“Poetry of Wit and Wonder”
Beth Ann Fennelly and Teri Ellen Cross Davis
Thursday, April 25th, 2019
Howard Community College
HoCoPoLitSo, in partnership with Howard Community College’s Office of Student Life, English and World Languages Division, and Arts & Humanities Division, is thrilled to present the 11th annual Blackbird Poetry Festival on Thursday, April 25th, 2019. The all-day event will feature readings and workshops with poets Beth Ann Fennelly and Teri Cross Davis. The festival will also include a workshop “The Poetics of Anime” by Steven Leyva, readings by student poets from HCC and on-campus patrols by the Poetry Police in recognition of National Poem in Your Pocket Day.
Poetry police will report for duty at 10am in the Duncan Hall Lobby. Poetry Police Captain Rick Leith and his force, in celebration of Poem in Your Pocket Day, will distribute citations to students and staff who find themselves without a poem in their pocket and reward those who carry a poem. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer for a shift.
“Morning Songs” – RCF 400
9:30 a.m. Steven Leyva Workshop on “The Poetics of Anime” This event is open to the public. Please RSVP to email@example.com
11:00 a.m. Joint Workshop featuring Beth Ann Fennelly and Teri Ellen Cross Davis (see bios below). A dynamic mix of readings and interactive poetry exercises for literature students. This event is open to the public. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunbird: RCF 400 from 2:30pm-4:30pm
Beth Ann Fennelly and Teri Ellen Cross Davis will be joined onstage by students, faculty, and staff for an afternoon of poetry. This event is free and open to the public.
Nightbird: Smith Theater at 7:30pm
Beth Ann Fennelly will read from and discuss her work, including Unmentionables (2008). Nightbird admission tickets are $15 each (seniors and students $10) available on-line at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4026338 or by sending a self-addressed envelope and check payable to HoCoPoLitSo, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Horowitz Center 200, Columbia, MD 21044. A book signing will follow.
For more information, call HoCoPoLitSo at (443) 518-4568 or email email@example.com.
Author/Film Presentation of Girl Rising with Aminatta Forna
Sunday, June 30 • 2:30 p.m.
Smith Theatre – Howard Community College
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 global awareness about the importance of education for girls. Novelist Aminatta Forna wrote the portion of the film about a girl from her home country, Sierra Leone, and her dreams of education and independence. Forna will also read from one of her novels that pertains to social justice around the world. The Washington Post raved about her latest novel, Happiness: “An exquisite novel about how chance and love connect us.” After the author talk, there will be an intermission, refreshments, and a book signing, followed by a screening of the film.
The documentary Girl Rising, featuring the voices of actresses including Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Kerry Washington, Selena Gomez and Salma Hayek, focuses on the power of education for nine girls from Haiti, Nepal, Ethiopia, India, Egypt, Peru, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, and Afghanistan, telling their stories through writers from their home countries. The Boston Globe noted, “The idea behind Girl Rising is strikingly simple and even more strikingly imaginative.”
Tickets will go on sale to the general public through the Columbia Festival of the Arts website on April 26. We’ll post the link here.
Wilde Reading Series — Monthly
Columbia Association Arts Center
Long Reach Village Center, Columbia
Wilde Readings is a free monthly literary reading series that provides local writers — poets, fiction, non-fiction — a chance to share their work with the community. The format showcases featured authors, as well as an open mic for interested audience members.
The open mic session offers a safe and supportive environment for teens and adults to share writing of all different forms. Open mic presenters are asked to keep their readings to five minutes or less. Come explore how a range of creativity can inspire and fuel the imagination and nurture one’s one craft and well-being.
Wilde Readings are held the second Tuesdays of each month from September through early summer at the Columbia Association Art Center in the village of Long Reach. Readings start at 7 p.m.
Wilde Readings is sponsored by HoCoPoLitSo and coordinated by Laura Shovan, Ann Bracken, Linda Joy Burke, and Faye McCray.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 7-8:30PM
Lady Di, Sistah Joy and Brenardo
Collective Voices is a Washington, D.C.-based ensemble of poets known for its messages of inspiration and social consciousness. Founded in 1995, the group’s members include Ladi Di, Brenardo and Sistah Joy. Of particular note, for nearly 20 years (1997-2016) Collective Voices presented Poetry Extravaganza, a free literary tribute honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event was attended by hundreds annually at the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Library in Downtown Washington.
Tuesday, October 9, 7-8:30PM
Steven Leyva and Joseph Ross
Steven Leyva was born in New Orleans and raised in Houston. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 2 Bridges Review, Fledgling Rag, The Light Ekphrastic, The Cobalt Review, Vinyl, and Prairie Schooner. He is a Cave Canem fellow and author of the chapbook Low Parish. Steven holds a master’s degree in ne arts from the University of Baltimore, where he is an assistant professor in the Klein Family School of Communications Design.
Joseph Ross is the author of three books of poetry: Ache (2017), Gospel of Dust (2013)
and Meeting Bone Man (2012). His poems have appeared in many places, including The Los Angeles Times, Xavier Review, Southern Quarterly, Poet Lore, and Drumvoices Revue. In the
2014-15 school year, he served as the 23rd poet-in-residence for the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society. He teaches English at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C., and writes regularly at JosephRoss.net.
Tuesday, November 13, 7-8:30PM
Jay Hall Carpenter and Yvette Neisser
Jay Hall Carpenter has been a professional artist for more than 40 years, beginning as a sculptor for the Washington National Cathedral, and winning numerous national awards for his work. His rst poetry collection, Dark and Light (2012), was followed by 101 Limericks Inappropriate For All Occasions (2107), and will be followed next year by a third, as-yet-untitled collection. He has written poetry, plays, and children’s books throughout his career and now sculpts and writes in Silver Spring.
Yvette Neisser is the author of Grip, winner ofthe 2011 Gival Press Poetry Award. Her translations reading features local from Spanish include South Pole/Polo Sur by María Teresa Ogliastri and Dif cult Beauty: Selected Poems by Luis Alberto Ambroggio. Her poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in such publications as Foreign Policy in Focus, Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. She is a founding Board Member of the D.C.-Area Literary Translators Network (DC-ALT) and has taught writing at George Washington University and The Writer’s Center.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 7-8:30PM
Lucinda Marshall and Pamela Murray Winters
Lucinda Marshall is a writer, artist and activist. Her poetry publications include Sediments, GFT, Tuck Magazine, Stepping Stones Magazine, Columbia Journal, Poetica and Haikuniverse, and she was included in Indolent Books’ “Poems in the Aftermath” anthology. Her poem “The Lilies Were In Bloom” received an honorable mention in Waterline Writers’ Artists as Visionaries Climate Crisis Solutions contest.
Pamela Murray Winters’ debut poetry collection, The Unbeckonable Bird, was published in summer 2018 by FutureCycle Press. Her poems have appeared in Gargoyle, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Gettysburg Review, Beltway Poetry, and numerous other journals and anthologies. She received a master’s degree in ne arts, specializing in poetry, from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and was awarded a 2017 Maryland State Arts Council grant for her poetry. She lives in Maryland, in deepest suburbia.
JANUARY 8, 2019
Danuta Hinc and Luther Jett
Host: Ann Bracken
Danuta Hinc’s essays and short fiction have appeared in Washingtonian Magazine, Literary Hub, Popula, Consequence Magazine, The Word Riot, Litteraria, among others. She holds an M.A. in Philology from Gdansk University in Poland, and an M.F.A. in Writing and Literature from Bennington College, VT. She is the recipient of the Barry Hannah Fiction Award, and the author of the novel, To Kill the Other. Hinc is a Senior Lecturer at University of Maryland at College Park where she teaches writing.
Luther Jett is a native of Montgomery County, Maryland and a retired special educator. His poetry has been published in numerous journals,as well as several anthologies. His poetry performance piece, Flying to America, debuted during the 2009 Capital Fringe Festival in Washington D.C. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks: “Not Quite: Poems Written in Search of My Father” (Finishing Line Press, 2015), and “Our Situation” (Prolific Press, 2018).
FEBRUARY 12, 2019
Dr. Dorothy Adamson and Gregory Luce
Host: Faye McCray
Dr. Dorothy Adamson Holley, aka Drum Dr. Dot, is a Developmental Psychologist and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is the co-founder of Nyame Nti Cultural Healing Arts Therapy, a nonprofit organization that integrates mental health and the arts to promote healing. Dr. Holley is the creator of Drumetry™, an art form that integrates two of her passions, drumming and poetry, and she is a proud member the Baltimore band, Roses n Rust.
Gregory Luce, author of Signs of Small Grace (Pudding House Publications), Drinking Weather (Finishing Line Press), Memory and Desire (Sweatshoppe Publications), and Tile (Finishing Line Press), has published widely in print and online. He is the 2014 Larry Neal Award winner for adult poetry, given by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He is retired from National Geographic, works as a volunteer writing tutor/mentor for 826DC, and lives in Arlington, VA.
MARCH 12, 2019
Andrea Nacina Cole and Lisa Vihos
Host: Linda Joy Burke
Andria Nacina Cole’s short stories have appeared in The Feminist Wire, Baltimore City Paper, and Ploughshares, among others. She has received multiple grants from the Maryland State Arts Council, including the organization’s top prize for fiction. She is the 2010 recipient of the Cohen Award, a Rubys Award grantee and Baltimore’s Best Storyteller (2017). She co-founded A Revolutionary Summer in 2015 in response to the murder of Freddie Carlos Gray.
Lisa Vihos is the Poetry and Arts Editor at Stoneboat Literary Journal and an occasional guest blogger for The Best American Poetry. Along with two chapbooks, A Brief History of Mail (Pebblebrook Press, 2011) and The Accidental Present (Finishing Line Press, 2012), her poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals. She has two Pushcart Prize nominations and received first place recognition in the 2015 Wisconsin People and Ideas poetry contest for her poem, “Lesson at the Checkpoint.” She is active in the 100 Thousand Poets for Change global movement and recently returned home from the group’s first world conference in Salerno, Italy. Visit her blog at Frying the Onion.
April 9, 2019
Poets Bruce Jacobs, Naomi Thiers and you.
Hosted by Linda Joy Burke.
Bruce A. Jacobs is a poet, author, and musician. He has appeared on NPR, C-SPAN, and elsewhere. His two books of poems are Speaking Through My Skin (MSU Press), which won the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, and Cathode Ray Blues (Tropos Press). His most recent nonfiction book is Race Manners for the 21st Century (Arcade/Skyhorse). His work has been published by dozens of literary journals and sites, including Beloit Poetry Journal, Gwarlingo, Truthout, and the 180 More anthology edited by U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. He lives in Washington, DC.
Naomi Thiers grew up in California and Pittsburgh, but her chosen home is Washington-DC/ Northern Virginia. She is the author of three poetry collections: Only The Raw Hands Are Heaven(which won the Washington Writers Publishing House award), In Yolo County, and She Was a Cathedral(both from Finishing Line Press.) Her poems, fiction, and essays have been published in Virginia Quarterly Review, Poet Lore, Colorado Review, Grist, Sojourners, and other magazines and anthologies. Former poetry editor of Phoebe, she works as an editor for Educational Leadership magazine and lives in a condo on the banks of Four Mile Run in Arlington, Virginia.
Already this season:
Ordinary Wonder: Three Poets On Writing and Reality
Michael Collier, Elizabeth Spires, and David Yezzi
Friday, October 26, 2018 – 7:30 p.m.
Monteabaro Recital Hall at the
Horowitz Center for the Performing Arts
Howard Community College
Michael Collier, Elizabeth Spires, and David Yezzi open HoCoPoLitSo’s 45th Season with “Ordinary Wonder: Three Poets on Writing and Reality”. The season’s 2018 Lucille Clifton Reading Series event features these three Maryland poets, each with new, acclaimed collections. Collier, Spires and Yezzi will read and discuss their work beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Monteabaro Recital Hall of the Horowitz Center for the Performing and Visual Arts on the campus of Howard Community College. Join us in celebration of HoCoPoLitSo’s forty-five years of literary programming at this year’s Lucille Clifton Reading Series. A book signing and wine and cheese reception will follow. The suggested donation for this event is $5.
Vona Groake to read at HoCoPoLitSo’s 41st Irish Evening of Music and Poetry on February 8, 2019
HoCoPoLitSo’s guest for its annual Irish Evening on February 8, 2019, is the award-winning poet Vona Groarke, recipient of the 2017 Hennessy Hall of Fame Award for Lifetime Achievement. Groarke’s reading will be followed by a concert of Irish music and championship step dancing. During intermission, complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be available. Irish coffee, specialty cocktails, and Guinness will be offered for sale beginning at 7 p.m. and during intermission. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Smith Theatre of the Horowitz Center for Visual and Performing Arts on the campus of Howard Community College.
Vona Groarke’s most recent collection, Selected Poems, won the 2017 Pigott Prize for the best collection of poetry by an Irish poet. Noted as “brilliant and original” by the Irish Times, Groarke writes haunting and candidly sensual poems. At Irish Arts Center’s annual PoetryFest in New York, organizer and author Nick Laird extolled Groarke’s voice as “always modulated beautifully, assured and daring, often wry, (that) in the end keeps faith with the world.”
Groarke has published ten books, including a 2016 book-length personal essay, Four Sides Full and one translation, Lament of Art O’Leary (from an eighteenth-century Irish classic). A new collection of poems, Double Negative, is due in 2019. Her work has been recognized as one of Irish poetry’s “most consistently satisfying voices” (Agenda magazine) and “among the best Irish poets writing today” (Poetry Ireland Review). She has been the recipient of many prizes and grants, including the Brendan Behan Memorial Prize for her first collection, Shale (1994), the Michael Hartnett Award for Flight (2002), and is currently a Cullman Fellow at New York Public Library.
Groarke joins the long list of illustrious Irish authors HoCoPoLitSo has brought to Howard County audiences, including Frank McCourt, Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright, Colum McCann, and Emma Donoghue. For more than 40 years, HoCoPoLitSo’s Irish Evening has celebrated the substantial impact of Irish-born writers on the world of contemporary literature.
Performing traditional and original Irish music is the Hedge Band: Laura Byrne on flute, Billy McComiskey on the box accordion, Donna Long on piano and Jim Eagan on fiddle, accompanied by dancers Maureen Berry, founder and Director of the Teelin School of Irish Dance, and Saoirse DeBoy, the 2016 World Solo Championship winner (girls age 16-17).