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Upcoming Events

2017/18 Season



Writers’ Perch at Lakefest hosted by the Columbia Festival of the Arts

Saturday, June 16, 2018 – 12 p.m. –  4 p.m.
Downtown Columbia Lakefront

Stop by and say hello at what we are calling our “Writers’ Perch” booth at this year’s Lakefest. We’ll be there with literary activities, information about HoCoPoLitSo and other local lit orgs, and a few writers sharing advice and insights on writing.


Other organization’s literary events of particular note:

Our friends at Little Patuxent Review are celebrating the publication of their most recent issue with a reading at Oliver’s Carriage House in Downtown Columbia on June 2nd from 2-4 p.m. The event is free. They will have copies of the new issue for sale.

The Books In Bloom Festival returns to Downtown Columbia’s lakefront on Sunday, June 10th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with an impressive line up.


Already this season:

Life, Death, and Social Media: Staying Human in the Digital Age with Author Laurie Frankel

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 – 1:00 p.m.

Howard Community College – RCF 400
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21044

8966399If you could connect with your beloved dead through technology, would you? Laurie Frankel’s novel, Goodbye for Now, is a love story with technology at its heart. Join us to hear Frankel read from her ground-breaking book at HoCoPoLitSo’s series celebrating ground-breaking poet and HoCoPoLitSo artistic advisor Lucille Clifton. Gather with a group of curious minds for this intriguing discussion. The New York Times said Frankel’s book, “extends the reach of technology just beyond our fingertips, where it feels possible.” This program is brought to you by the Howard County Book Connection; a partnership between Howard Community College, the Howard County Public Library System, and the Howard County Poetry & Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo). A book signing will follow. Tickets not required.

Seniors can request transportation by calling 410.715.3087. For other accommodations, call 443.518.4568 by October 16.

This event is free. Click here to register and let us know you are coming.

Life In The Global Language
An International Diversity Week Event

November 14, 2017 1-2 pm, Duncan Hall Rm 100 (Kittleman Room)

Howard Community College
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD

HoCoPoLitSo and Howard Community College’s World Languages will present and facilitate audience discussion on literature as a “global language,” with immense power to connect, inform, and enlighten us across cultures, geography, and time periods. HoCoPoLitSo members and HCC faculty and staff will read poems as originally written in languages from around the world, followed by an English translation. The event will include a series of brief clips from HoCoPoLitSo’s TV show The Writing Life in which writers discuss a variety of works, such as Israeli poems of war and peace, Japanese internment, Latin immigrants, African American history, and issues of translation.

This event is free and open to the public.

February 9 — The Fortieth Annual Evening of Irish Literature, Music and Dance — Featuring Novelist Mike McCormack

7:30 pm, Friday, February 9, 2018

Smith Theatre
Howard Community College
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD

HoCoPoLitSo’s annual Irish celebration will feature a reading by award-winning writer Mike McCormack, new and traditional Irish music by Narrowbacks, and step dancing. McCormack’s newest novel, Solar Bones, is long-listed for the 2017 Man Booker Prize. The Guardian’s review of Solar Bones was subtitled, “an extraordinary hymn to small-town Ireland.” Scones, beer, cocktails, Irish coffee, book sales and signing round out the night. 7:30 p.m.

Blossoms of Hope Annual Theme Exhibition Reception – Dancing for Claudia: Movement Through Words and Art

Friday, April 13, 2018
6:00 PM 8:00 PM
Columbia Art Center


Area writers and artists collaborate on the theme of movement in this year’s Blossoms of Hope annual show at the Columbia Association Art Center. The reception in the gallery will feature readings from participating writers. Proceeds from Entry Fees and Sales benefit Blossoms of Hope, which supports the Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center and other causes.

Sponsored by Blossoms of Hope of Howard County, Columbia Art Center, Volunteer Center Serving Howard County, and HoCoPoLitSo.

Show runs: April 13-May 6, 2018

The Fierce Revolution of Marilyn Chin
HoCoPoLitSo’s Tenth Annual Blackbird Poetry Festival

Thursday, April 26, 2017

Howard Community College
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21044

Marilyn Chin

Award-winning poet and author Marilyn Chin headlines the tenth annual Blackbird Poetry Festival for HoCoPoLitSo. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Oregon, activist poet Chin unflinchingly explores the intersection of the Asian and American worlds.

The Blackbird Poetry Festival is a day devoted to verse, with student workshops, book sales, readings, and patrols by the Poetry Police.

2:30 p.m. — The Sunbird Reading – Smith Theatre – featuring Ms. Chin, as well as Washington, D.C., poet and educator Joseph Ross, local authors, and Howard Community College faculty and students.

7:30 p.m. — The Nightbird Reading –  Smith Theatre. Ms. Chin will read from and discuss her poetry, including her most recent work, Hard Love Province, as well as from earlier works. Tickets are $20 each (seniors $15 and students $10). Click here for tickets to the Nightbird Reading.

Hard Love Province won the 2015 Anisfield-Wolf National Prize for Literature that confronts racism and examines diversity. Former winners of this prize include Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, Toni Morrison and Maxine Hong Kingston, Gwendolyn Brooks and Oprah Winfrey.

Joseph Ross

Marilyn Chin co-directs the MFA program at San Diego State University and has won numerous awards for her poetry, including from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Stegner Fellowship, the PEN/Josephine Miles Award, four Pushcart Prizes, the Paterson Prize, and many others.

Joseph Ross’s newest collection of poems, Ache, was published in 2017. Sarah Browning, director of Split This Rock, noted “The poems in Ache do just that, they ache – from the wounds inflicted by racism, from history’s ravages. The wail, the poems insist, ‘is the language/inside every tongue.’ Joseph Ross’s moral vision is unsparing, truth-telling, fierce.”


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