Reading Challenge: 12 books recommended by 12 friends

For those interested, these are the 12 books recommended by 12 friends for me to read this year. I’ll likely be reading 2 next month since I started late.

My first book is actually going to be The Troop by Nick Cutter.

What books have your friends recommended for you? Have you read them yet?

2023 National Baseball Poetry Festival

Poetry can favor many topics from the intimate to the very public, but it also can speak to entertainments like baseball.

Baseball Bard will host the First Annual National Baseball Poetry Festival April 28-30, 2023 at Polar Park in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The park is the official home of the Worcester Red Sox (Triple-A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox)

The poetry festival is presented by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce in association with Baseballbard.com.

Check out the list of activities:

  • Official Welcome
  • Attendance at Two Worcester Red Sox Games
  • On-Field Pitch-and-Catch plus Other Activities
  • Behind-the-Scenes Stadium Tour
  • Giant Video-Board Poetry Presentations
  • Seventh-Inning Stretch Celebrations
  • Open-mic Nights at Local Establishments
  • And more to come

I’m tentatively scheduled to read, and hope that those of you in the area will come out to support this event.

POETS WANTED: The Festival is seeking poets to participate in the open mic sessions. If you wish to present your poem to an enthusiastic audience, please contact Mark Sickman at the following e-mail address: [email protected]

Regional Poetry Contest Alert: Enoch Pratt Library Poetry Contest & Gaithersburg Book Festival High School Poetry Contest

Little Patuxent Review and Enoch Pratt Free Library again are sponsoring the Maryland poetry contest.

This contest is open to those in Maryland who are 18 years old and up.

Deadline: March 1

Submission Guidelines are here.

Good Luck!

Once again the local Gaithersburg Book Festival is hosting its high school poetry contest.

The contest is open to high school students in grades 9-12, including those who are home schooled and in private schools, in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Poetry must be original and on a theme of diversity or inclusion.

Deadline: Feb. 23.

Submission guidelines are here.

Good luck to our young writers.

2023 Poetry Reading Challenge


1. Choose Your Level of Participation
2. Comment with your level and where you’ll post or leave a link in Mr. Linky
3. Read poetry between Jan. 1, 2023, and Dec. 31, 2023
4. Share your reviews or experiences on your blog, GoodReads, Story Graph, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or wherever you log your reading

Levels of Participation:

1. Sign up for the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day service
2. Read at least 1 book of poetry; you can find some I’ve reviewed
3. Set a personal reading goal (5 books, 10 books, etc.) and share your reviews or comments with me

If you accept one of the options or the whole challenge, leave a comment with where you will be posting about your year in poetry. Or link to your blog or other page in Mr. Linky:

Have a great 2023 year in poetry.

Happy New Year!

I want to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Hard to believe that 2022 is over and 2023 is about to begin. Have a great start to 2023.

2022 in Review

I hope to have read my 100th book by Dec. 31, 2022, but as of now, I have read 99 books. My Good Reads goal was an ambitious 100 books.

I probably shouldn’t have selected a chunky Stephen King book, If It Bleeds, for my last read of the year, but I wanted to end the reading year on a high note or at least a book I thought I would love.

  • Children/YA books: 16
  • Memoir/Nonfiction: 12
  • Adult Fiction: 24 (25 if I finish book #100)
  • Poetry: 47

Breakdown of Ratings this Year:

  • 5 Stars: 57
  • 4 Stars: 29
  • 3 Stars: 11
  • 2 Stars: 1
  • 1 Star: 1

Top Memoir/Nonfiction:

Top Children/YA Books:

Top Adult Fiction:

Top Poetry: (this category is always the hardest for me to pick from)

Share your favorite reads from 2022!

Happy Holidays!

I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a happy holiday season.

I’m aiming to bake, get some holiday meals planned, and to have fun with my daughter as she begins winter break. I even have a little surprise for her on Thursday.

It looks like Disney will be bringing it’s own version to its streaming service.

Perhaps I’ll have time to do some writing and reading. That would be amazing.

This season has always been about family time for me, and less about material things. I love giving gifts and seeing faces light up when they open them, but it really is about the joy.

I wish all of you joy and happiness. Remember to be grateful for what you do have!

I’ll be back next week with some final reviews and a 2022 favorites list.

Until then, curl up with a book, a blanket, and some hot cocoa!

Book Launch: I Rode the Second Wave: A Feminist Memoir by Fran Abrams on Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Md.

I am honored to help Fran Abrams launch her first poetry book, I Rode the Second Wave: A Feminist Memoir, into the world on Dec. 4, 2022, at 3 p.m. at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD.

I hope that you’ll join us as Fran reads from her collection, and I pepper her with questions about her work and her thoughts about the second wave of feminism.

Books will be available for purchase and, of course, Fran will autograph them for you! Refreshments will be served. Don’t miss out on that!

We do ask that you register for this FREE event. You can do that here.

I can’t wait to see everyone.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for families to come together and share their gratitude.

Veterans Day 2022

Today is the day we honor those who sacrifice so much when entering military service. While we may not agree with every war, military action, etc., please remember that our military goes where the government tells them to go and they serve with honor and many with compassion.

Our veterans often come home battered and mentally affected by the battles and war zones they find themselves in. Many are forever changed. They are no longer who the were.

Consider donating your time, your money, or your skills to the following charities that help veterans impacted by their work for our nation:

I’m not endorsing any of these organizations, so please do your own research, but I wanted to share some of the organizations that are doing good work for our veterans, too many of whom are left on the sidelines of domestic life because of how war impacts them mentally or physically.

Live Encounters 13th Anniversary Edition Is Out

Check out my latest poems in Live Encounters: 13th Anniversary Edition. I’m on pg. 140 or so.

New: Poetic Lines with Elizabeth Lund and Me

Many of you already are aware that I help the Gaithersburg Book Festival flesh out its poetry programming. I’ve been on board with the committee as a volunteer and member for several years. First, taking over the reins of the high school poetry contest when Lucinda Marshall stepped down to pursue her own creative work. Then, fleshing out the poetry programming to include more diverse voices, local poets, and even prize winners.

Elizabeth Lund was a final judge for the poetry contest when the pandemic hit, and her gracious video work for the winners’ announcement was beautiful. I was so glad to have met her virtually, as we have some connections in the Boston area (e.g. Fred Marchant).

She kindly asked to speak with me on her show, Poetic Lines, where we talk about the Gaithersburg Book Festival, poetry, writing, and so much more.

I hope you’ll take a listen and share with your social networks and poets who have books published this year and in the spring of 2023.

Poetic Lines – Serena Agusto-Cox from NewTV on Vimeo.