Recognized for programming quality, diversity and scope.
  • Called “a model for community literature programs” by the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Frequently cited for “excellence” by the Maryland State Arts Council.
  • Three editions of The Writing Life honored by the National Hometown Video Festival. Honored editions include:
    • The Writing Life: Poetry Quartet
    • The Writing Life: Reynolds Price
    • The Writing Life: Sekou Sundiata

Help HoCoPoLitSo Happen

Join our email list.

To receive notifications about upcoming HoCoPoLitSo events via email, simply click Subscribe.
Follow HoCoPoLitSo on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: