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May 21: Gaithersburg Book Festival

Search the Adult Schedule for your favorites, including a great lineup of poets in the Edgar Allan Poe tent.

Search the Children’s schedule for your child’s favorites.

Sunday, May 1, 11-3 p.m. in Washington D.C.: Literary Hill BookFest

Even when National Poetry Month in April ends, there’s still more poetry to be had!

Literary Hill BookFest is on May 1 from 11 to 3 p.m. in Washington, D.C.’s Eastern Market. Address: 225 7th St. SE, Washington, D.C.

The Literary Hill BookFest is an annual celebration of books and authors held each spring on Capitol Hill.

I’ve only attended this festival online. You can see my video from 2021 on my Publication Credits page.

I hope to see some of you at Tunnicliff’s Tavern at 3 p.m. for the poetry open mic. It will be good to be around other poets at an in-person event! I’ll be reading with some fantastic poets:

Bring some cash or a venmo and you may be able to pick up some of their books at the reading.

In case you missed my recent online Zoom Reading: There’s a Poem in this Place, you can check it out here:

There's a Poem in This Place from Elizabeth Gauffreau on Vimeo.

Poetry Activity: Blackout Poems

Today, we’re going to try one of my favorite poetry activities: Blackout poetry.

This is one of the easiest forms to create because it really just requires you remove the text of an existing piece by blacking it out. The text can be from a book, newspaper, magazine, or poem. You’re going to redact it, much like the FBI or CIA would do when allowing the public to view government reports.

I’m going to use this poem from Robert Frost: Nothing Gold Can Stay.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Here’s my version:

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

I’d love to hear about your experience with black out poetry. Feel free to take a photo and send it to me via email.

April 24, 4-6 PM: Local D.C. Event: Poetry Reading with Photopoetry by Gordana Gerskovic, Serena Agusto-Cox, and More

What: Poetry Reading with Photopoetry
When: Sunday, April 24 at 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Foundry Gallery at 2118 8th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

Two of my poems have been paired with Gordana Gerskovic‘s wonderful art. Come see the art and hear some great poems.

Also featured:

I hope that if you are in the area, you’ll drop by the poetry reading on April 24.

April 23, 4 p.m. EST: National Poetry Month Zoom Reading: Poets in the Blogosphere


I hope you’ll be available to register and listen in on Zoom on April 23 at 4 p.m. EST.

I’ll be reading with some fantastic poets from the blogosphere. I was honored to be invited.

Check out these wonderful poets:

The theme of this reading is There’s A Poem in This Place.

Two places to find contemporary poetry at its most vibrant are in the blogging community and at live readings. On April 23, 2022, from 4-5:30 PM ET, the two places come together when a select group of poets from the blogosphere present a live reading of their poetry at Poets in the Blogosphere.

Most poetry is meant to be read aloud, and hearing poets read their own work is a heightened experience.The event is moderated by Elizabeth Gauffreau. Please register in advance at https://tinyurl.com/Poets-in-the-Blogosphere #NationalPoetryMonth #blogpoetsread2022

Poetry Activity: Tanka

Today’s poetry activity is to build a tanka poem.

The tanka is a thirty-one-syllable poem, traditionally written in a single unbroken line. A form of waka, Japanese song or verse, tanka translates as “short song,” and is better known in its five-line, 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count form.

Please check out this tutorial video on how to create a tanka:

If you’d like a simpler way to create one, check out the Tanka Poem Generator.

Here’s mine:

Sycamore

Oh my sycamore
It is hungry and solid.
It has perfect limbs
And a mighty roots as well
When it soars I feel happy

Share your tanka below.

Poetry Events: Roundup of Weekend Poetry Events

Here’s some local D.C. area and online poetry events for you to check out this weekend!

In-Person:

Pop-Up & Poetry: poetry series dedicated to the synergy of BLACK lyricism, artists, and space in the home of Nubian Hueman. (21+ audience only) April 15 7-9 p.m.

Nubian Hueman – Baltimore
211 West Read Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

For kids ages 5-12, you can pick up a Poetry Packet at the Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library. (pick up during library hours on April 15)

Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library
4450 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Washington, D.C.

Charlottesville Reading Series with poet Aran Donovan and fiction writer Anna Caritj. (April 15 at 7 p.m.)

New Dominion Bookshop
404 E Main St
Charlottesville, VA  22902

Online Events:

Virtual: National Poetry Month Celebration w/ The Rumpus with Derrick Austin, Michael Chang, Chen Chen, & Brionne Janae. (April 15 at 7 p.m.)

What poetry events are you excited about? Drop the details in the comments.

Poetry Activity: Limericks

Limericks are a fun poetry form to create. They remind me of stand-up comics where anything becomes fodder for humor.

Definition of Limericks:

A limerick is a humorous poem consisting of five lines. The first, second, and fifth lines must have seven to ten syllables while rhyming and having the same verbal rhythm. The third and fourth lines should only have five to seven syllables; they too must rhyme with each other and have the same rhythm.

Edward Lear is one of the most well known writers of Limericks, and this is one of my favorites:

There was an Old Man with a beard
Who said, "It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!"

I love using the limerick generator, and I hope you’ll give it a try, too. Here’s mine:

There once was a lass called sally.
She said, "See the great vitaly!"
It was rather poor,
But not louis pasteur,
She just couldn't say no to the halle.

Share yours below.

Poetry Events: Roundup of Weekend Poetry Events

I wanted to share some poetry events that are happening today and throughout the weekend. There’s a mix of online events and in-person events for your pleasure.

I hope you’ll check out some of these poets:

In Person Events near Washington, D.C.:

Busboys & Poets presents 9th Hour Poetry Slam hosted by Charity Blackwell at 2021 14th St NW, Washington, District of Columbia, 20009 (April 8 at 9 p.m.) Bring something to read.

DiVerse Gaithersburg presents Pamela Murray Winters and Rocky Jones at Java Junction 5 S Summit Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 (April 9 at 1:30 p.m.) Bring something to read at the open mic.

Politics & Prose presents a Poetry Panel with Danielle Badra, Carol Jennings, Phil Goldstein and Angelo Nikolopoulos at 5015 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, D.C. 20008 (April 10 at 3 p.m.)

America Poetry Museum presents the Where We Stand: Book Launch (my review) at 716 Monroe St NE #25th, Washington, D.C. 20017 (April 10 at 3 p.m.)

Online:

Indelible Literary and Arts Journal presentsPoetry and the Diaspora with André Naffis-Sahely, Anthony Anaxagorou, Antonia Taylor, Maria Taylor, Omar Sabbagh, Roula-Maria Dib, Kostya Tsolakis via Zoom (April 8 at 11 a.m.)

If you know of any and would like me to share them, please email me the details and I can update this post.

I’d love to hear about what events are near you.

Local D.C. Event: Gallery Opening of Photopoetry by Gordana Gerskovic, Serena Agusto-Cox, and More

What: Opening Reception of Photopoetry
When: Sunday, April 3 at 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Foundry Gallery at 2118 8th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

Two of my poems have been paired with Gordana Gerskovic‘s wonderful art. I hope that if you are in the area, you’ll drop by the opening reception on April 3.

Also featured:

We will host a reading later in the month.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday

Take this time to reflect on the freedoms we have in this country, and how there was a lot of sweat and blood that went into making them a reality.

Also take a moment to think about how precious those freedoms are and what you are willing to do to keep them.

Finally, the time is NOW to take action to actively preserve your rights.

What would you do, if you were Martin Luther King, Jr.?

One Word for 2022

I haven’t picked a ONE Word for the new year since 2017. I think Sheila at Book Journey advocated for this type of resolution, but I’m not sure if she’s still doing it.

But for 2022, I feel like there is one word that will sum up all that was 2020-2022.

What’s your ONE Word for 2022?